Why Were the Bolsheviks Able to Seize Power Without Widespread Popular Support?

In: Historical Events

Submitted By courzid
Words 675
Pages 3
Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power without widespread popular support?

The Bolsheviks came into power for many reasons. The provisional government was now weak, they hadn’t kept the promises they had made and had little support because of the Bolsheviks were basically handed the power. The Bolsheviks were a left wing party however they were not first choice to govern Russia, however the Bolshevik claimed power in the name of the people so didn’t need overall support.
The Bolsheviks had suffered a great loss in the July days when they tried to provide leadership as soldiers and industrial works protested against the provisional government, they used the Bolsheviks slogan ‘All power to the soviets’. However the military attacked the pacifist protests and began to repress the Bolsheviks. Lenin went in to hiding whereas the other Bolshevik leaders were arrested, this lead to a temporary decline in Bolshevik power and influence. Lenin and the leaders remained hidden/locked away until Kerensky released them in a response to the Kornilov affair, where the commander and chief of the army attempts to march and army to Petrograd, the Provisional Government have no choice but to release the Bolsheviks that were imprisoned to help prevent the attempted coup.
Another of the Bolsheviks slogans was “Peace, Bread, Land”. N the cities many workers were starving as the peasants were hoarding food or fighting in the war. This meant that there want enough food for everyone, the peasants had hoped that the provisions government would give them back the land they worked on as the land was owned by higher social classes. When the provision government didn’t meet this demand hunger and famine became worse across the whole of Russia. Russia was also doing very badly in the war; many citizens wanted the country to withdraw from the war. When the Bolshevik party noted that…...

Similar Documents

Leading Without Power

...| |Leading Without Power | |Two Steps Forward, One Step Back | |Barbara Boliver | |8/4/2012 | |BUS 586 – Summer 2012 Term | Abstract Hughes, Ginnet & Curphy define Leadership as “the process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals”. But what if you were not given the power to properly influence others? I am not talking about power to make others do things against their will, but the power to change behaviors to meet the desired outcome. A recent example of this is the Katrina disaster. Many groups went in with the desire to lead and help the survivors of the natural disaster; however, since they were not given the power to control all the entities, they failed. It wasn’t until the President put Lieutenant General Russel L. Honore in charge to lead the tasks force, that order was finally restored. This example is seen also again with Haiti, however, they have yet to see a leader with enough power to address their issues and bring their nation back to order. It doesn’t take...

Words: 2420 - Pages: 10

How Successful Were the Bolsheviks in Consolidating Their Power Between 1917 and 1924?

...How successful were the Bolsheviks in consolidating their power between 1917 and 1924? Scott Anderson In the period 1917-24, the Bolsheviks successfully managed to remain in control of Russia. Consolidating their power meant that they were able to increase their influence within Russia. However, the process to becoming the absolute power was very gradual and involved some very key decisions. To determine how successful we must consider whether the Bolsheviks made any mistakes or could have done anything more effectively. Firstly, we must look at the initial problems facing the Bolsheviks when they came to power in 1917. After completing the revolution many of the problems of Tsarist Russia still remained, leaving Lenin and the Bolsheviks to solve the problems swiftly in order to increase their claim to power. The problems of lawlessness, land redistribution, attitude of peasantry, the war, economic problems and issues to do with the Constituent Assembly all had to be resolved. The party also had created new problems when it came to power; these were mainly caused by groups and people not supporting the party. On top of all this, the Bolsheviks had no real plans for their Government, they had no experience of Government, they had expected a world revolution and they had expected the State to just wither away. The Bolsheviks also did not control the whole of Russia. Most of the country was oblivious to the fact that they were in power, the Revolution occurred in towns and......

