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

How important was Lenin in the consolidation of Bolshevik rule by 1924?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How important was Lenin in the consolidation of Bolshevik rule by 1924? When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, nobody thought they would last for long. However, by 1924 the Reds had consolidated their power. Several factors contributed to this. I will look at how important Lenin's role was, compared to the other factors. Lenin made a big difference regarding the success of the Bolsheviks. It seems that in several situations 'Lenin's line was eventually followed' (1), despite opposition from party members. When he returned from Finland in 1917, Lenin announced his new radical policies. His 'lunatic ideas' (2) were published in the April Theses. He wanted land for the starving peasants, an end to the war on Germany and workers to take power through the Soviet. The Bolsheviks gained support from the soldiers, peasants and workers. Lenin and his government wanted to deal with problems that Russians believed the Provisional Government should have solved, but didn't. If Lenin hadn't voiced his radical ideas the Bolsheviks may have not had as much support from the people. This could have led to the Bolsheviks falling from power or a defeat against the Whites in the Civil War. Lenin's presence was, apparently, vital for the October Revolution to go ahead and be a success. Trotsky believed that 'had Lenin not managed to come to Petrograd...the October Revolution would not have taken place.' ...read more.

Middle

Eventually the party decided, again, to back Lenin. There were divisions in the party due to the discontent in the cities over War Communism and if the Bolsheviks were to hold on to their power, they needed to stay united. Political repression, in the form of censorship, attacks on the Church and attacks on political rivals, accompanied the NEP. This was to prevent the return of Capitalism, which could result in a political system based on a coalition government. The NEP was probably vital for keeping the Bolsheviks in power. The peasants and workers were on the point of rebellion. Although Lenin played a big part in the success of the Reds, many other factors helped them consolidate their rule. Trotsky played a huge part during the Civil War, providing the Reds with a good war leader and strategist. The Whites were divided and lacked co-ordination with the allied armies. They were spread out allowing Trotsky to co-ordinate his forces and fight the White armies one at a time. The Bolsheviks were also in a better geographical position, based near Moscow, with the advantage of internal lines of Communication and control of the railways. He ensured tough discipline in the army, with the death penalty being used often, whereas the Whites had a problem with desertion. Had Trotsky not been appointed War Commissar, by Lenin, in 1918, the Reds chance of winning the Civil War would have been greatly reduced. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lenin also played a big part with his radical policies and ability to bring others round to his ideas, while keeping the party united. Shortly after they seized power, the Bolsheviks didn't have many supporters. People were angry, as the Bolsheviks had said they were seizing power on behalf of the Soviet, but they then didn't want to share power with anyone. Terror, in the form of the Cheka, was used to prevent Russians from speaking out against the Bolsheviks, particularly around the time of War Communism, when the Bolsheviks were in trouble. It was also used to eliminate political opponents, no matter how weak. Lastly, the weakness of opposition played a big part, allowing the Bolsheviks to set up a government after seizing power, win the Civil War and finally consolidate their power. I don't believe Lenin to be the most important factor in the consolidation of Bolsheviks' power, but he was among the three most important. (1) - C. Read, quoted by C. Corin and T. Fiehn in Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin (2) - N.N.Sukhanov, quoted in Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin (3) - Trotsky, in a letter to Preobrazhensky in 1928, quoted in Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin (4) - quoted from Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin (5) - Zinoviev addressing the Bolshevik Party, quoted from Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin (6) - quoted from Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin ...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. How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their power: 1917 - 1924?

    The land decree broke up the large estates belonging to the Crown, Church and Land Owners. This land was then re-distributed to the peasants. This as well as being part of the Bolshevik party line was also an intelligent move by Lenin considering the peasants were the largest group in Russia making up 90% of the population in 1900.

  2. How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their power between 1917 and 1924?

    It involved reinforcing extreme measures of state control and state terror. It was introduced to ensure the survival of the Bolsheviks. It would do this by solving the low food production due to the attiude of the conservative peasants, and the low factory output.

  1. The Significance of Lenin in the Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1923)

    This proved crucial during the reactionary Kornilov revolt when Kerensky who could not rely on the loyalty of the Petrograd Garrison in face of an army putsch had no alternative but to call upon the support of Lenin and his Red Guards.

  2. Which Was the Most Important Reason for the Bolshevik Consolidation of Power By 1924, ...

    They were shot and the bodies buried to remain undiscovered until the fall of communism in 1991. As well as the red terror the Bolsheviks had also set up war communism to try and cope with the civil war, as it was putting a huge strain on the economy.

  1. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    * By adopting new methods and by learning how to pin napoleon down to a more defensive style of warfare, by denying him the opportunity to force an early and, he hoped, decisive battle, and in the end by co-operating among themselves long enough to be able to field a

  2. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    he sought to appeal to the specific demands of each of these three groups. Like the best party leaders in any multi-party system, Lenin was building a coalition of interest groups. These groups would provide his basis of support when the Bolsheviks made their grab for power in October.

  1. How important was Lenin to the success of the October 1917 Revolution?

    In contrast to this, Lenin was a major figure in the lives of the Russian people from 1918 to 1924. This is not only because he was running the government but also because he was changing the country for what many considered the better.

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

    Although many party members were expelled, this did not mean arrest, imprisonment or death, some just ?sacked? from their job as a party member. Not many party members were prepared to stand up to the regime, even when they had doubt.

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