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Much of Lenins success was no doubt explained by his towering domination over his [Bolshevik] party. To what extent does this explanation account for his rise to power and rule, 1917 to 1924?

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Introduction

"Much of Lenin's success was no doubt explained by his towering domination over his [Bolshevik] party." To what extent does this explanation account for his rise to power and rule, 1917 to 1924? Though some western interpretations have been that Russia was unprepared for the drastic changes that Lenin desired, the transition to a socialist government was successful, and Lenin was the one leading. He was the most prominent figure within the Bolshevik party, but it can be argued that his domination over the party was the cause of his continued success. He did introduce the policy of 'kick-starting' a proletarian revolution, but the Bolsheviks were not a one-man party. Up until the arrival of Lenin, they had published books explaining Marx's theory within the Russian context, and they had already help form a Soviet that was not directly associated with the Provisional Government that replaced the Tsar after his abdication on March 15, 1917. Lenin did have a strong influence over the Bolshevik Party with his ideology, political strategies, and willingness to compromise, but there were other men who helped lead to his successful rise to power and its maintenance. Upon his arrival to Russia through Germany, Lenin knew that 1917 was a year for change as the Tsarist government had been overthrown, and its replacement was failing to relieve the people. ...read more.

Middle

Later, he created a variety of short slogans like "Peace, bread, land" which were of much more success amongst the peasants and uneducated. The slogans were based on the main demands of the time: an end to Russian participation in the war, an end to food scarcity, and an end to the land question. Lenin's book was addressed mainly to the intellectuals as Lenin was aware of who would and who would not read it. Trotsky said that even if the people did not read Lenin and his books, he had already read them, meaning that the slogans had been created for the purpose of circulating the Communist ideology amongst those who would not read the book. So far, all the successes have been his own. After the October/November revolution in 1917 and the Bolshevik rise to power, Lenin needed a way to preserve the control and power, and this was done through a reign of terror. Thus, other Bolsheviks appeared, and two divisions were created within the defense: the CHEKA and the Red Army, neither of which was under the direct control of Lenin. The CHEKA had its own Chief of Police, and the Red Army was under Trotsky's control and leadership. The soldiers of the Red Army had also been trained by Tsarist generals, whose families' lives had been threatened, because of their experience and capabilities, but this took place under the supervision of Bolsheviks. ...read more.

Conclusion

These compromises may have provoked criticism, but Lenin's priority was retaining the support of the peasantry and proletariat which needed food and money. He kept the main industries like coal, iron, and fuel centralized, but he allowed some liberties. Even if the CHEKA and the Red Army had intervened to resist the German and Poles and to persist the continuation of War Communism, the Bolsheviks would have lost their power to either the Germans, the Poles, or revolutionaries. They would have followed the Tsar into insignificance. In the case of the treaties and the NEP, Lenin played a huge role. It can be assumed that Lenin had played an impressive role in his success because his name continues through the pages of history. His intelligence and composure were so contagious to surrounding Bolsheviks and Russians that they provoked E.H. Carr into saying that the Bolshevik success resulted from Lenin imposition of his personality upon the party and its decisions. He was a predominant feat of the Bolshevik Party, serving as the 'mouthpiece' for publicity, as well as the one finding new means of regulating control over the people. His dependence upon other Bolshevik individuals, especially Trotsky, mars any possible argument of his domination of the party caused his success as, without the Bolsheviks and their support, Lenin would have lost his influence over Petrograd and Russia. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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