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

What steps did the Bolsheviks take to try and survive and consolidate their power in the year following the October Revolution?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What steps did the Bolsheviks take to try and survive and consolidate their power in the year following the October Revolution? When the Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917 they took control of Petrograd, with Moscow falling a few weeks later. However gaining control of the rest of the country was to prove a more difficult task. They faced external and internal threats, which were linked, and posed a serious danger to the very survival of the revolution. At the beginning of 1918 three particularly urgent questions confronted the new regime. First - how were the Bolsheviks, in view of their meagre military resources, to extend their control over the nation at large? Second - how could they achieve a speedy end to the war and effect a rapid withdrawal of the German army, which was currently occupying the greater part of Western Russia? Third - how quickly, if at all, would they be able to bring economic stability to a Russia devastated by four years of war and internal upheaval? ...read more.

Middle

However in doing this Lenin caused a great number of people to be aggrieved, especially the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries and thus with an impending Civil War, Lenin had to remove the external threat, so to concentrate on the internal one and hence the two are linked. The external threat was that of Germany and her allies in the First World War. The Russian army was disintegrating, morale plummeted, and they were in no fit state to carry on with the fighting. Lenin's pragmatism shone through and realised that Bolshevik consolidation would be extremely difficult to achieve whilst the war was raging on. He did not want the Bolsheviks to suffer the same fate as the Provisional Government and so needed to end Russian involvement in the First World War quickly. Peace was made in the Treaty of Brest Litovsk 1918, which cost Russia vast expanses of her territory including Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and the Ukraine. ...read more.

Conclusion

logic demanded that in the Bolshevik treatment of the peasants the primary consideration must be how best they could be induced or forced into becoming suppliers of adequate quantities of food. Therefore in 1917 the Decree on Land and the Decree on Worker's Control were brought in, to first of all please the mass of the population so the Bolsheviks power would be consolidated and secondly making agriculture and industry more efficient by legitimising practices that had been around since February, for example factories run by the workers. Therefore in conclusion the Bolsheviks faced several problems that seriously jeopardised the revolution, however in Lenin's pragmatism we find the most important reason why they survived because it was his steps, most importantly getting Russia out of World War One, by signing the Treaty of Brest Litovsk, as it allowed them to concentrate on internal distractions, which helped the Bolsheviks to survive their first year and consolidate their power for future years to come. Adam Sivner 821 words ...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 in 1917 - 21?

    Potentially, this could have strengthened the whites military threat. However, the support from the allies was relatively half hearted. Their direct military involvement was on a small scale, few troops were sent and they took very little part in the fighting, barley strengthening the whites military threat.

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

    The people showed that they thought Lenin was important in many different ways. Perhaps the largest gesture was the re-naming of Petrograd to Leningrad. There were also memorials built to him and religious-type banners displayed in the streets. In many homes and schools there were 'icon corners' for Lenin -

  1. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    who could see an additional reason for moving the capital to Moscow or elsewhere. In so doing, they felt, they would be freeing the government from the stranglehold of the radicalized soldiers and workers. Naturally, the radicalized workers dreaded the prospect of the removal of the seat of government, especially

  2. How far can the October revolution be considered a popular revolution?

    it was the government itself that provoked the people to react against them (and also against the Petrograd Soviet, which was cooperating with the government and seemed not to push for the addressing of these demands) and essentially drove themselves into a dead end.

  1. How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their rule?

    They were led by former Tsarist officers. Trotsky made sure of their loyalty by putting their families at risk. There were many murders and beatings in what is now known as the Red Terror.

  2. The Bolsheviks came to power in October 1917 mainly because of the effects of ...

    Key Bolsheviks were exiled or had to leave the country for their safety but in the time they were in exile the lack of activity from their party allowed time for the Russian people to defocus themselves from any dislike felt for them because of such things their associations with the Germans.

  1. How did the Bolsheviks consolidate power?

    Thomas et al illustrate, "Lenin played the role of the consummate politician: he promised whatever the people wanted so long as it enhanced his own power and position." The Bolsheviks were still a minority and the there was pressure in the party to return to parliamentary style government.

  2. Describe the problems that faced the Bolsheviks in their first year in government and ...

    timing of the Treaty and the chaos of World War One gave them an excuse to break free. Polish and Ukrainian independence had been greatly encouraged by the Germans, as they saw it would stir up trouble within Russia. Along with Poland and Ukraine; Transcaucasia2, Don Cossacks, Byelorussia, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Lithuania all claimed their independence from Russia.

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