How far do you agree that the brutality of the Bolsheviks was the main reason why they remained in power in the years 1917–24?

Topics: Russian Civil War, Force, Authority Pages: 3 (1082 words) Published: November 2, 2013
The Bolsheviks acted in a brutal manner during the year 1917-1924; however this was not the main reason why they remained in power during that time frame. Instead their survival can mostly be attributed to the weakness of their opposition, who displayed a lack of organisation and unification. There were other reasons for the Bolsheviks' remaining in power between 1917 and 1924, such as the efficiency and strong leadership of the Bolsheviks, and their geographical advantages; but these were ultimately not as significant as the the weakness of their opposition, as their survival was dictated by how they exploited their enemies' flaws.

The brutal methods employed by the Bolsheviks certainly helped the Bolsheviks to remain in power. The use of the Cheka was one such brutal method; it ensured that the Bolsheviks remained the dominant authority, by suppressing dissident activity through the use of terror. However the Bolsheviks were only able to do this because their opposition was too weak to rebel; the Bolsheviks had gained dominance, while all others were clearly weak and submissive. This meant that the Bolsheviks use of terror only had the effect of making a weak opposition even weaker, therefore this form of brutality was only successful due to an already weak opposition.

The Bolsheviks were also brutal with the treatment of supposed traitors within the red army. If someone in the red army was suspected of not being totally committed to the cause, they were often shot. But this wasn't unique to the Bolsheviks; their opposition, especially the Whites, also exhibited many brutal tendencies, often towards traitors within their own ranks. So this kind of brutality was true of both the Bolsheviks and their opposition, which means that it was not really an advantage for the Bolsheviks, just another tactic employed by all forces; hence it was not a significant reason for the Bolsheviks remaining in power.

A temporary policy of the Bolsheviks that incorporated many...
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