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

Discuss the following reasons why Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to hold onto power during the Civil War.

Extracts from this document...


C) The following were equally important reasons why Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to hold onto power during the Civil War: Trotsky's organisation of the Red Army The disunity of the White opposition War Communism The Leadership qualities of Lenin Explain how far you agree with this statement. The four reasons why Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to hold onto power during the Civil war are all relevant and important reasons, I am going to look into whether or not they are all as important as each other. Leon Trotsky was a superb leader, who built up the red army from next to nothing. He introduced conscription, for men over eighteen years old. Trotsky bought in around 50,000 former Tsarist officers with experience, and he appointed political Commissars (fanatical bolsheviks) to each unit, to make sure that orders were carried out. As well as introducing new methods and orders, he had experience in armies, and was very courageous - exactly the type of leader that was needed for a Red Army victory. The order which Trotsky issued to the Red Army during the Civil War: 'I give warning that if any unit retreats without orders, the first to be shot down will be the commissary of the unit, and next the commander. ...read more.


They portrayed themselves as the defenders of the normal Russian people from foreign invaders, while the Whites were being used by capitalist powers. So even what could have been an advantage for the White Army turned out to be a help to the Reds. Whilst Lenin had helped a lot during the time when the Bolsheviks were trying to gain power and support, I do not think that his role was as much of a success during the Civil war. Lenin's job was now to run the government, organising food and industrial production. This was not an easy job. there had been food riots, and industry was collapsing as starving workers left the cities. But it was still crucial to keep the Red Army well supplied. To achieve this, Lenin introduced the policy of 'War Communism'. In towns the state took control of industry, the factories were told what to produce. Lenin put in his own managers, who imposed strict discipline on the workers. Food was rationed but only those working could get ration cards, and factory workers and soldiers were given larger rations, this was a good strategy by Lenin, as it encouraged people to join the Red Army, or work in factories to help keep the army well supplied. ...read more.


Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to hold on to power during the civil war, that they are not all equally as important. Overall I think that Trotsky's organisation of the Red army, and the dissunity of the White opposition are more important reasons than War Communism and the Leadership qualities of Lenin. Trotsky's organisation of the Red Army is a very important reason as to why Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to hold onto power, as he built the Red Army up, almost from scratch, he introduced conscription, and I think that he was a great asset to the Communists, and the Red Army. The disunity of the White opposition is another important reason as to why Lenin and the Bosheviks were able to hold onto power; I think that if they had been more organised, with better leaders, and less disunity, a victory for the White Army would have been possible. War Communism was a failure, peasants resisted, the economy was close to collapsing, and food shortages only worsened. Whilst Lenin may have been a good leader in the past I do not think that his leadership qualities were a help to the Red Army, as he spent most of his time organising War Communism, which led to peasant uprisings, and was no success. ...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. Vietnam war

    * "The crowds brought to Washington a sense of urgency about a Vietnam peace and impatience with President Nixon's policy of gradual withdrawal." The defeat of the South Vietnamese forces: * By April, the weakened South Vietnamese Army had collapsed on all fronts.

  2. "Mussolini was an all powerful dictator" - How accurate is this statement?

    Abdicated in all but name in 1930 Mussolini nearly had all his powers, and his militia or new secret police were merged with the army, also the elite supported Mussolini who the king was also intimidated by. There was no alternative to Mussolini His opposition were not united without a

  1. Why did the Franco-Prussian war happen and why were the Prussians able to defeat ...

    The Prussian army was much more experienced than the French army. Prussia had been involved in and won two wars during the 1860's and therefore had veterans who would have served in the Seven Weeks War and generals who would have defeated the Austrians so effectively, e.g. Helmut von Molke.

  2. The enormous role that Trotsky played in the success of the Bolsheviks up until ...

    Despite many earlier victories by the Red army, in the autumn of 1919, it seemed that the white army were sure to win. By 14th October, White armies were pushing into Moscow from the southwest, closing in on the eastern front, and by the 22nd armies had reached the outskirts of Petrograd.

  1. The Hidden Facets of Bolshevism - Friends and Foes of the Working Class.

    When trying to understand why the magnificent "experiment" failed, one must take into account the two views on the matter, one supported by historians such as Martin Malia in his The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, and Andrei Walicki in Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom

  2. Trotsky - Succession, Revolutionary Success, Civil War Hero, Death, Failure and End

    is a bourgeois revolution, therefore the workers must open the eyes of the people to the deception practised by the bourgeois politicians, teach them to put no faith in words, to depend entirely on their own strength, their own organisation, their own unity, and their own weapons."8 Lenin demanded that

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