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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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