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28 -- Part 6: World War and Revolution
In the summer of 1917, Liberty was turning into anarchy, giving the most radical and talented of Russia's many socialist leaders an opportunity to shine.
When his older brother was executed for planning to kill the tsar, Lenin became an enemy of Russia.
As a law student, Lenin studied Marxism.
Exiled to Siberia for three years because of social unrest, and then lived in western Europe for seventeen years, with his own interpretations of Marxist thought.
There were three interrelated ideas.
He said that only violent revolution could destroy capitalism.
Even though capitalism was not fully developed in Russia, Lenin believed in a socialist revolution.
The poor peasants were potential revolutionaries, but the industrial working class was smal.
The revolution was determined more by human leadership than by historical laws.
He called for a workers' party that was strictly controlled by an elite of intellectuals and full-time revolutionaries.
Other Russian Marxists didn't give up on Lenin's ideas.
At the Social Democratic Labor Party congress in London in 1903, Lenin demanded a smal, disciplined, elitist party; his opponents wanted a more democratic party with mass membership.
The majority group split into two rival groups.
After the fall of democracy in 1917, the Bolsheviks appealed to war-weary soldiers and urban workers in order to start a socialist revolution.
After the March Revolution of 1917, the German government provided safe passage for Lenin across Germany and back into Russia, hoping he would undermine Russia's war effort.
On April 3, Lenin attacked at once, rejecting all cooperation with the government.
The only force that could have saved the government in Russia was the army, and it was the Bolsheviks who increased their popular support throughout the summer.
The Petrograd Soviet was gained by the Bolsheviks in October.
Leon Trotsky executed the Bolshevik seizure of power.
On November 6-7, militant Trotsky owers joined with Bolshevik soldiers to seize government buildings and arrest government members.
At the congress of soviets, a majority of the Bolsheviks declared that power had been passed to the soviets and that they had a new government.
A new constitution would be drawn up by a freely elected Constituent Assembly, which the Bolsheviks proclaimed to be a "provisional workers' and peasants' government".
The Constituent Assembly met for one day on January 18, 1918, after fewer than one-fourth of the seats in free elec tions were won by the Bolsheviks.
The sol diers acted under the orders of the Bolsheviks.
Russia had lost the war with Germany and the only realistic goal was peace.
The price was very high.
Germany demanded that the Soviet government give up all of its western territories, and a third of old Russia's popu lation was surrendered in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
A Red Army soldier makes a compelling direct appeal to the ordinary citizen and demands all-out support for the Bolshevik cause in this 1920 poster by Dmitri Moor, a popular Soviet artist.
During the civil war of 1918-1922, mass-produced posters like this one were all over the place.
Bolshe vik rule was revealed to be dictatorship from the capital after the war's end.
By the summer of 1918 the country was plunged into civil war after officers of the old army organized the White opposition to the Bol sheviks.
The Whites were united by their hatred of the Reds.
The White armies were on the attack by the end of the year.
The end of the civil war was marked by the capture of Vladivostok by the Red Army.
The Red Army won because of several reasons.
The center was controlled by the Bolsheviks while the Whites attacked from the fringes.
The poorly defined political program of the Whites did not unite the foes of the Bolsheviks under a progressive democratic banner.
Whites were no match for each other.
The home front was also taken care of by the Bolsheviks.
They seized grain from peasants, introduced rationing, nationalized banks and industry, and required everyone to work.
Although these measures contributed to a breakdown of civil conflict, they also served to maintain labor discipline and keep the Red rationing, nationalized all banks Army supplied.
The old tsarist wanted to work.
Foreign military intervention in the civil war helped the Commu nists.
The Germans launched their last major attack against France in the spring of 1918.
Germany was defeated after it failed.
The Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary broke apart.
The victorious Western Allies came together in Paris to establish a lasting peace after the civil war in Russia.
The Al ies worked out terms for peace with Germany and for the creation of the League of Nations.
The Great War cost $332 billion and left 10 million people dead and another 20 million wounded.
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