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Emergence of Lenin. By Mr. Baker. Lenin’s Background. His brother became involved in a terrorist conspiracy to assassinate the Tsar, was arrested, and hanged. This got Lenin involved in why his brother decided to make those actions

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Emergence of lenin l.jpg

Emergence of Lenin

By Mr. Baker

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Lenin’s Background

  • His brother became involved in a terrorist conspiracy to assassinate the Tsar, was arrested, and hanged. This got Lenin involved in why his brother decided to make those actions

  • Lenin was accepted to study law in the University at Kazan, but was involved in student protests and was expelled

  • During the next few years, Lenin studied radical writings

  • He spent his life working out the right policies and tactics for Marxists to follow in order to realize the goals of the proletarian revolution. He had absolute, religious-like faith in Marx’s ideas

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Lenin in St. Petersburg

  • Lenin was readmitted to Kazan and finished with a law degree

  • He then went to the capital, St. Petersburg where he became involved with the political activities of a small group of socialists

  • They would join trade unions to agitate the workers, but Lenin was arrested and sent to Siberia

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Lenin Leaves Russia

  • In 1900, Lenin left Russia to organize in safety

  • At the Second Party Congress in Brussels and London, he managed to gain a majority following. His group became known as the Bolsheviks, or “majority”. The minority party, which was never well organized, was called the Mensheviks

  • His party’s purpose was to mobilize the discontented groups in society so that there would eventually be a socialist revolution

  • They accepted Marx’s stages of development, they believed that Russia must pass through a bourgeois capitalist stage before the time would be ripe for the socialist revolution

  • Most socialists loved Lenin’s strong personality and his passion for the socialist revolution

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Socialism at the Outbreak of WWI

  • Appeared to mark the end of socialism, as parties placed their country before revolution

  • Only a small band of revolutionaries gathered around Lenin, including Leon Trotsky

  • The Social Democrat Party had gone from 150,000 members in 1907 to less than 50,000 members in 1914

  • Lenin still believed firmly in Marx, and hoped for the defeat of Russia, which he would turn into a civil war that would end with the mass of peoples united in their aim overthrowing their rulers and establishing the “dictatorship of the proletariat”

  • The majority of socialists had a pacifist stance. They wished to bring the war to a compromise end, with international friendship and no annexations

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Causes of the March 1917 Revolution

  • Incompetence of the Czar who headed a corrupt and inefficient government (Rasputin and Empress Alexandra)

  • Nicholas II was a weak ruler

  • Food shortages as a result of famine and WWI

  • Nicholas II assumed command of the army and was associated with the military defeats of 1916

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Rioting and Revolution

  • Many peasants still owed the state for the compensation paid to the nobles in exchange for their freedom (serfs)

  • Political opposition was repressed by the Okhrana, the Tsar’s secret police

  • Bread riots and strikes threatened Russia with total disintegration in early 1917

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The Provisional Government

  • The Provisional Government grew out of the Executive Committee of the Duma and Russia became a Republic

  • It was presided over by Prince Lvov, a conservative and it contained one Socialist Revolutionary, Alexander Kerensky

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Causes of the Bolshevik Revolution – Weakness and Mistakes of the Provisional Government

  • Russia’s Provisional Government devoted its energies to the continuation of the war rather than addressing the food crisis, industrial reforms, and redistribution of land to peasants

  • Opposition was allowed to form and the provisional government became handicapped by internal divisions

  • The workers were allowed to control most of the factories themselves, but they lacked the managerial skills to run them effectively – production dropped 30-49%

  • Prices rose and currency became devalued

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Causes of the Bolshevik Revolution – The Return of Lenin of the Provisional Government

  • Lenin returned in April 1917 to announce his April Thesis to a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks

  • It demanded the end of the Provisional Government and a transfer of all power to the Soviets

    • He wanted the division of land among peasants

    • Control by the workers of production and distribution of goods

    • Socialization of the banks

    • End of the standing army, the police, and the bureaucracy

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Causes of the Bolshevik Revolution – Political Situation of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Lenin’s slogans were “Peace, bread, and land” and “all power to the Soviets”

  • Lenin’s slogans drew increasing support from soldiers, workers, and peasants

  • Menshevik support of the Provisional Government pushed opposition groups toward the Bolsheviks and revolution