Words: 973 - Pages: 4

Lenin and the Bolshevik Revoloution Essay

...Evaluate Lenin’s contribution to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917? Lenin played a crucial role in the success of the November Revolution. He did not create the discontent which permeated Russian society in 1917, but he did devise slogans and strategies to win disaffected groups over to the Bolshevik Party. By the beginning of 1917, the Tsarist regime was facing insurmountable problems. The peasants were demanding land; the workers wanted higher wages and better working conditions; the middle class wanted political reforms to make Russia a true constitutional democracy; and all three classes were demanding an end to the war. More than anything, it was the war which brought an end to Tsarism and set the scene for the Bolshevik Revolution. By 1917, casualties numbered in the millions, and the lack of food and fuel on the home front led to hunger and privation. The Tsar was unable to solve these problems, and was soon overthrown in a popular uprising. What emerged was a system of dual power, based on the workers’ soviets (councils) and the Provisional Government. The soviets represented the peasants, workers and soldiers. The Provisional Government represented the aristocratic and middle classes. Lenin understood that the Provisional Government would only survive if it met the popular expectations which were unleashed by the fall of Tsarism. However, the Provisional Government saw itself as a caretaker institution only, and was unwilling to...

Words: 578 - Pages: 3

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?

...a large extent I believe that the brutality of the Bolsheviks was the main reason why they remained in power. However on the other hand it could be due to other factors such as the Sovnarkom and the weakness of the White’s. Firstly another reason why the Bolsheviks remained in power was because of their brutality using the CHEKA. This was established by Lenin on the 20th of December 1917. It was used as a secret police force to deal with opposition. The CHEKA used many methods all of which were brutal and included arrests, kidnapping, torture, sending of to labour camps and murder. This meant hat through the CHEKA Lenin could deal with any opposition that could affect his remaining in power. Secondly, One reason why the Bolsheviks remained in power was because of their brutality was due to Trotsky and the red army. For example Trotsky introduced the death penalty for any conscripts who deserted the army. He blackmailed them into doing this by holding their families hostage. This meant that not only did the army hold together but was also being trained by the best people there were around. Meaning this would enable them to have a much better chance of lacking opposition e.g. the white’s. This is a brutal and forceful tactic for the Bolsheviks and it worked. Not only did this lead them to win the civil war but in turn by doing that, the Bolsheviks remained in power. Lastly, another reason why the Bolsheviks remained in power because of their brutality was due to the murder......

Words: 817 - Pages: 4

Asses the Reasons Why Lenin and the Bolsheviks Were Able to Seize Power in October 1917

...The Bolshevik seize of power in October 1917 was undoubtedly a turning point for Russia’s political situation and a point that would set the tone for the future rulings. It can be easily argued that the Bolsheviks were only able to take over as a result of the long term weaknesses and failures of the Provisional Government. However, as with all events in history, the final seizure in October would not have been possible had it not been for the more recent, trigger causes. The roles of Lenin and Trotsky, during the later months of 1917, were key factors in allowing the takeover to happen; and the extremely poor decisions and military leadership executed by Kerensky strengthened the Bolsheviks position for revolution. Whilst these short term causes played a major role in October, it cannot be argued that without the weaknesses of the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks would not have been sitting in power by the end of 1917. The weakness of the Provisional Government was one the most important factors in the Bolshevik takeover in October 1917. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917, the Provisional Government, formed from some of the previous Dumas, was set up to govern Russia. The new government was weak and unstable from the start, mainly due to whom it was made up of. It was a coalition, if you could call it that, between the Liberals, the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries; and thus the new government had no unity from the start. With each part...

Words: 2132 - Pages: 9

How Castro Was Able to Seize Power, the Steps He Took to Retain It and the Problems He and the Cuban People Faced During and After the Revolution.

