To what extent was Lenin the key to the Bolshevik success of 1917?

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Njeri Muhia

Mr. Kizito


To what extent was Lenin the key to the Bolshevik success of 1917?

In 1917 Russia was in a very precarious place socially, economically and most prominently politically. It was in this same year that two revolutions took place, changing the political regime of Russia dramatically. Lenin was a major factor that contributed to the Bolshevik take over in late 1917. His decisive leadership, radical plans, as well as influence and power all were essential to the Bolshevik success, however other factors were key and integral parts of this as well, including the failures of the provisional government, involvement of Trotsky, and more. Therefore questioning how far Lenin was part of the Bolshevik take over.

Lenin fore mostly, was an influential figure, his April Theses were radical, controversial but were the beginning of his widespread support by the Russians. He firstly stated that the Provisional government was to be overthrown and that Bolshevik take-over to be put in place. This was brilliant in the eyes of  the Russians because of the growing discontent and ineffectiveness they had seen in the Provisional government. Furthermore Lenin was stated that power was to go to the Soviets, this position made the working class, the power base, support the Bolsheviks and their ideas and notions towards the change in government. Furthermore Lenin was tactical, recognizing the distress all Russians used emotive slogans such as “Peace, Bread and Land” to attract the support that would be vital to take over control.  These slogans—facing Russia’s current issues of chronic food shortages, the irrelevant and damaging continuance of the war n Germany, and the issue of land distribution in the rural areas—seemed to create a solution to everyone’s issues quite neatly. The provisional government had slowed solutions to these very prominent issues and Lenin’s decisiveness managed to create a party that seemed to understand the needs of the population better and therefore gained more support. Furthermore, the urgency in which Lenin led the Bolshevik attack helped the party evade road blocks that would have slowed their progression to power, such as the meeting of the All Russian Congress of Soviets, and the elections. Basically Lenin planning, scheming and the development of such a powerful party were key reasons as to why the Bolshevik party was able to take over in 1917 without much disruption and opposition.

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However, Lenin is not the only reason for this, it was half his tactic, and half the failures of the provisional government and its vulnerable position of the time. The interim government was quickly losing the support of the people for various reasons. One prominent cause of this was that they were still involved in a losing war that was damaging the economy and social welfare of Russia. The war also caused a division between the provisional government and the Petrograd Soviet, the soviet which had the support of most of the working class. This strife lead to Russians beginning ...

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