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How accurate is Trotsky's account of the causes of the Kronstadt rebellion?

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Introduction

How accurate is Trotsky's account of the causes of the Kronstadt rebellion? A. Plan of investigation The subject of investigation, as stated in the title is to determine how accurate Leon Trotsky's account of the Kronstadt rebellion is. I intend to carry this task out by collecting and studying primary sources - and as many other sources as possible - on the issue at hand, subsequently, all the sources are to be tested and evaluated. B. Summary of evidence * Source 1: Declaration of the Kronstadt rebels In this source the rebels state that the glorious proletarian state that was talked of with so much verve during the fall of the tsarist regime, has been replaced by a prison like state in which the worker is forced to work long and hard by militarised trade unions. The rebels declare that the uprisings of the peasants and workers - that occur simply due to the terrible circumstances of their lives - are responded to with "mass executions", and "bloodthirstiness", which the rebels claim is worse even than that of the tsarist generals. The rebels say that the aim of the rebellion is to liberate the workers "from the three-year violence and oppression of communist Domination". ...read more.

Middle

Also if we look into later years we see the communist dictatorship that was established; hence perhaps it was already rearing its ugly head at this time. Secondly, the rebels allege that all the uprisings that take place due to the lack of food, terrible working conditions etc. are responded to with "mass executions", and "bloodthirstiness". Here I am forced to be slightly sceptical. Yes, it is true that the Bolsheviks crushed all the uprisings that took place. But were their methods of crushing them as severe as the methods described? Perhaps it would be advisable to tone the remarks down to come to the real story? Ultimately, the rebels claim that the aim of the rebellion was to liberate the workers "from the three-year violence and oppression of communist Domination". This is an extremely reactionary statement and to some extent unmasks the disguised attempt to promote soviet power that Lenin talks about; It does this by showing the rebels desire to gain control as everyone did in Russia at the time. I believe that it illustrates the rebel's resentment towards the Bolsheviks and jealousy towards them for not getting to the "throne" first. Also this source is taken from What We Are fighting For, News of the Kronstadt Temporary Revolutionary Committee, and may be subject to propaganda aimed at getting the rebels rallied up for the rebellion ahead. ...read more.

Conclusion

and showed the hostility of the peasants towards the worker, the arrogance of the sailors and soldiers and the hatred of the middle class for revolutionary discipline - appeared to be very possible. However the problem with deciding whether Trotsky's account of the Kronstadt rebellion is accurate is that Trotsky does not write much. Most of what he writes seems to be true, nevertheless, he does not write much. So in conclusion, yes Trotsky's account of the Kronstadt rebellion does appear to a certain extent to be accurate. F. List of sources * Source 1: Declaration of the Kronstadt rebels From What We Are fighting For, News of the Kronstadt Temporary Revolutionary Committee (8 March 1921) * Source 2: Lenin on causes of the Kronstadt Rebellion From Lenin's draft resolution for the Tenth Party of Congress (8-16 March 1921) * Source 3: Lenin on the importance of the Rebellion From an interview between Lenin and an American reporter, published in the New York Herald Tribune (15 March 1921) * Source 4: Trotsky on the Kronstadt Rebellion From a letter written in Mexico by Trotsky (21 August 1937) * Source 5: An analysis of the Communists' strategy at Kronstadt From The Kronstadt Uprising (1971) by I. Mett. * Source 6: The importance of the Kronstadt rebellion From The Russian Tragedy (1922) by A. Berkman ...read more.

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