Lenins political finesse, his understanding of the strength of the peasantry and his rewriting of the communist thought are the characteristics which made Lenin one of the greatest leaders of Russia. Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, was born on April 22, 1870, in Simbirsk, on the bank of the Volga river. Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, a man with high cheek bones, a dark complexion and dark brown eyes, all of which Lenin inherited, was Lenins father, and was the director of schools in Simbirsk province.
Lenins mother, Maria Aleksandrovna Blank, was a woman who was very devoted to her six children who all eventually became evolutionaries, except for one who died before she could follow her siblings. Lenin overall had a good childhood. He liked to play chess, swim, hike, and hunt. Although Lenin had no close friends, he did look up to his brother, Alexander, a great deal. When Lenin entered school in 1879, at the age of 9 he became a brilliant student and this was acclaimed to a teacher who came into the Ulyanov home before Lenin could enter school, and taught him to read by the age of five.
During Vladimirs young years Russia was quite quiet, although not for him. In 1886 Lenins father died and in 1887 his rother Alexander, whom Lenin looked up to, was involved in an unsuccessful plot to kill the czar and was hanged for doing so. The death of Alexander came as a great blow to Lenin. About his brothers death Lenin simply said “Ill make them pay for this! I swear it! ” The same year his brother was hanged, Lenin finished school at the age of 17 and received a gold medal for excellence in studies. During the fall of that year Lenin was admitted to Kazan University to study law there.
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Three months after Lenin had settled in Kazan he was expelled from the University for joining in a student meeting protesting the ack of freedom the students were given in the school. Over the next three years Lenin tried many more times to regain admission to the university, but was unsuccessful on all attempts, until 1890 when he tried to gain acceptance to St. Petersburg University. He was admitted as a student but he was not, however, permitted to attend classes, though he would be permitted to take the examinations after studying on his own.
In 1891 after studying on his own and taking the final examinations Lenin received a law degree from St. Petersburg University and united with a law firm in Samara. While still in university Lenin was introduced to the works of Karl Marx, Marx being a major contributor to the Communist Philosophy. In early 1893 Lenin became part of the Social Democratic band, a Marxist establishment. In the latter part of that year Lenin reallocated to St. Petersburg and got a start on his revolutionary career.
While in St. Petersburg Lenin found that the quality of leadership came to him easily and he quickly became the leader of a Social Democrat group. Lenin came across as a bright intelligent man. All of Lenins written work was very precise, intensely specific, and crystal clear. In 1897 Lenin was banished to Siberia, after being held for questioning for more than a year, after he was caught by the Czars Secret Police while preparing a revolutionary newspaper, The Cause, in December of 1895.
During Lenins interval in Siberia he married Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya. As banishment to Siberia did not mean confinement and Lenin took advantage of his freedom by carrying on his propagandist writings and also wrote one of his more dominant accomplishments, The Development of Capitalism In Russia (1899). During the p of 1898, while Lenin was in expulsion from Russia, a collection of concealed Russian Marxist groups allied to form the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party.
In the ensuing period following Lenins Siberian expulsion, January 1900, he received authorization to leave the country and go to Germany to assist with the founding of the parties newspaper, The Spark, of which the first issue appeared on December 24, 1900. In 1902 Lenin wrote a pamphlet called “What Is To Be Done” and from this pamphlet came the base of what is called Leninism. The following year the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party broke into two separate, equal, collectives over a ontention about party membership.
Lenin became the leader of the Bolsheviks, which translates to “The Majority”, which suggested that his group was larger. The Bolsheviks desired that membership to their party be confined to a small member of full-time revolutionaries. The other group, The Mensheviks, which translates to The Minority, desired that party membership be less restrictive and did not prefer a dictatorship, as the Bolsheviks did, but rather to practice more democratically. Just as all this was taking place a vitality of insurrection was taking place across Russia fronting the Czar Nicholas II.
The Russian people wanted land, higher wages, and increased political rights including a legislation. Included in these revolts was an incident called “Bloody Sunday” which happened when an Orthodox Priest led a march of “peaceful” peasants to the home of the Czar, on Sunday January 22, 1905. When they reached the palace the Czars head man panicked at the sight of the many people and had his troops fire on the defenseless crowd, slaying and damaging hundreds. By the fall of 1905 a full strike of nearly all workers stupefied the country compelling the Czar to give the people a Duma, which is a ower level Parliament.