...unstable government, ineffective leadership and the exploitation of Cuban people under foreign powers, which resulted in massed feelings of discontent against the pre-revolution powers within Cuba. By establishing a dictatorship, Castro was able to maintain his power by creating a personality cult of himself, through propaganda depicting Castro as Cuba’s savior, then by eliminating the opposition in show trials that would instill fear and finally by greatly improving the nation to fit the ideals of a socialist-borderline-communist nation. Initially as Castro was fighting for control in Cuba he faced many failures, namely his capture and imprisonment, then his exile to Mexico and finally his failed return where he was driven into the mountains. After seizing control Castro’s struggles did not end, he faced a failing economy, a high emigration rate and increased tensions between Cuba and neighboring nation the United States. Castro relied upon the Cuban search for independence as a means to unite them in rebellion and bring him to power. Cuba had suffered long under the reign of foreign rule, firstly the Spanish and then the Americans. Both these nations upon occupying Cuba utilised it as an economic boast for their own gain, taking ownership of Cuban business and returning all profits to the homeland, resulting in low standards of living and widespread resentment against foreign power among the exploited Cuban populace. Cuba became a democracy, electing American “puppets”......

Words: 1295 - Pages: 6

How Did the Bolsheviks Seize Power?

...Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917 and how did they consolidate their rule? The Bolsheviks mainly gained their power by using force and violence. During 1971 the Bolsheviks were quickly gaining popularity among the Russian people, they took control by attacking the unpopular, weak Provisional Government’s meeting place in the Winter Palace and then declared a new workers government, this was just one of the factors that led to the Bolsheviks success. A rise in popularity definitely led to the success of the Bolsheviks. One of the reasons why the Bolsheviks popularity was increasing was because they promised the people of Russia the things that they wanted most of all, which was to provide food for all families, end the war to reduce Russian deaths and bring in land reform in the countryside. This was all very well advertised with the slogan ‘Peace! Bread! Land!’ created by Lenin. It appealed to all people, the soldiers who were tired of war, to the hungry workers in the town and to the poverty-stricken peasants. The Germans financed the Bolsheviks because they knew that Lenin wanted to take Russia out of the war, this gave them the money to mount their publicity campaigns. In September 1917, the army commander in chief, general Kornilov, attempted to move troops back from the front to Petrograd in order to destroy the soviets and arrest leading Bolsheviks. Kerensky was afraid that Kornilov might be planning to take power for himself so he decided...

Words: 527 - Pages: 3

How Far Do You Agree That Lenin’s Leadership Was the Main Reason for Why the Bolsheviks Were Able to Seize Power in 1917.

...Lenin’s leadership was the main reason for why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power in 1917. Lenin was a very significant figure during the Russian revolution, under his strong leadership and the advice of some of his advisors, Lenin helped the Bolsheviks come to power. However I would not agree that his leadership was the main reason to why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power as factors such as the weakness of the provisional government, the home front and most importantly Trotsky role all played a significant role to why the Bolsheviks were successful. Lenin’s leadership played a significant role to why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power in 1917 due to his clear and persuading aims. Lenin was an influential figure in the eyes of the proletariat. Due to the April thesis clear aims resulted in that he was able to gain greater support and he succeeded in having 200,000 members. The vast amount of members meant that the Bolsheviks had greater support when it came to seizing power. The main aims of the April theses were, Peace, Land and Bread and power to the soviets. Many supported the idea of Peace, Land and bread as they were fed up with the affect the war was having on them and wanted to bring it to an end, people were also starving due to the war and therefore welcomed the idea of Peace, Land and bread. Lenin also promised the confiscation of landed estates from landowners and the aristocracy. The slogan all power to the soviets played on the feelings of......

Words: 1325 - Pages: 6

Was War Communism the Main Reason Why the Bolsheviks Were Able to Remain in Power Between 1918-1924?

...main reason why the Bolsheviks were able to remain in power between 1918-1924? There were many reasons why the Bolsheviks were able to remain in power. Lenin and Trotsky teamwork and leadership gave them a great advantage because they really knew how to control their team. The red army was incredibly stronger than the whites. The red army knew what they were fighting for whereas the whites really didn’t have any idea of what their ambition was. The Bolsheviks also had the central lines, which enabled them to travel all around the country guaranteeing that the red army troops could get all the necessities that they needed. Finally, war communism was also a contributor to why the Bolsheviks were able to remain in power. Although it kept the troops fed and healthy, it had devastating effects on the rest of the public who weren’t soldiers. This caused havoc in Russia, but was unfortunately vital during the Civil War. Lenin and Trotsky were responsible for everything that the Bolsheviks were linked to; Lenin was more based in the organisation and policies of the party. Lenin created and put the War Communism in order, which caused disruption and huge complications in Russia. This caused anger between the peasants, working class and the Bolsheviks. Lenin also solved his own problem, by creating the New Economic Policy. The new economic policy again, created and solved lots of Russia’s problems. Trotsky was more in charge of the military side of the Bolsheviks. He......