  • The army was no longer loyal to the Tsar following Russian defeat

  • The Bolsheviks gained a military force named the Red Guards

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The July Uprising of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Lenin thought the time was ripe for a Bolshevik coup, but the masses were not yet ready for anything as radical as a revolution

  • Several Bolsheviks were arrested and Lenin went into hiding to bide his time

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The October Revolution of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Occurred on November 6, 1917

  • Troops occupied all bridges, railroad stations, post offices, and public buildings

  • The Winter Palace, east of the Provisional Government, was taken without much trouble

  • During the night of November 7-8, the government capitulated

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Treaty of Brest-Litovsk of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Lenin realized that economic and political stability was necessary for the safety of the Revolution

  • He pulled Russia out of WWI with this treaty in March 1918

  • Russia lost 32% of its land, 34% of its population, 54% of its industry, and 89% of its coal

  • Russia had to grant independence to the Baltic States, Finland, Poland, and the Ukraine

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The Civil War of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • By 1918, Russia appeared to be in the hands of the communists led by Lenin

  • However, Lenin controlled just a strip of land that ran from Petrograd to Moscow

  • Many people hated the thought of communists having control over them

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The Civil War of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Lenin’s government, operating out of the new capital in Moscow, began a policy of crushing all opposition

  • The Russian Communists began the “Red Terror” campaign, in which suspected anti-Communists (Whites) were arrested, tried, and executed

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The Civil War of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • The peasantry supported the Communists, fearing that a victory of the Whites would result in a return to monarchy

  • The allies involved themselves in the civil war because they feared Communism. In addition to this, the Bolsheviks refused to pay huge debts to the French

  • Poorly organized and without widespread support, the Whites were defeated by the Red Army in 1920

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The Civil War of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Reasons for the Failure of the Whites –

    • The Whites had wide fronts with poor communications

    • The forces against Lenin were never a united group. The Red Army led by Trotsky could pick them off one by one

    • The aims of commanders and the allies (French and American) were not always the same

    • Soldiers were brutal and the Reds were usually seen as liberators

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The Civil War of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Reasons for the Success of the Reds –

    • The Communists had excellent leadership and propaganda

    • The Red Army had control of Moscow and Petrograd with all the main communication centers

    • Trotsky brilliantly commanded the war on most fronts

    • Party members were involved with supply and administration so the Red Army worked well

    • Discipline was harsh

    • Any problems with the population were dealt with by the Cheka

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War Communism of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • To survive the chaos of the civil war, the Bolsheviks:

    • Nationalized electricity, railways, and large banks

    • Took complete control of factories

    • Rationed food

    • Told the workers what to do

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War Communism of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Took the peasants’ grain to be distributed throughout the country

  • The Cheka was to collect surplus grain

  • Anyone found keeping food was labeled a kulak and was shot

  • The peasants responded by producing food only for themselves with no surplus so cities were shorter of food than before

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New Economic Policy (NEP) of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • War Communism destabilized the economy

  • Lenin realized he would have to sacrifice either the country or ideologies

  • A market economy would have to be put in place before a true communist state could be established

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New Economic Policy (NEP) of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • The taking of grain by the Cheka was stopped. Farmers were to contribute 10% of production to the state. Surplus could be sold on the open market for profit

  • Traders could buy and sell. This had been illegal under War Communism and created a new middle class

  • Small factories producing things to buy, but not essential to life were returned to their original owner. They could sell goods and make profit

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New Economic Policy (NEP) of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • Larger factories producing essential items remained under the control of government, but operated under capitalist notions, such as profit motive, the right to dismiss workers, and the right to reduce wages

  • Small private businesses were allowed to operate

  • Loans were available to those willing to develop timber, oil, and other resources

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Results of the NEP of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • The NEP stabilized the economy, but created new dangers by encouraging the growth of small capitalism

  • Light industry revived, but heavy industry stagnated

  • Disagreement arose within the Communist party concerning the NEP

  • Food production increased

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Soviet Union By 1921 of the Provisional Government & Soviet

  • By 1921, Russia had settled down considerably

  • The Bolsheviks were now in firm control of the nation

  • They amalgamated various surrounding Slavic republics into the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federated Soviet Republics)