How far was Lenin responsible for the Bolsheviks’ growing hold on power in the years 1917-1924?
In 1917, the Bolsheviks gained power of Russia and were able to hold onto this growing power until 1924 and later. There are several factors that could be considered to be the reason as to why they were able to seize control. It could be said that Lenin was a significant factor due to his pragmatism and his use of terror, however it also could be said that other members of the Bolshevik party such as Leon Trotsky were responsible and perhaps even the Civil War for the Bolsheviks’ hold on power.
Vladimir Lenin was responsible for the Bolsheviks growing hold on power in the years 1917-1924. One reason for this was his ability to be a pragmatic leader. During the Russian Civil War of 1918-1921, Lenin created War Communism. War Communism steered Russia into the direction of military production and aimed to create a social equality. Private property and money were abolished and military service and work became compulsory. In order to fulfill rationing; food was requisitioned from the peasants but were given nothing in return. As of this, it led to the Bolsheviks becoming increasingly unpopular with the people and in 1921 Sailors of the Kronstadt threatened military action against the communists unless war communism was ended and democracy restored. Lenin abruptly responded and ordered the Red Army to go to the Kronstadt naval base and kill the sailors. 10,000 were killed. Despite having just killed off the opposition, Lenin took into account what the sailors had said and realized that war communism could not continue. As a result of this, the New Economic Policy was issued which embraced a limited form of capitalism. The NEP legalised private trade, replaced grain requisitioning with tax-in-kin and reintroduced money. Although Lenin had already compromised by reintroducing money in 1922, the money that was minted did not have the Romanov emblem and so the...
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