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What will I be asked? . Growing support for the Bolsheviks between the two revolutions  Lenin’s return & his April Thesis . Growth in Support: Lenin. During the Feb Rev. Lenin had been living in exile in Switzerland.

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what will i be asked
What will I be asked?
  • Growing support for the Bolsheviks between the two revolutions 
  • Lenin’s return & his April Thesis 
growth in support lenin
Growth in Support: Lenin
  • During the Feb Rev. Lenin had been living in exile in Switzerland.
  • Historians disagree about specific information, but agree that the German government helped Lenin return to Russia in April 1917.
  • Obviously the Germans did this with the hope of destabilising Russia and thus helping them in the war.
  • Lenin arrived in Petrograd on the evening of 3rd April.
  • His arrival was enthusiastically awaited and he was cheered as he came off the train.
growth in support lenin s april theses
Growth in Support: Lenin’s April Theses
  • Upon his arrival in Russia, Lenin spent several days giving speeches denouncing the PG.
  • On 7th April, Pravda (Bolshevik newspaper) published Lenin’s April Theses.
  • Lenin’s attitude alienated other prominent Socialists, members of the Petrograd Soviet and even members of his own party. Many people saw him as too radical to be taken seriously.
  • Despite this, Lenin pulled his closest supporters together and moved towards ‘All power to the Soviets’.
growth in support lenin s april theses1
Growth in Support: Lenin’s April Theses
  • The Historian, Phillips points out that Lenin’s April Theses was less Marxist theory and more anti-PG propaganda.
  • Lenin called for an immediate revolution & an end to the war.
  • Figes argues that many saw this as too far removed from the Marxist ideal but Trotsky saw it as upholding the Bolshevik ideology.
  • The slogan ‘Peace, bread, Land’ appealed to soldiers, industrial workers and peasants.
  • Again, Phillips argues that Lenin realised Russia’s three major problems needed answered immediately and was not willing to wait for the supposed process of history to occur.
growth in support early attempted coups
Growth in Support? Early attempted Coups
  • 1st attempt in late April due to disagreement with PG about how to get Russia how of WWI.
  • Bolsheviks tried to agitate demonstrating military personnel by demanding an end to the PG.
  • However, the crowds soon dissipated without the much hoped for coup.
  • Several other coups attempted during spring and summer. They wanted to entice the masses into bringing about another revolution.
growth in support war
Growth in Support? War
  • The struggle between the Soviet wanting an early peace and Milyukov’s determination to fight on, leading to his resignation.
  • Fraternisation between German and Russian troops and large number of deserters.
  • Mensheviks and SRs lost support after the June Offensive.

**Information about the war is transferrable for various questions – essays and sources; growth in Bolshevik support, downfall of PG and causes of October Revolution.**

growth in support land trade
Growth in Support? Land & Trade
  • The land question combined with the food shortages fuelled unrest in cities and at the front. Government prices failed to keep up with inflation and the land question was not to be dealt with until after the Constituent Assembly.
  • Growing radicalism due to breakdown of trade and frustration at national policies e.g. managerial culture, inflation, war. Led to May-June strikes and Kronstadt. (*You have notes on this*)
growth in support maybe not
Growth in Support? Maybe not…
  • October rev was more against the PG than for Bolshevism (support with evidence)
  • For many, this was a Coup d’etat as Lenin & his ‘evil minority’ took over. Their views were not widely held within the Bolshevik Party in Petrograd prior to Lenin’s return = limited support.
  • Workers did not expect the Bolsheviks to run Russia on their own, led to consternation.
  • Workers seemed Bolshevik in mood, but it was obvious they only supported them IF certain conditions were to be met e.g. peace and bread. The soldiers were war weary; not Bolsheviks.
  • The Constituent Assembly elections reveal the limited support for the Bolsheviks. They gained 24% of the votes whilst the SRs gained 53%.
first stop corin fiehn
First stop…Corin & Fiehn
  • Historiography –pp. 58-59
  • Stats – pp. 61-62

SOURCE A from V. I. Lenin: The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution

(April Theses), 4th and 5th April 1917

In our attitude towards the war, which under the new government of L’vov and Co.

unquestionably remains on Russia’s part a predatory imperialist war owing to the

capitalist nature of that government, not the slightest concession to “revolutionary

defencism” is permissible . . . [there can be] no support for the Provisional

Government; the utter falsity of all its promises should be made clear, particularly

those relating to the renunciation of annexations. The masses must be made to see that the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies are the only possible form of revolutionary

government . . . Not a parliamentary republic . . . but a Republic of Soviets of

Workers’, Agricultural Labourers’ and Peasants’ Deputies throughout the country ...

How useful is Source A as an explanation of growing support for the Bolsheviks between April and September 1917?