• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Lenin was responsible for the deaths of millions during the Russian Civil War Do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Lenin was responsible for the deaths of millions during the Russian Civil War"- Do you agree with this statement? In March 1918, Russia was forced to sign the costly Treaty of Brest-Litovsk where it had to cede a large part of its territory containing some 45 million people; including the breadbasket of Russia, Ukraine. There was finally a long overdue reprieve from the many years of fighting but that peace was not to last as the people of Russia would soon be entrenched once again in a heated and violent civil conflict that would cause more than 2.5 million military casualties1 as well as millions of civilian deaths due to collateral damage and famine. At first glance, the Bolsheviks led by Lenin could have been the main perpetrators of the whole conflict that led to the countless deaths. However, in this essay, we will attempt to analyse whether Lenin had made the key decisions that had led to the bloody deaths and confrontations during the Civil War and also if he really had that much of a choice to dictate the course of events that happened during the Civil War considering the circumstances of the time if even at all. Lenin, in all fairness did contribute in no small part to the sparking of the Civil War. ...read more.

Middle

With one in five of the population starving, the Bolsheviks were forced to accept aid from foreign nations such as the American Relief Association (ARA).4 It was with this mindset that he dictated the terror that rained upon the millions of Russians at that time and caused the death of so many. There were other actors that played key roles in the events that occurred during the Civil War as well. One such person was Leon Trotsky who was a key figure in supporting the Bolshevik cause and defending its ideals in the most hardline of fashions. Trotsky was appointed Commisar of War in 1918. Adopting a similar practical approach to his handling of important issues, Trotsky consolidated the power of the Red Guard and supervised the development of a formidable Red Army. He called upon the services of ex-tsarist officers despite deep opposition from his party and instituted conscription on the areas under Bolshevik control. Trotsky did not hesitate to impose an absolute and violent control over the army. He commented on Septemeber 30th that the traitors of the army would risk the arrest of their families.5 Such was the reign of terror Trotsky was prepared to impose to insure the survival of his party. Trotsky was instrumental in the crushing of the Kronstadt Rising in 1921. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while we can see clearly from the events that had taken place before and during the revolution, Lenin, as well as Trotsky, did play active roles in the decisions that were made. Some of which had led to the death of millions. To that effect, it would be fair to say Lenin caused the death of millions during the Russian Civil War. However, when considering the broader picture and the delicate grip over power the Bolsheviks had, it would seem that Lenin was led by circumstances of the time and did not have much maneuvering room to dictate the course of events considering the fact that his top priority was the preservation of his party's political power during the Civil War. (1315 Words) excl. footnotes 1 Krivosheev, G.F., Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century (Greenhill Books, 1997), pp.7-38 2 Lenin, V.I., Collected Works (Progress Publishers, 1972), Volume 27, pp.235-77 3 Volkogonov, Dmitri, Lenin: Autopsy of an Empre: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime (Free Press, 1998), p. 238 4 Lynch, Michael, From Autocracy to Communism: Russia 1894-1941 (Hodder Education, 2008) pp. 152-153 5 Figes, Orlando, A People's Tragedy, The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 (Pimlico, 1996) pp. 590-591 6 Lynch, Michael, From Autocracy to Communism: Russia 1894-1941 (Hodder Education, 2008) p. 172 7 Trotsky, Leon, History of the Russian Revolution Volume 3 (1930) p. 125 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Historians such as Pipes and Volkogonov have made the interpretation that Lenin was a ...

    Thus some historians see this as a dictatorial action. Volkogonov also views the Red Terror as a "cling to power at any cost"6. He believes that Lenin wanted to stay in power at the cost of the Russian lives that may oppose him, thus Lenin chose to end this opposition

  2. Vietnam war

    * It was estimated that Rolling Thunder (1965) caused Vietnam $600 million worth of damage. * However between 1965 and 1968, the North reci3eved over $2 billion in foreign aid. * The bombing campaign cost the US $6 billion in destroyed aircraft alone.

  1. The importance of the First World War as a turning point in the development ...

    It was the tipping point for the Tsarist governments fall from power. World War One also had an impact on the Russian economy. It cost over one and a half billion roubles which was mainly financed from foreign loans. The result was rampant inflation which meant that some services such

  2. How realistic are POW films?

    the time and effort put into the escape plan, instead of escaping they decide to continue with the football match. In real life circumstances would not have happened as escaping would have been more of a priority than winning football math.

  1. Why Did the Bolsheviks Win the Russian Civil War?

    A huge black market developed, and people traded their goods for others instead of using worthless paper money. All industry was brought under state control. Workers comities were replaced by managers reporting to central authorities to stop the workers from voting themselves for huge pay rises and other benefits.

  2. Stalin had fully consolidated his dictorship by 1935."With referene to the years 1929 to ...

    on the workers, and finally, Stalin might want to prove that the socialist system, in comparison to the capitalist system, would be more successful in modernizing a nation. The results of industrialization are the First Five Year Plan ran from 1928 to 1932 with heavy emphasis on the development of

  1. The Impact of Stalins Leadership in the USSR, 1924 1941. Extensive notes

    This change was often forced on unwilling groups such as kulaks. People were purged because scapegoats were needed to explain away mistakes and failure to meet targets. 4. Hitler had come to power in Germany in 1933 and Stalin feared that the USSR was not yet ready to compete with such a foreign power.

  2. "The Wannsee Conference was entirely responsible for the Holocaust" How valid is this assessment ...

    as we know Hitler allowed his subordinates to find the paths, so it would not seem to significant that he did not attend this meeting, however it is an argument that puts forth the idea that this meeting was just a platform for which Reinhard Heydrich to convey his many

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work