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

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Farhaan Ali 10.D                                        History Coursework

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. By now everyone was fed up of the Provisional government, accordingly Kornilov the army leader assembled his troops. Kerensky the leader of the Provisional Government was in an impossible predicament. Consequently, Kerensky turned to the Bolsheviks for help. The Bolsheviks formulated themselves into ‘Trotsky’s creation’ the Red Guard. The scene was set for a bloody shoot-off, which ironically never occurred. Kornilov’s army refused to confront the Red Guard. But it was hardly a victory for Kerensky because the Bolsheviks were now in a position to obtain power. Fundamentally, by allowing for the Red Guard to form Kerensky sealed the Provisional government’s fate, which led to the ‘Night of the revolution’.

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         The Bolsheviks seized the ‘window of opportunity’. Vladimir Lenin set the date of the 6th of November, while Leon Trotsky the ‘military mastermind’ made the crucial preparations needed. The plan was expeditious and decisive; it required securing strategic buildings across Petrograd. All this was happening while Trotsky gave a speech to the Petrograd Soviet. By the time the speech ended most of Petrograd was in Bolshevik hands just as Trotsky planned it to be. Trotsky ordered his Red Guard to take over: telephone buildings, telegraph buildings, power stations, capture bridges and even the rail stations. In essence ...

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