Words: 662 - Pages: 3

Consolidation of Power Russia

...Why were stalin’s opponents unable to prevent him from becoming the leader of the USSR by 1929? For five years following the death of Lenin, a power struggle took place in the USSR. The struggle was not just abut which person should become leader, it was also about the policies that party should follow and keeping some people out of power. Joseph Stalin emerged in 1929 as the victor of this struggle with the due to his ability to manipulate the party machine, his devious tactics to undermine his opponents and his popular policies and ideologies which appealed to the average Bolshevik member which made it nearly unpreventable for his opponents to stop him. Due to Stalins ability to manipulate the party machine,. Stalin used his position as general secretary, a job that few wanted due to seeming lack of importance with this job however, Stalin was able to increase his hold over the Bolshevik Party. In the 12th Congress, 1923, Stalin by using his position as General Secretary was able to influence who attended the Party Congress leading to a 30% of the members there being under Stalin’s influence. This was very significant because for someone who aimed to lead and control the party and government needed to have the support of majority in Congress and Politburo. Furthermore Stalin also increased his power of the government by being head of the Central Control Commission. Through this job Stalin was able to discipline any supporters of his rivals: For example, in the 15th......

Words: 1001 - Pages: 5

Why Were Stalin’s Opponents Unable to Prevent Him from Becoming Leader of the Ussr by 1929?

...Why were Stalin’s opponents unable to prevent him from becoming leader of the USSR by 1929? Within this essay question I’m going to be discussing four different factors that aided Joseph Stalin in becoming leader of the USSR by 1929. These four factors are Trotsky’s errors, errors of others, powerbases and Stalin’s own skills. Personally I believe, based on my current knowledge of all four factors, that the powerbases is going to be a highly significant factor in terms of why Stalin’s opponents were unable to prevent him becoming leader. However, the other three factors are still very important and also played a role in helping Stalin. Therefore, I will be discussing all four of the factors and what effects they had. Errors made by Leon Trotsky were some of the main reasons why Stalin was able to become leader of the USSR by 1929. After Lenin’s death in 1924 there was wide speculation that Trotsky, head of the red army would succeed Lenin. Lenin wrote a testament outlining his opinions on the head Bolsheviks, and Stalin was described as being very dangerous and should be dismissed from the party immediately. However despite this, Stalin eventually became the leader of the USSR. The reason why Trotsky was the most likely candidate to succeed Lenin was because he was very popular among young communists, this was due to his revolutionary heroism in 1905, 1917 and during the civil war, coupled with his stirring speeches. However, despite the fact that Trotsky was clearly more......

Words: 1884 - Pages: 8

Bolshevik Consolidation of Power

...How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their power in the first few months after the October 1917 Revolution? (30 marks) Lenin’s Bolshevik takeover of power in Russia left the country confused and inquisitive into what the future may hold, with their recently adopted power only leaving them with a tenuous grip around the nation. The majority of Russia predicted that the Bolshevik’s would only last a matter of weeks, before worsening economic and social issues would leave their power insecure and prove too difficult for them to correct. Also the opposition was gathering momentum which Lenin knew had to be stopped in its tracks before any attacks were made on his newly formed government, consolidating power was key for the Bolsheviks and the first few months were paramount to their success. Right from the start Lenin realised that opposition was plentiful to one-party rule and his emerging Bolshevik dictatorship. Still throughout the cities many working class citizens still supported the idea of Soviet power, not Bolshevik power. The majority expected the Socialist to remerge from the dismantled Provisional Government and reinstate their power over Russia, but Lenin had always proposed to rule alone and made it clear that his party were going to merciless to any opposition that came between him and total supremacy. At the top of Lenin’s list of objectives was forming his new government, named the Council of People’s Commissars, also known as the Sovnarkom. This came as a surprise...

