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Explain Trotsky's contribution to the success of the Bolsheviks up to 1922

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Introduction

Explain Trotsky's contribution to the success of the Bolsheviks up to 1922? What led the Bolsheviks to power? Many historians believe that without Trotsky's crucial role 'Lenin's revolution' would never have succeeded. Trotsky was a mastermind on the battlefield most renowned for his contribution as war commissar. Yet when it came to politics Trotsky was second to none; he had a profound sense of administrative work and was said to be the 'best' orator of the time. His key role as one of the Bolshevik leaders was immense; he was the public face of the Bolsheviks. So how did his role change the course of History and lead the Bolsheviks to power? 1917 was a torturous year for politics in Russia. During the March revolution the Tsar, who was considered to be the 'little farther of Russia' was abdicated. This, in turn, set the foundations to which Trotsky and the Bolsheviks would seize power 8 months later. The Provisional government made up of Ex-Duma members took control of Russia after the Tsar was abdicated. The Provisional government was working with the Soviets made up of: sailors, soldiers and workers. The Provisional government made a calamitous blunder, in turn sending a seismic shudder to which they would collapse. It was undoubtedly clear by listening to the allies by staying in the war the Provisional government made a huge error of judgement. ...read more.

Middle

Trotsky decided to offer Germany Russia's demobilisation and to end the war, but would not settle for a peace treaty. In doing so he thought he would buy time for Russia as many people believed that America would enter and conclude the war. For this reason Trotsky tried to delay reaching a settlement. This just goes to show Trotsky's immense political capabilities however unwillingly the treaty was signed. Lenin had promised an end to the war. Now the party had to deliver or face the consequences. Trotsky therefore settled this dispute by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Russia lost: one third of their European land including the 'bread basket' Ukraine and on top of that pay a 300 million Rouble fine. It was a testament to how far Trotsky would go to safeguard the revolution. On top of that many Bolsheviks believed that Russia would gain some of her land back when Germany looses the war. Thus now the Bolsheviks were free to deal with matters in Russia herself. Without a doubt the Bolsheviks were going to make foes due to the changes they made, hence the reason the Cheka was formed to tackle 'Counter-revolutionaries'. But Russia was about to be invoked into a civil war lasting from 1918-1921, which will earn Trotsky his reputation as a military genius. The Civil war occurred because after the 'Night of the revolution' many groups opposed the Bolsheviks. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Krondstadt Naval Base mutinied this was an immense shock. The Krondstadt sailors were the Bolsheviks supporters from 1905, it is them that helped the Bolsheviks on the 'Night of the revolution' and now they are going against the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks were worried that this dissent might spread across Russia. This is because if the Krondstadt sailors have been pushed too far, it was only a matter of time before the country rose up against them. Trotsky was tasked to put an abrupt end to the revolt. The Red Army charged at the Navel Base, securing it after a gruesome battle in which many Reds lost their lives. All this fighting because the sailors just wanted War Communism to end, so that their families back home would not starve to death due to the famine. Trotsky had recognised this earlier suggesting communism was moving 'too fast' and needed a change of policy. Therefore to 'keep control' of the public opinion Lenin introduced the New Economic Plan. This plan was to restore order and prosperity after all the harsh years of war. Now the revolution was secure. Hence without Trotsky the Bolsheviks couldn't have succeeded. Trotsky played a key role on: the 'Night of the revolution'; the closing of the Constituent Assembly; making peace with Germany; putting an end to the Civil war and putting down the Krondstadt rebellion. All this would have never been accomplished if it wasn't for the sheer determination and genius of Leon Trotsky. He was indeed a 'Professional Revolutionary'. Farhaan Ali 10.D History Coursework ...read more.

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