Exploring Why Communism Wasn't Defeated in 1918

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Exploring Why Communism Wasn't Defeated in 1918

The Russian civil war began in 1918, in the former Russian empire; the

war was between the new communist government, the Bolsheviks, and

those who opposed it collectively known as The Whites. Surprisingly,

The Whites were defeated by the Reds in late 1920, but the question is

why were the communists operating such an unpopular regime able to be

victorious and remain in control.

The civil war started due to many factors, but the key was the

collapse of the former Russian empire in 1917/1918. This

disintegration created several territories and after Lenin decreed

that any such territories wanting self-determination were free to

split from Russia, many independent territories were born. This

caused a number of problems, Soviets took control of large areas to

pursue their own policies, Volga Tatars and Bashkis set up republics.

The Russian civil war was fought by many to gain self-government and

by others who wanted to keep a unified Russian empire.

The Bolsheviks harsh control of Russia had made them many enemies, in

the form of political opposition. Many of these opposing groups

organised armed revolts against the communists; however, it was not

just within Russia that the Bolsheviks had opposition. The allies

strongly opposed Bolshevik control of Russia. In early November 1917

the London Morning Post called for military action to be taken against

the communists, a few weeks later Trotsky published ‘Secret Treaties’

which was signed by the Tsar and the allies during the Great War.

These revealed the allies plans to seize territory once Germany was

defeated, in light of these rev...

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...d to the whites as propaganda, portraying the western

capitalists as operating through the whites. Foreign intervention had

backfired. Propaganda was a powerful tool in winning the support of

the people; The Communists used propaganda to show the war was one

against evil, evil taking the form of Tsarism, the bourgeoisie and

foreign capital.

The Red terror was another key to Red victory, strict controlling and

monitoring upon certain areas kept active opposition low; suspects

were arrested by the cheka. People were afraid to speak out against

the communist regime, potential opposition was kept to a minimum.

In conclusion the forces opposed to communism were unable to overthrow

it due to a lack of organisation. Unlike the Reds with strong leaders,

they were weak and segmented with different aims for fighting the war.
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