How did the Bolsheviks stay in power after 1917

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					How did the Bolsheviks stay in
     power after 1917?
How secure was the revolution?
• Why did the revolution succeed?
  – Hint: what are the pre-requisites for a
    successful revolution?
• How much of Russia did the Bolsheviks
• How secure was their power?
• What problems were Lenin and the
  Bolsheviks facing?
• What would you advise them to do?
Problems and threats
• Political

• Social

• Economic                Where did the
                           priorities of
                          Communist or
                          ideology lie?
   2nd Congress of Soviets – 24th Oct.
• Mensheviks complain that the revolution
  was a…
“…military conspiracy was organised and
  carried out by the Bolshevik Party in the
  name of the Soviets behind the backs of
  all the other parties and groups
  represented in the Soviets…”
 The Mensheviks and more moderate
 Socialist Revolutionaries walked out…
           Trotsky replied with:

“Go where you belong, to the dustbin of
The official theory          Reality

                             Made up of members of the
              Sovnarkom:     Central Committee of the
                council of   Bolshevik Party, chosen by
                 people’s    Lenin.
                             Lenin is Chairman.
                             Trotsky is War Commissar.
             All-Russian     Stalin is Commissar for
             Congress of     Nationalities.

             Local soviets    Congress and
                              local parties told
                              what to do.
  Treaty of
• The Supreme Council of the Economy
• Set up ‘to take charge of all existing
  institutions for the regulation of economic
  – Centralises control of factories (in theory)
     Asserts govt authority where workers have seized
  – Nationalises the railways
     Improves the transport system
  – Cancels foreign debts
             State Capitalism
• Transitional stage to transfer the economy
  from a capitalist to a sociaslist system.
  – “The majority of specialists are bourgeois. For the
    present we shall have to adopt the old bourgeois
    method and agree to pay higher salaries for the
    ‘services’ of the biggest bourgeois specilaists. All who
    are familiar with the situation see the necessity of
    such a measure. Clearly it is a compromise measure.”
• A pragmatic response – no coherent plan
  for effecting the shift. Marxism implies
  everything will just fall into place.
 Had Lenin fulfilled his promises?
• Peace?
• Bread?
• Land?
    Why was there a Civil War in
• Why did it occur?
• Why did the Communists win?
• Was there any support for the

Was the Civil War actually advantageous for
               the Bolsheviks?
           Who was fighting?
• Reds                    • Peasants of different
                            nationalities fighting for
                            freedom, food or land.
• Whites                  • Opponents of the
                            Bolsheviks including
                            monarchists, and SRs.
                          • The Bolsheviks and their
• Greens                    supporters.
                          • Detachments sent by
• Foreign interventions     Britain, France, the USA,
                            Japan and other
    Reasons for the Civil War
• Collapse of
  Russian Empire
• Political
• Allied
• Breakdown of
  Law and Order
• Food
Why might the war be a good thing
      for the Bolsheviks?
“Some Bolsheviks would have accepted a socialist
coalition but Lenin was not one of them. The
Bolshevik leader rejected this course and pursued
policies, which, as he well knew, made civil war
              Dominic Lieven, modern Western historian
 Strengths of the Reds    Weaknesses of the Reds

Strengths of the Whites   Weaknesses of the Whites
     Independent Study Task
• Complete the chart using side 1 of the
  sheet on popular support for the
  Communists. You must cite evidence from
  the sources.
• Answer questions 1 and 2 in paragraphs
  from side 1.
• Answer questions 1-4 on side 2.
• Do NOT do the Activity on side 2.
     Hand in on Thursday 24th January.
               No excuses!

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