Conditions in The Soviet Union From 1918 -1923 endures the creation of a new government civil war foreign invasion This produces great chaos, destruction, and loss of life and resources.
Civil War The “Whites” (elements of the army, Monarchist, democrats, etc) failed to unite militarily and, therefore, the Red Army was able to fight off the opposing forces.
Foreign Invasion Immediately following World War I, The United States, Great Britain, Japan, and even Czechoslovakia sent armies into Russia to end the Communist Government. But with the losses of WWI and the lack of a government to restore (due to the Tsar execution), these forces were not well organized, supplied, or given much hope.
Lenin’s government Lenin creates the first Communist government. (a totalitarian state where a small group dictates to the vast populous) The state/ government took over the economic system
Lenin’s government (cont.) At its peak, the Communist Party will have only 12% of the population as members. Yet only these 12% can vote or hold office.
The New Economic Policy By 1921, the communist economic system was proving a failure. To counter this, Lenin creates the NEP (New Economic Policy) The NEP calls for small amount of free market incentives, allowing peasants to sell on the market any extra produce they have.
Trotsky v. Stalin After Lenin dies there is a power struggle between Leon Trotsky, leader of the revolution and commissar of war, and Joseph Stalin, the Secretary General (administrator) of the Communist Party.
Trotsky believes that Communism can only succeed if all the world joins the movement. Stalin believes that Communism should take a hold in Russia first. *Stalin’s position as Secretary General has allowed him to place his followers in key government positions. Trotsky vs. Lenin • Stalin wins the struggle and Trotsky is exiled and later murdered in Mexico.
The Five Year Plan Stalin launches the Five Year Plan in 1928 which transforms Russia from an agricultural to industrial nation. Industrial output increased significantly wages and social conditions declined for the workers. In order to make Russia an industrial power, Stalin had to take total control of the economy, but at the expense of the common workers.
Collectivization Stalin calls for the Collectivization of agriculture in Russia eliminates privately owned farms and forced the peasants on to these large state- run farms. The Kulaks, wealthy, independent peasants, were forced to join the collectives or were eliminated.
The Great Purges The Great Purges of 1936-38 removed the “Old Bolsheviks” (publicly put on trial and executed) and then purged the military, and the intellectual community. Thousands are sent to Siberia to work camps (Gulags) and never heard from again.