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

Lenin's Role in History

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

G.C.S.E History Coursework Lenin's Role in History How important was Lenin to the success of the October 1917 Revolution? The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution happened on October 25 1917. It was the second phase of the overall Russian Revolution of 1917, following the February Revolution that took place earlier that year. The October Revolution was very successful, as it overthrew the Provisional Government and gave all power over Russia to the Bolsheviks. But to whom could this great success be attributed? How important was Lenin? Historians have argued over this question for many years. In this essay I will be exploring Lenin's ability as a leader and his actions and how they contributed to the Revolution, along with other factors that I consider important. Lenin gave powerful speeches that motivated the people of Russia and persuaded them to want to follow Lenin and his ideas. It was clear that Lenin was a great demagogue and he was able to appeal to the passions and prejudices of his audience. He also showed this in his writing. When he published his April Theses, which he wrote during a train journey, it turned out to be the most significant work produced by Lenin during his career. It showed how Lenin was ready for action and in these writings he urged a revolt against the provisional Government and the transfer of power to the Soviets. These documents armed the Party and working class of Russia with a concrete plan of struggle for the transition from the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a socialist one. In April 1917 Lenin was lifted onto a car and riled the people up with his art of public speaking. He concluded his short speech with the flaming words: "Long live the socialist revolution!". His speeches excited the people, which was significant to the Revolution as everyone was ready for action. ...read more.

Middle

The Constituent Assembly was set up by the Provisional Government after Tsar Nicholas abdicated. In November 1917 elections took place. The Bolsheviks were disappointed with the results as the Socialist Revolutionaries won instead. On 5th January the leader of the Socialist Revolutionaries was elected President. Later that day Lenin announced that the Constituent Assembly had been dissolved and ruled by decree. Soon afterwards all opposition political groups were banned in Russia. A secret police, the Cheka, was set up to deal with spies and counter-revolutionaries. There was a great deal of repression in Russia, such as all non-Bolshevik papers being banned. The freedom of opinion in Russia, which had been achieved by the Provisional Government, was lost in the space of two months. Banks were put under Bolshevik government control. The Bolsheviks banned religion and abolished the teaching of history and Latin. Some things did improve for the workers. An eight-hour day was introduced as well as unemployment pay and pensions. The Bolsheviks gave the land previously owned by the nobles to the peasants, and factories were handed over to worker's committees. There was also a huge campaign to teach everyone to read. Trains went around the country showing communist newsreels and giving lectures to teach peasants about Communism. A law of December 1919 decreed that the illiterate, who comprised of over half the country's population, should attend school. The Russian economy was already in a critical state at the time of the Revolution but the crisis worsened as World War was replaced by Civil War. In 1917 Lenin introduced 'War Communism' which meant that special measures were needed to deal with a national emergency. The period between 1918 and 1921 came to be known as the period of War Communism. Farms and factories were put under state control and private trade was banned. Food was taken for soldiers and industrial workers. Peasants who refused to hand it over to the red Army were shot or sent to labour camps. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lenin's policy of war communism was a harsh policy to the people of Russia. In war communism all industry was nationalised and state monopoly on foreign trade was introduced. Food was rationed and distributed in a centralised manner and private enterprise became illegal. Similarly, in the late 1920's, after Stalin came to power he introduced the Collectivization of Agriculture policy. He wanted to increase the efficiency and output of agriculture in order to move towards an industrial revolution and eventually communism, like Lenin who introduced war communism as a way of forcing communism onto the people of Russia. In Stalin's collectivization programme peasants were encouraged to join collectives and share their food between themselves and workers in industrial cities. This was similar to war communism as the peasants were working for each other instead of just looking after themselves. Although on the surface Stalin's programme seemed more lenient than Lenin's as the peasants were only 'encouraged', the facts suggest differently as any peasants who objected to Stalin's plans were evicted from their land and many died while resisting eviction or in labour camps. Both Stalin and Lenin believed strongly in the ideal of communism and through these two policies were working hard to achieve this ideal. Lenin's influence after his death was seen everywhere and he was a national hero. Within the USSR Lenin remained as important after his death as before. He was beyond official criticism and he was seen by future leaders as the father of communism in Russia. Even when Lenin was no longer considered an icon, he was not classed with other Soviet leaders, such as Stalin and Brezhnev, who were greatly criticized for their policies of repression and cruelty. In my opinion Lenin was a great influence in Russia even many years after his death and this was shown in the public's adoration of what he stood for; his iconic, heroic status in Russia; and the similarities between his own and future policies and programmes in the Soviet union. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kate Manson Page 1 of 7 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 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 GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. 'The Five Year Plans brought glory to Stalin and misery to his people.' How ...

    output decrease dramatically from 43% to 29% in the period of nine years and saw the USSR's industry radically increase from 5% in 1929, when the Wall Street Crash took place, to 17% in 1938. Before the Great Depression the USA's industry had been a great deal higher than anybody

  2. How Successful Were Stalin's Policies During His Leadership of the Soviet Union?

    The formation of NATO in 1949 and the stationing of American troops in Western Europe was a reaction to Stalin's policies and helped ensure the development of the Cold War.

  1. Account for the success of the Bolshevik revolution in

    peasantry.'15 The propaganda campaign echoed in Lenin's State and Revolution, he 'once more coupled the bureaucracy and the army as the two most characteristic institutions of the bourgeois state machine, which the revolution would have, not to take over, but to destroy.'

  2. Why was Lenin able to seize power in October 1917?

    This propaganda is to show that Tsar Nicholas is still head of Russia. But infact the Tsar was losing support of his working class, which where joining other Parties such Socialist Revolutionaries of whom were trying to upraise violence between the peasants and the Tsar.

  1. Why was there a German revolution in 1918 and how far had it gone ...

    strikes throughout Germany workers seized control of factories Soviets sprang up all over Germany, thus confirming the support behind action to reform the government.

  2. Using these four passages and your own knowledge, explain how and why historians disagree ...

    The proponents of this idea underlines that Lenin was physically absent during the time before the November Revolution in 1917 that overthrew the Provisional government. The historians also state the idea that there were many leaders that exercised great influence in the communist revolution.

  1. How important was Lenin compared to Stalin in creating the Soviet Union?

    were problems hidden amongst the glorified NEP, stating "the pay of miners, metal workers and engine drivers was still lower than it had been before 1914" and this meant that "workers' housing and food were poor." Also the problem with overcrowding had not been fixed because "Every day there are

  2. History Force essay. A specific individual and group, Lenin and the Bolsheviks ...

    However, Lenin changed some aspects on the idea of Marxism and created his own theory known as "Leninism". Leninism is a political theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat led by a revolutionary vanguard Party, Developed by Lenin. It comprises of political and socialist economic theories developed from Marxism.

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