By the end of 1905 mammoth strikes commenced and was followed by a brimming revolution to which the Czar quickly put a stop to. After this Lenin found it quite arduous to proceed with revolutionary actions in Russia and exhausted most of his time from 1906 until 1908 publishing radical leaflets and attending party congress in England, Germany and Sweden, chiefly with the intentions of keeping the party together, but also to expand the distance between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks alleging that the Mensheviks did not want revolution.
On August 1, 1914 Germany declared war on Russia and World War I commenced. As Lenin was in Austria at that time, the Austrian government arranged for Lenin to be transported to Switzerland who did not participate in the war. It has been noted that many extremists desired a victory for Russia, but it has also been noted that others wanted peace lacking a victory for any one country, but a victory of peace for all involved. Lenin, however, desired that his country suffer a defeat, and that would bring about revolution in the country.
During the war Lenin and his cause were aided financially by the German government, by performing this the Germans felt that they were eroding the Russian war endeavor. By this time most of Lenins supporters had deserted him, indicating as their more popular reasons that Lenin was using assets intended for the assemblage for himself, and that his apparent seizure of power was unwilful by some. This period in Lenins career was suggested by Krupskaya, his wife, as the loneliest point in Lenins career, and as a time when Lenin would transfigure his passions into a surely revolutionary conclusion.
It had been three years since the start of the war and the countries were still attling, Russia had lost many of her battles and the country was in annoyance. Food shortages were occurring all across the country, mainly in the cities, but bread was especially shortly yielded. In early February 1917 bread was nowhere to be found in Petrograd and immense lines aside the bread shops collected and the tensions increased. By the end of the first quarter of February approximately two hundred thousand workers were on strike and demonstrating in the capital.
On the fifteenth day of March nineteen- seventeen, the Czar Nicholas II, gave up his throne and also gave up the throne or his son. This left the throne to the Nicholass brother who did not want the throne, thus ending three hundred years of autocratic rule. With no one in power of the country a democratic provisional government was formed. For a duration the governing power was shared by the provisional government with the Petrograd Soviet, but before long the Bolsheviks, although very unorganized demanded that all ability be granted to the soviets.
At the present time Lenin was still in Switzerland and was pondering a way to return to Russia. The German government was willing to allow Lenin passage through Germany, by way of rail. The only thing the German government was, however, worried about during Lenins trek was of him agitating the German workers. Because of this the German government had Lenin ride in a single sealed train car that was deemed, for the duration of his trip, Russian territory.
On the sixteenth day of April nineteen seventeen Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov returned to Russia landing in Petrograd and receiving a welcome fit for a hero. After arriving in Petrograd Lenin abruptly took back control of the Bolsheviks and ordered the overthrow of the provisional government. Lenin was unable to take control of the provisional and upon the reorganization of it, Alexander Kernsky took control and decreed Lenins arrest on the account that he was a German agent, and Lenin quickly fled to Finland. The rest of the Bolsheviks also quickly dispersed or were taken into custody.
After living in Finland for about three months, during this time writing The State and Revolution, which was considered to be one of the most important of his labors in which he described how to come about power by way of revolution, Lenin returned to Russia, October 1917, as he felt it was necessary to bring about the revolution. Upon Lenins arrival in Petrograd he strongly recommended to the Bolshevik Central Committee to take advantage of Kerenskys weak government. The Central Committee decided to take action while they had the chance.
The Bolshevik president of the Petrograd Soviet, Leon Trotsky, managed to gain control of some government troops and some Naval crews who supported the uprising, and then with minute amount of brutality the Bolsheviks captured Petrograd on October twenty fifth, nineteen seventeen. The Bolsheviks now only had one more thing to do before they were to hold all power of the government, capture Moscow. The capturing of Moscow proved to be more difficult and rougher, but at any rate Moscow was seized and the Bolsheviks had taken power.
