Bolshevik Consolidation of Power

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  • Created on: 21-04-18 16:32
What was the governing body after the PG were arrested?
The All-Russian Congress of Soviets (25th October 1917)
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What was introduced at the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, and what decrees were initially passed?
Sovnarkom - Decree on Peace and Decree on Land (and others that were desperate to gain support e.g. 8-hour day maximum for workers
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What was Sovnarkom?
An all-Bolshevik governing body, ruled by decree, with Lenin as head.
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What did the early decrees do?
Decree on Land - gave peasants a right to seize land and distribute amongst themselves. Decree on Peace - promised the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from World War I
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What happened to the banks?
They were nationalised in Dece
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What happened to the Soviet?
The Soviet Executive were essentially overruled by Sovnarkom and although they still met, it was less frequently than Sovnarkom. Local Soviets did form the basis of governmental structure, but were increasingly dominated by the Communist Party.
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Name 3 ways that the Bolsheviks dealt with opposition in late 1917
Opposition newspapers shutdown; Kadets banned and arrested; Leading Mensheviks and SRs arrested; Cheka set up; Class warfare encouraged; Civil service purged, but filled with loyal Bolsheviks
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How was class warfare encouraged?
Legal system replaced by revolutionary justice, arrests of the burzhui (bourgeois); widespread lootings and beatings - some jumped at the chance.
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Was there still opposition in late 1917?
Yes, from Mensheviks and SRs but it was weak and divided.
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What was the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
A peace treaty with Germany. German demands were v. high, but the Russian army faced even more desertions and Lenin needed to secure the revolution without the threat of the German advance on Petrograd.
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Why did the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk cause so much opposition?
Patriotic Russians horrified by the large loss of territory; Bukharin and others wanted a revolutionary war to bring about a European socialist revolution - they were angry that the Treaty helped Imperial Germany to survive.
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Was the Civil War inevitable?
Yes
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When was the Russian Civil War?
1917-1922
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What event kickstarted the Civil War?
Kornilov Affair - after having defeated Kornilov's army, Lenin proclaimed that the war was about to end, but then foreign intervention was sent to support the Whites
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Who were the White, Red and Green armies?
Whites were foreign forces, Greens were the peasants hoping to oppose the Bolsheviks, and Reds were the Bolsheviks (the Red Army led by Trotsky)
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Why did the Reds win the Civil War?
They had unity, purpose, propaganda, central geography, ruthlessness and Trotsky was an efficient leader (got rid of democracy in army, shot deserters or those who refused consription)
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Why did the opposition lose the Civil War?
They had a lack of unity, lower morale, and a fear of peasants losing their land if they won. They also made mistakes.
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What was the Treaty of Riga (Oct 1921)?
Russo-Polish Peace Treaty
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How many were executed after the Civil War?
50,000 - also a mass exodus of 1-2 million to USA, Britain and exile.
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How many were lost in the Civil War?
9 million
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In 1919, what were the Bolsheviks renamed as?
The Communist Party
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What economic policy did Lenin introduce in 1918?
War Communism (1918-1921)
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What was War Communism?
A rapid nationalisation of all industry, the requisitioning of 'surplus' grain and the militarisation of labour.
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What was the Supreme Economic Council?
The centralised economic planning system, introduced as part of War Communism --> extremely inefficient.
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What was the peasant response to War Communism?
Whilst they initially preferred Soviet peace to White army war, they came to resent the grain requisitioning by workers and party officials --> by 1918, over 7,000 members of requisition squads were murdered.
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What was the proletariat response to War Communism?
Whilst they initially formed the basis of Bolshevik support and used workers' factory committees to control management, it didn't last --> Lenin introduced compulsory labour (16-50yrs), and limited influence of workers' councils through the Vesenkha
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To what extent was War Communism a success?
Not very --> Workers and soldiers fed but 1921 also saw 6 million peasants die of starvation, with rioting (notably the Kronstadt naval rebellion). It lowered productivity (no incentive), with less grain to use as seed --> dramatic fall
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How many sailors were executed in the Kronstadt navl rebellion?
16,000
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Which economic policy replaced War Communism in 1921?
New Economic Policy (NEP)
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Between which years was the NEP used?
1921-24
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What did the NEP do?
Private ownership of small-scale industry; Ended GR in favour of a tax; Open Market to sell surplus; £20 million in aid from American Relief Association
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What were NEPmen?
Kulaks who bought products and sold them to others for profit. They were much more capitalist, and w. unpopular due to the exploitation of the workers.
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Why did the NEP cause debate?
Ideological differences; Workers opposed reduction in the power of Workers' Councils
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What was the Scissors Crisis?
An economic problem as a result of the NEP. Improved agriculture (and therefore, lower prices), but industry did not due to a lack of money, expertise, infrastructure and workers (driving prices up).
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What was the impact of the Scissors Crisis?
The real impact of the Scissors Crisis was felt by ordinary Russians, particularly the farmers, who received little in return for their surplus food crops and could not afford to purchase manufactured goods.
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Was the Scissors Crisis ever resolved under the NEP?
Partially resolved the Scissors Crisis by introducing price controls, forcing down industrial costs, cracking down on profiteering traders and allowing the Commissariat of Trade to establish trading cooperatives. However, still remained a problem.
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To what extent was the NEP successful?
Basically successful --> Seen as dilution of communism and caused internal debate, but did rapidly improve economy. More incentive. Major economy still under state control. It did cause the Scissors Crisis though, and NEPmen were v. unpopular.
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In which year did Lenin die, and how?
24 January 1924 - after suffering several strokes, his health was severely damaged. He fell into a coma and died.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What was introduced at the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, and what decrees were initially passed?

Back

Sovnarkom - Decree on Peace and Decree on Land (and others that were desperate to gain support e.g. 8-hour day maximum for workers

Card 3

Front

What was Sovnarkom?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did the early decrees do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What happened to the banks?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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