Assess the role of Lenin in the Bolshevik consolidation of power

Topics: Marxism, Communism, Vladimir Lenin Pages: 7 (2484 words) Published: September 24, 2013
Assess the role of Lenin in the Bolshevik consolidation of power from 1917 to 1924. Lenin’s contribution to the Bolshevik Party was an essential factor in their consolidation of power during 1917-1924, however; Lenin’s role was not the only factor contributing to their success. The Bolsheviks were regarded as a “minor feature of Russian political life” and it was not until Lenin’s return to Russia that the party became a key player. It can be seen that Lenin played a pivotal role in the consolidation of power due to his background which allowed Lenin to be influenced by a revolutionary upbringing . Through his upbringing, Lenin was able to develop a strong leadership, political insight and determination allowing the Bolsheviks to be lead into power. Whilst the Bolsheviks were in power, Lenin’s role in dealing with uprisings and anti-communist groups was significant as it allowed the Bolsheviks to remain in power. During the November Revolution, Lenin’s role in the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was substantial as it allowed and ensured that the revolution lasted and guaranteed continuation of Bolshevik power. Due to the introduction of decrees, Lenin was able to gain support mainly through the workers which proved a major factor in Russian society as they made up one third of the population. However, it is argued that Lenin was not the only reason why the Bolsheviks were able to consume power. The continual social unrest following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas, saw an opportunity for a new rise in power. Trotsky’s contributions to the Bolshevik Party were equal to Lenin’s and it was Trotsky’s role in the Civil War which allowed the Bolsheviks to remain in power. In fact, Lenin became a detrimental factor within the Bolsheviks due to his decision to implement War Communism, which resulted in the death of five million people. Lenin’s uprising and background introduced him to a revolutionary nature and the ideas of Marxism, which strongly influenced him to create a Communist Russia. Lenin was born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov in 1870 in Simbirsk, which was nine hundred kilometers east of Moscow; he did not adopt the name Lenin until 1901. His father was an inspector of schools and his mother was the daughter of a doctor and a landowner. He was born into a family who was regarded as “upwardly mobile”, yet it was not his parents who strongly influenced Lenin of revolutionary ideas; it was his siblings. Lenin lived amongst five other siblings and four eventually joining revolutionary movements. One of the main influences of Lenin’s revolutionary nature was eldest his brother, Alexander. Alexander was executed for working with a revolutionary group planning the assassinate the Tsar. Lenin then became determined to understand what factors and ideas had prompted his brother to sacrifice his life willingly for the revolutionary struggle. Another pivotal event which influenced Lenin to create a communist Russia was, his father was put under pressure from the tsarist government to retire early. This turned Lenin into a revolutionary with a desire to rid Russia of the system that had been responsible for Alexander’s execution and his fathers ill health; which prompted him to consider social and political issues. As Lenin developed his strong political attitudes for the tsarist regime, he read revolutionary books by Nikolai Chernyshevsky and Dmitri Pisarev. As a result of his revolutionary readings, Lenin became a Populist, representing the interest of ordinary people. When Lenin went to Kazan University, he was expelled for involvement in a student revolt, which clearly demonstrates his early nature of revolutionary activity. Therefore it is evident that Lenin’s background developed his revolutionary beliefs and attitudes, through his brothers death, his fathers undue pressure and the revolutionary books available. Without Lenin’s influential background, he would not have to desire to implement a communist...
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