November 8, 1917 was the day that the Second All-Russian Congress opened with representatives from all across the country in attendance. At the meeting of the congress, which was controlled by the Bolsheviks, Lenin was appointed chairman of The Council of Peoples Commissars, and therefore he became head of the new Russian State. When Lenin ade his first appearance before the congress he asked to be allowed to ask Germany for a three month truce, and for the eradication of private land ownership, both of these requests were authorized.
Soon after Lenin took control he found himself in a battle to stay in control, as the Red Army had broken apart, German forces were advancing deeper and deeper into Russia, and also other opposing forces were gathering large groups in parts of Russia. Lenin believed that if the Bolsheviks were to stay in power then the war with Germany would have to come to an end soon and at any cost. It was the third day of March 1918 when the battles between Russia and Germany ended with the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
This treaty made it obligatory for Russia to give up a lot of land, which in effect hurt her, until the end of World War I when Germany lost and the treaty became void. In order to put his government further away from German power, in the territory that Russia gave up, Lenin moved the countrys capital to Moscow from Petrograd. In December of 1917 Lenin brought into existence the Cheka, which was a political police force setup to se extreme force to control anyone with an opinion that differed from that of the Bolsheviks.
Most of the people that the Cheka arrested were imprisoned, murdered, or sent to the Gulag, which was a system of prison labor camps where most died. In 1918 Lenin suggested to the Bolshevik Central Committee that they change the name of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party to the Russian Communist Party and this was done. In July 1918, for fear of the former Czar making an uprising, the Bolsheviks had the Czar and his entire family, including servants, slayed.
About a month after the Czar was killed, Lenin as at a factory giving a speech to the employees and he was shot twice by Dora Kaplan, who was a member of a Socialist Revolutionary Party. After quickly recovering from the bullets Lenin had Dora Kaplan executed and to set an example for others he had hundreds of others executed, claiming they were hostages. The revolution was like a speeding locomotive in the cites, but was slower to catch on in the more remote parts of the country and in these parts of the country resistance was becoming a major problem and civil war was breaking out.
The two enemies in the war ere the Red Army, which Lenin had created in January 1918 and named after the color of the world Communist movement, and opposing them were the whites, who were for the most part democrats, Russian Nationalists and those who opposed change in any form. The Whites had a major problem though, this problem was that they lacked any organization. The Bolsheviks easily won this civil war by 1920, although not untouched. By the end of this war the Russian economy was in shambles and millions of Russians had left to go afar, or died. But yet still the Communist government survived.
Although Lenin had successfully taken control of Russia he had not yet accomplished his true goal that he had set out to achieve many years before, which was the goal of a Communist world revolution. In 1921, in a radical attempt to regain control of his country, Lenin instituted a program called the New Economic Policy. This policy replaced a lot of the measures that were put in place when the Bolsheviks took power, it allowed small businesses to continue to operate, peasants to sell food to private customers, free trade was reinstated, and foreign business was invited to invest in Russia.
By this time Lenins health had also started to suffer from the stress, among various other things. Although foreign nations were invited to invest in Russia few did and by this time, also, no major country still held diplomatic relations with Russia. In the month of May in 1922 Lenins health took a turn for the worse and he endured a stroke. Lenin then, opposing his doctors advice, kept on working. It was the December of 1922 that Lenin suffered his second stroke and that same month the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established by the Bolshevik government.
On March 9, 1923 Lenin suffered from a third stoke and his ability to speak clearly was impaired. Less than a year later, on January 21, 1924, Lenin died of a brain hemorrhage, thus ending his rein of power. Lenin used the strength of the peasantry in revolution by appeasing some of their demands, such as implementing the New Economic Policy. The masses supported Lenins beliefs and showed their unrest in ways such as striking. Lenin also utilized his fellow politicians in his bid to accomplish the first part of his goal, to bring communism to Russia, y finessing them into his turn of mind via his personal fervor and his writings.
Lenins vision of communism included bringing theories into practice. He also brought widely varied classes of people to his conclusions. Thus by using any and every means possible, Lenin brought communism to Russia, although it took far longer that he expected and he died before reaching his ultimate goal of World Communism. Whether or not communism is or was beneficial to a society, Lenin was a great leader in as much as he reshaped an entire country and its ideals.
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