The Bolsheviks 1917-18 by yurtgc548


									The Bolsheviks: 1917-18

  The first precarious months
    Why the first few months were so
   Most political parties refused to accept their
   They had not been democratically elected
   The Civil Service went on strike
   The State Bank refused to open its vaults
   The Constituent Assembly elections were
    scheduled for November
   The War was still going on and needed to be
    dealt with quickly and effectively
   Food crises
      Getting the masses on side
   Land decree gave legitimacy to the peasants’
   Workers’ control decree gave the workers
    control of the factories
   The Proletariat were encouraged to attack
    Burzkhui homes and businesses
   Minorities given autonomy
   Populist policies, e.g. 8 hour working day
   Women given equal rights with men
            Ruthless Behaviour
   The Kadets were outlawed
   Prominent opposition politicians and civil
    servants were arrested and killed
   Banks were threatened with violence and then
   Opposition newspapers were banned
   The CHEKA was set up
   Bourgeoisie attacked and blamed for Russia’s
   Constituent Assembly dissolved at gun point by
    the Red Guard
      Dealing with the Socialists
   Lenin bought time by initially agreeing to
    hold talks on power-sharing
   Agreed to hold elections to the
    Constituent Assembly
   Lenin made an alliance with left wing SR
    to keep peasants on side
   Formed the Sovnarkom which did not
    consult with the Soviets
       The Constituent Assembly
   Lenin allowed elections to go ahead – this bought him
    time and prevented criticism
   The SR were clear winners with 370 seats compared
    with the Bolsheviks’ 175
   The Assembly was dissolved after sitting for one day –
    Lenin justified this by saying the establishment of a
    representative body was created by the October
   Lenin claimed the results had been rigged by the Kadets
   Even leading Bolsheviks, such as Maxim Gorky were
    disappointed by Lenin’s actions:
               Maxim Gorky

   “The best Russians have lived for almost
    100 years with the idea of Constituent
    Assembly as a political organ which could
    provide a Russian democracy… on the
    alter of this sacred idea rivers of blood
    have been spilled – and now the people’s
    commissars’ have ordered the shooting of
    this democracy”
           The First World War
   Caused problems for the Tsar, the Provisional
    Govt. & now the Bolsheviks
   Had promised speedy withdrawal before the
   Even Bolsheviks were divided on what to do
   Lenin wanted to end the War immediately
   Trotsky – ‘neither peace nor war’
   Armistice December 1917
   Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed March 1918

   Treaty was harsh. Russia lost:
   A sixth of population
   75% of iron ore and coal reserves
   27% of farm land
   26% of railway lines
   A third of European Russian land
            Lenin and Germany
   Between 1914 and 1917 Germany had been
    paying Lenin in the hope that if his revolution
    succeeded he would pull Russia out of the War
   Lenin was petrified that the German troops
    would eventually march on Petrograd
   Operation Faustschlag saw a temporary
    resumption of hostilities by the Germans
    because of the delaying tactics of Trotsky
    (February 1918)
             Slide in to Civil War
   Brest-Litovsk divided Russia
   Right-wing nationalists were angry about losing so much
    imperial land
   Far-left SR groups and Bolsheviks were frustrated that
    Germany had been allowed to gain more imperialist
    strength (international revolutionaries)
   Many ordinary Russians felt humiliated by the terms and
   Russia could no longer rely on Western help
   Russia could not realistically repair her economy now so
    much had been ceded to Germany
   The Bolsheviks did not have a mandate

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