Words: 2013 - Pages: 9

Bolsheviks Seizure of Power

...Tsar was Nicholas II. He believed that God had made him Tsar and that he therefore had absolute authority to rule Russia, without parliament. The Tsar was very naïve to the situation in Russia, as he rarely went outside the grounds of his palaces. The growth of industry meant there was a large working population in the towns, but conditions in the towns were cramped and the workers were badly paid. There was opposition to the Tsar and in 1905 a protest by industrial workers broke out into a revolution. There were other protests and strikes in the years 1905-1914. By 1914 poor working conditions, food shortages and the opposition parties had created a very tense atmosphere in Russia. The First World War broke out in 1914 and patriotism and loyalty to the Tsar were revived, however this didn’t last very long as the Russian people thought the war was going to be victorious and short, but this was not the case. The Russian army was not really a match for the well-equipped Germans as there was a shortage of rifles and other munitions equipment. There were high casualties, which decreased moral in Russia. Food supplies to Russian cities was very poor, as Russia relied so heavily on its railways and they were engrossed with the supply of ammunition and food to the war front, food for the people was left to rot in the sidings because the engines and carriages were simply not there to carry them, so people just starved. Fuel deliveries to the cities also relied on the railways to the......

Words: 1371 - Pages: 6

Bolsheviks Rise to Power

...Bolsheviks consolidation of power How did the Bolsheviks deal with the socialists? Lenin started talking to other parties about a power-sharing government because he was forced after the railwaymen`s union, the post and telegraph union threatened to cut off communications if the Bolsheviks didn't hold talks with the other different parties. What could have happened is that food supplies would be paralyzed to get to Petrograd and also to other cities. Brest-litovsk treaty consequences The main implications of the treaty were that Russia ceded Finland, the Baltic states and Poland – a million square kilometres of territory which contained 74% of the country´s coal and iron ore mines, 27% of their productive farmland as west Russia had the best agricultural resources, one fourth of the railway, and 30% (62 million people ) of the population. Finland had been ruled by the Tsars since 1809, the Germans helped the Finns to defeat a Bolshevik rising and Finland remained independent under the Brest-litovsk treaty. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became independent republics as well as some of the Russian-held area of Poland, Bessarabia was handed over to Romania. Germany set up semi-independent governments in Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia. Patriotic Russians started loathing the Bolsheviks and a civil war seemed inevitable. The Social revolutionaries left the Svornkom as they rather have a revolution that a Coup d´ état. The Cheka leader was captured during an uprising, however......

Words: 716 - Pages: 3

Were the Policies of the Revolutionaries, Once in Power, Supported by the People?

...Were the policies of the revolutionaries, once in power, supported by the people? | Analysis of both the Russian and French revolution to evaluate the extent of the support and effectiveness of revolutionary policy once implemented | When considering the term revolution, one must analyse its true meaning. Revolution implies the overthrow of government; in particular oust of a ruler or political system. There were many policies implemented in France and Russia during the revolution process. Policy refers to a programme of actions adopted by an individual, group, or government, or the set of principles on which they are based upon. The revolutionaries during the French (occurring in 1789) and Russian revolutions (occurring in 1917) implemented many policies that would inevitably change not only the face of their individual countries but also the whole world in its geographical, political and fiscal stability. Such radical change is perfectly exemplified in the policy and decision making that the revolutionaries had to sanction and control after the take over from their previously unfair and unjust political systems. The revolutionaries were divided among factions based on ideological belief. Some were left wing some were right wing, whilst other considered moderates, thus a social division of fundamental belief was created. At times some sanctions and policies did not represent the best interest of the wider populous and consequently was only to be attributed to a......

Words: 1150 - Pages: 5