The Bolsheviks in Power

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The Triumph of Bolshevism 1917-1924

Key questions – How did the Bolsheviks manage to survive given that they were so unpopular?

*         First six months

Lenin established Sovnarkom and ruled by Decree

Legitimised land reform using Decree on Land

Took over economy using Decree on Banking and Decrees re Industry

Setting up of Cheka and the Decree on the Press

Other Decrees – Church and state Men equal to women, abolition of ranks and titles in army

Peace with Germany – Brest-Litovsk

Shut down Constituent Assembly

*         The Civil War

Whites are anti-Bolshevik

Kolchak in East  (also Czech legion and Komuch)

Yudenich in North-West

Denikin in South (also Don Cossacks)

Britain, France, USA, Japan and Poland

Makhno’s Peasant army in Ukraine

Reds key advantages are;

Trotsky and Red Army

Control of Transport and Industry

War Communism

* NEP

NEP necessary because;

Economy collapsed, no currency, shortages

Black market

Famine in countryside

Unrest in countryside due to War Communism – Tambov Rebellion

Kronstadt Mutiny

Opposition within own party – Workers Opposition

NEP involves;

Grain requisitioning abolished – quotas for grain (tax in kind) – peasants can keep surplus to sell – have incentive to take food to cities

Currency re introduced

Private trade allowed in small scale industry – NEPmen

Commanding heights of the economy under state control

Political Oppression continues – Ban on Factions

  • Lenin dead by 1924.  Power struggle. Stalin has taken over by 1929.

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