IB History – Mr. Wade
How successful was Lenin (1917-1924) in solving the problems he faced?
With the October revolution in 1917, Lenin managed to execute a successful coup d’état against the provisional government of Russia and with the death of the constituent assembly early 1918; Lenin and his Bolsheviks had finally control over Russia. However this was just the beginning of various problems he would be facing. This raised the debate on whether Lenin could deal with these problems or not. Many of the quarrels originated from the Tsar’s regime and the provisional government such as Russia’s participation in WW1 as well as economic underdevelopment. Immediate problems such as the raging civil war existed as well. Lenin tackled these problems with decrees, treaties, terror and various economic policies such as war communism. However these solutions would bring further problems such as famine and revolts such as the Kronstadt Mutiny. Thus Lenin was only successful to certain extent in solving the problems he faced.
A major problems Lenin faced was Russia’s participation in the First World War. As the outbreak was in 1914, this was during Tsar Nicholas II’s rule. The participation was regarded highly but this did not hold. After suffering defeat in Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes it was apparent that the war would have a destructive impact on Russia. Being a backwards country, as it still heavily relied on agriculture; a prolonged war could destroy Russia. In fact, inflation was increasing rapidly and in Petrograd only, the price of flour, meat, butter and salt all rose by 99%, 232%, 124% and 483% respectively. During the war, harvest was not a problem though. However due to the inflation, there was little incentive for peasants to sell their produce and hoarding became popular. With the Romanov dynasty disintegrated, there were high expectations that the provisional government would bring the war to an end but this did not...
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