Lenin and Trotsky in the Russian Revolution

Topics: Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, October Revolution Pages: 7 (1961 words) Published: January 13, 2013

APlan of Investigation
To What Extent Was Vladimir Lenin Responsible for the Downfall of the Tsarist Regime, and Subsequently the Provisional Government?

The aim of this investigation is to determine the reasons that Vladimir “Lenin” Ulyanov was responsible for the downfall of the Tsarist Regime, and subsequently the provisional government in 1917. The investigation focuses on Lenin’s newspaper, The Pravda, Lenin’s eloquent speaking in St. Petersburg, and his leadership during the “November Revolution”[1] in 1917 in St. Petersburg (known as Petrograd at the time of the aforementioned revolution). Additionally, in the section entitled Evaluation of Sources, two of the sources used for this investigation, Lenin and the Russian Revolutions, and Lenin: The Man who made a Revolution, are evaluated with regards to their origins, purposes, values, and limitations.

BSummary of Evidence
On October 25th, 1917 (Old Julian Style Calendar, equates to November 7th 1917 on the Gregorian Calendar), Vladimir “Antonov-Oseenko burst into a small room where the ministers [of the provisional government] were sitting,”[2] and “declared that in the name of the ‘Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet’ he was placing them all under arrest.”[3] This decisive action officially ended the “November Revolution”[4] of the Communist uprising in Russia, in which Vladimir Lenin played a large, important role, and which would lead to the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.).

In October of 1908, the first edition of Lenin’s newspaper, Pravda, was published.[5] This newspaper contributed to the spreading of Bolshevik idealisms, especially after “the offices of the newspaper were transferred to Moscow on March 3rd, 1918.”[6] Lenin “exercised broad editorial control over the paper”[7] which provided articles on contemporary society, economics, and cultural topics, “in addition to materials meant to indoctrinate and inform readers of Communist theories and programs.”[8] Throughout the 1900’s, as the influence of the Pravda grew in Russia, it “began to convince many of the validity of Communism,”[9] and as Lenin was its editor, (and a contributor to many of the philosophical articles[10]) he was directly responsible for its growth, which in turn increased the appeal of Communism to the masses (in Russia).

Ever since the start of his career in public speaking, Vladimir Lenin was always recognized as having a natural talent for it. An example of this was his speech at the Petrograd Soviet, just prior to the arrest of the council members of the provisional government, in which he assuaged the fears of the Soviet members, and reassured them that the future was indeed theirs for the taking.[11] In addition to his eloquent public speaking, Lenin’s writing was extremely persuasive as well, as is demonstrated in various letters and articles which he wrote during his life to help further the Bolshevik cause. Lenin’s writing has been described as “eloquent, and clearly written…convincing, even to one not well-versed in Communist literature.”[12] His persuasive writing was a large contribution to the Bolshevik party, as it helped convert many to their views. This in turn contributed to the downfall of the Tsarists (and later, the provisional government) by turning the populace against them.

During the November Revolution of 1917, Lenin provided the Bolsheviks with “an appealing vision of a socialist utopia,”[13] called The State and Revolution. In this “primitive, simplistic picture of the future,”[14] Lenin states that

We are being confronted by problems that cannot be solved by conferences or congresses, even Congresses of Soviets, but exclusively by the people, by the masses, by the struggle of the armed masses!...We must not wait! History will not forgive the revolutionaries for procrastinating when they can be victorious today![15]

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