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Bolsheviks In Power

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Introduction

The revolution in February/March 1917, a consequence of accumulated discontent among the Russians, put an end to the Romanov dynasty that ruled the country for more than four hundred years (1613-1919) (Morris 2004, 123). Consequently, the provisional government was established as an alternative form of government in March 15, 1917 (Morris 192). Despite the establishment of a new government in Russia, the provisional government, Russia faced multiple problems that led to further discontentment, tension, and conflicts within the country. As a consequence, the Bolsheviks seized the opportunity of the situation by executing the October/November coup (revolution) in 1917 to take control of Russia (Morris 198). The Bolsheviks in power were now able to carry out their major objective of creating a communist regime in Russia. Russia, under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin 1917-1953, went under number of political, economical, and social changes. Despite some of the positive advancements and progresses made by the changes that occurred under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin, two Bolsheviks, these changes resulted into heavy humanitarian sacrifice and costs. In other words, the humanitarian costs outweigh in magnitude the success of the Bolsheviks. Thus, the Bolsheviks in power were negative force for change in Russia. Vladimir Lenin, the head of the first Soviet government until his death, brought more negative changes in Russia (Morris 194). Regardless of Lenin's attempt of bringing positive changes in Russia through the introduction of a New Constitution in 1918 to keep his promise of giving "Bread, Peace, and Land" to the Russian people, his attempts failed. ...read more.

Middle

Similarly, under the leadership of Stalin, there were many political, economical and social changes. Despite some of the positive changes brought by Stalin, Russia suffered enormous humanitarian losses; there were more negative changes in Russia. Most of Stalin's policies were directed towards Russia's economy. Stalin believed in the idea that: if agriculture was to produce more, it had to be supplied with more and better industrial goods. Yet his was bound to become more difficult as the existing industrial equipment, inherited from tsarist days, began to wear out (Van Lowe 1971, 192). Hence, Stalin saw that industrialization was the answer to Russia's future success. Therefore, Stalin introduced collectivization in order to solve the problem of Russian agriculture. Before collectivization was introduced, Russian agriculture was backward: "around half the peasants reaped the grain harvest by hand, using sickles or scythes, and threshed it with flails" (Brooman, Stalin). Clearly, the main reason for Russian agriculture backwardness was the lack of western technology. Nevertheless, Stalin put an end to the small, individual, old-fashioned farms to organize them into kolkhoz, a collective farm where all the fields, horses, tools with tractors supplied by the government would work together (Morris 229). The collectivization "was a kind of reversion to the heavy-handed tactics of War Communism" (Wood 2004, 32). It marked the end of brief decade of liberation for the Russian peasants under Lenin's New Economic Policy. Nonetheless, there was opposition in collectivizing by the peasants. The peasants were unwilling to hand in their private property to the government. As a consequence, Stalin decided to wage war against the kulaks, the rich peasants who were "standing in the way of progress" (Lowe 114). ...read more.

Conclusion

Russia under the leadership of Stalin made some major advancements; particularly in economy. Russia's progress and advancements were achieved by ruthless and brutal methods that entailed enormous human sacrifice. Millions of Russians lost their lives, their freedom, and their right to express their mind under the Stalinist state. It is clear that Stalin's brutal policies such as the purges ultimately weakened the country. Also, the new social and political reforms such as the Constitution of 1936 were created to consolidate Stalin's dictatorship. Despite of his successes in industrializing Russia - his fourth Five-Year Plan in 1946:"by 1950 many parts of the USSR were producing as much as in 1940. In several cases the Plan's industrial targets were exceeded" (Brooman, Stalin)., and aligning Russia with the superpower nations, Stalin restricted the lives of workers, executed and murdered millions of innocent people, and exploited the resources of the eastern European countries. All in all, Bolsheviks in power, under the rule of Lenin and Stalin from 1917 to 1953, was a negative force for change in Russia. Despite the successes of industrializing the country and eradicating the remnants of Tsarist bourgeoisie, these changes left more damage to the country than benefits. Lenin and Stalin's political, economical, and social policies left permanent damages such as the loss of millions of innocents. Ultimately, all of Lenin's and Stalin's policies that were created to bring positive changes to Russia contributed to the general drop of living standards of average Russians and resulted into enormous humanitarian losses and sacrifice. The costs of progresses and advancements made during the leadership of the two Bolsheviks, Lenin and Stalin, in Russia were far too great. ...read more.

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