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

How far do you agree with the view that Lenins leadership was the main reason for Bolshevik success in October 1917?

Extracts from this document...


The Bolsheviks were an extremist party who ultimately took over the rule of Russia in 1917. They were led by Lenin, who was an excellent leader in many ways, and it was widely acknowledged that he was the ultimate reason for the Bolshevik success in 1917. However, this opinion has been revised more recently, as other factors, including the temporary nature of Provisional Government, the desperation of the people due to the First World War and the influence of other major Bolshevik leaders, among others. Lenin was an excellent leader who was attractive to the mass of the people in Russia, which gained the party support and led to the Bolshevik success in October 1917. He was incredibly intelligent and was an excellent orator, meaning that he was able to communicate his complex ideas to the people very simply, in terms that were relevant to them and that they could understand. He also dressed shabbily, despite the fact that he was from a very well-off family. ...read more.


Lenin also exploited the weaknesses of the Provisional Government. This meant that his party looked stronger than the current political leadership and that he gained support from the already angry citizens of Russia. Lenin was the ultimate strategist of the October Revolution, making his party look stronger and more organised than the other parties, meaning that they were more likely to gain support because of how strong their party looked. However, when it came to the actual revolution, Lenin had little idea of what was going on, and his confusion was almost detrimental to the success of Bolsheviks in October 1917. This suggested that there was a lack of organization and communication with the party, and presented potential supporters with a contradiction, which may cause them not to support the party. There are a number of other reasons to suggest that Lenin was not, in fact, the main reason for the Bolshevik success in October 1917. He was in exile for the majority of 1917, meaning that other party leaders, particularly Trotsky, had a major influence over the party politics. ...read more.


There are several other reasons for the success of the Bolshevik party which individually appear to have little to do with Lenin. The Kornilov Revolt made the party look like national patriots, and gained them much support in time for the October revolution. The temporary nature of the Provisional Government was also a contributing factor , who were essentially just ?looking after? the country until a constitutional assembly could be established meant that it was weak. This meant that the ruthless Bolsheviks could easily overthrow this government. It was also the first instance of democratic rule in Russia, which increased the chances of power going to the most flexible and ruthless party; the Bolsheviks. In Conclusion, I feel that Lenin is the ultimate reason for the Bolshevik success in October 1917, despite the fact that there were a large number of contributing factors which he was not responsible for. He was able to make the party seem accessible to the majority of Russians, and took advantage of every possible factor which presented itself to the Bolshevik party, making them look as strong and reliable as physically possible. ...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. The Significance of Lenin in the Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1923)

    The Whites vitally lacked the good, strong leaders that the Bolsheviks had. They failed to inspire their troops leading to low morale and numerous deserters during battle. The commanders were brutal with little respect for their men. They set bad examples by drinking and taking drugs.

  2. To what extent was Lenin's leadership the main reason for Bolshevik success in 1917?

    His patience in gathering followers and anticipating the effects of fewer followers clearly defines Lenin as a remarkable leader and the main reason for the Bolshevik success. He sought to gather more followers by his issuing of the April theses which were a series of policies, designed to exploit the

  1. How far was the First World War the main cause of the fall of ...

    the Romanovs, as concessions would have taken the pressure off of him because he had the full support of the Duma throughout the War, and the 'Progressive Bloc' had offered to run the country. Instead the Tsar decided to keep his rule of autocracy, showing that his stubbornness would eventually

  2. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    August was that the railway men refused to transport the general's troops. The day after the Bolshevik insurrection, Vikzhel declared that it would assume control of the railways until a coalition government consisting of all socialist parties was established. This would have meant returning as closely to the pre-October status

  1. Assess Lenins strengths and weaknesses as leader of Russia from 1917 to 1924.

    As leader of Russia, Lenin?s pragmatism enabled him to sacrifice his long term aims in order to achieve success in the short term, ad secure Bolshevik rule, therefore it can be seen as a strength. Lenin?s incredible self-belief was at the core of his political personality, one could argue that

  2. Lenin's leadership was the main reason why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power ...

    This boosted the popularity of the Bolsheviks as the only party opposed to the Government and consequently the Bolsheviks dominated the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets. Once the Bolshevik plans to seize power were revealed, Kerensky tried to close Bolshevik newspapers and restrict the power of the Military Revolutionary Committee but it was too late.

  1. The Bolsheviks were able to seize power in October 1917 mainly because of the ...

    Kerensky also used it as an opportunity to attack Lenin by claiming that he was a German spy working to undermine the Russian war effort. Bolshevik offices were closed as was their newspaper Pravda. Leading Bolshevik members were forced into hiding and Kamenev and Trotsky were arrested.

  2. Assess Lenin's strengths and weaknesses as leader of Russia from 1917 to 1924.

    The following day, Lenin then introduced the April theses, Lenin made promises to the people on what was to be done, and what the provisional government were not doing. This gained the Bolsheviks mass support from the soldiers, workers and peasantry.

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