As far as he was concerned, the inclusion of the republics into the Russian Federation, especially against the will of their leaders, put the Russians in the position of imperial masters, undermining the idea of the voluntary union of nations—and making them little better than the tsarist empire they had overthrown. In his mind, the survival of Soviet rule was closely linked with the success of world revolution, which depended on the rise of the working class in Germany, France and Britain, and then on the nationalist movements in China, India and Western colonies in Asia.
Lenin stays firm: All republics should have 'separate but equal' status. Stalin, recognizing that an enlarged Russian Federation would create a poor image for the multinational communist state as a community of equals, proposed simply to turn the Russian government bodies into all-Union ones. As he saw it, there was no need for another level of bureaucracy. Some way had to be found to accommodate rising non-Russian nationalism. Stalin backed down. But by the time the Congress was called to order, Lenin disappeared from sight. The year-old leader of the Bolsheviks, who had fought tooth and nail for the creation of the Union, stayed put in his Kremlin apartment, a short walk from the Bolshoi Theatre, where the Congress was holding its sessions.
Eight days earlier, on December 12, he had suffered a major stroke and lost control of his right hand and leg. Although Stalin and many of his supporters, such as Ordzhonikidze and Dzerzhinsky, were non-Russians Stalin and Ordzonikidze hailed originally from Georgia, Dzerzhinsky from Poland , Lenin accused them of Russian chauvinism.
But the stroke prevented him from taking any decisive steps against them. But they also served a political purpose. Barred from attending the congress and not trusting Stalin to fully implement his line, the paralyzed Lenin resolved to dictate his thoughts on the nationality question in a document to be passed on to the party leadership.
Lenin was prepared to replace the Union he had originally proposed with a looser association in which the centralized powers might be limited to defense and international relations alone.
Stalin visiting Lenin in Gorky in Lenin, who was in semi-retirement after suffering his second stroke, died the following year, making way for Stalin to succeed him as leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin did his best to isolate Lenin from the rest of the leadership and keep his last letters secret. When Lenin heard of it, he became furious and demanded an apology.
Stalin wrote back saying he apologized, but did not know what Lenin wanted of him—he had just been protecting the leader from unnecessary stress. The next day, he suffered his third stroke, which left him permanently paralyzed. He died on January 21, Ultimately, the Soviet Union, created in the midst of a battle between Lenin and Stalin, became a compromise between two visions and approaches.
The Russian Academy of Sciences, for example, would become an all-Union body. But he won on the issue of the structure of the Union—the collection of discreet republics—a victory that, ironically, would ultimately have greater consequences for the Russians than for the others. In the state envisioned by Stalin, the Russians would have continued to share all those features with the empire, now renamed a Union.
Under the new rule factories were placed under the control of elected committees of workers.
The Foundations of Leninism
Lenin realised that the people who had helped him overthrow the provisional government were mostly poor and could not afford to pay for their education. He embarked on providing free education, especially for adults. In the past, education had been reserved for the nobility and a few members of the middle class.
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He realised that adults had been denied being able to read and write, so Lenin introduced evening classes for workers. This education included a strong component on communism. A Women's Rights Department, headed by Alexandra Kollontai , a former exile member of the Bolshevik Central committee, was also launched. This department addressed issues like the employment and education of women. Women were not allowed to occupy senior positions, as these were reserved for men. Women had not been allowed to educate themselves during the rule of the Tsar, and Lenin wanted to see this changed by having both women and men attending classes together and sharing the same philosophy.
During this reform period the Bolshevik Party changed its name to the Communist Party, and established measures to restrict political opposition. All newspapers that were not state controlled were banned to minimise criticism of government policies. Leaders of the main opposition Liberal Party, a party that had launched most of the communist leaders, were banned.
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Lenin had also started his political career in the Liberal Party before his resignation as a result of the teachings of Karl Marx. The Constitutional Democrats were also banned, and its leadership arrested. A commission to fight counter-revolution and espionage, called Cheka, was also established.
Cheka was a secret police force that reported directly to Lenin on all illegal activities against communism. This body ensured that people who did not support communism were recommended for expulsion from Russia or imprisoned for life. Its workforce grew to 30 members in a bid to crush all opposition. Moscow became the new capital city in a move based in the belief that it was more central than Petrograd. The Communist Party adopted the calendar , which was followed by many countries in Western Europe. Activity: Write an essay extended writing on the positive and negative elements of Lenin's political reforms.
Demonstrate the ability to work independently, formulating enquiry questions and gathering, analysing, interpreting and evaluating relevant evidence to answer questions. Synthesise information about the past to develop, sustain and defend an independent line of historical argument, and communicate and present information reliably and accurately in writing and verbally.
For some tips on how to improve your extended writing skills visit this link: www. The officer core of the army, the White Guard, was made up of monarchists. It was supported by representatives of many other political movements: democrats, social revolutionaries, and others who opposed the Russian Revolution. Civil war broke out immediately after Lenin took over government. The White Army was opposed to the rule of the Tsar and to communism, and wanted a democracy, but the Red Army was victorious.
Members were carefully placed to control large industries and cities such as Moscow and Petrograd. The White Army suffered from a lack of discipline and corruption in the ranks. By , the Communist Party had secured its power and crushed resistance. However, the Russian economy was in tatters. Lenin survived the civil war because his party placed political representatives of the communist party in each army unit to avoid mutiny.
This led to the introduction of 'War Communism', as a measure to achieve economic stability.
4. Leninism and the Ultra-Left
The civil war caused shortages of food, fuel, raw materials for manufacturing and labour. Workers also left the cities to grow their food on farms in the countryside, shrinking the labour force. Faced with an economic crisis, the communist government in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic USSR introduced War Communism in an effort to take charge of the economy, and to establish a structured socialist economy.
Nationalisation: The transfer of land and equipment from private ownership to government ownership. The Red Army and industrial workers were fed with food confiscated from capitalists. Major industries, businesses employing more than 10 people, and all banks and communication companies were nationalised to provide employment for the Red Army.
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