The dissolution of the constituent assembly
· Lenin had never thought about winning support from the masses, so he
concentrated on creating a party that could seize power when the time
was right. This was why he didn't join the opposition movements or
support the provisional government.
· Lenin had originally supported the Constituent Assembly but when the
election happened and his party won less than a quarter of the seats,
dissolved the assembly after just one session as he thought it would
have been impossible for his party to govern along side an assembly
that was non-Bolshevik.
· Lenin's move prompted criticism from within his party and from
foreign communists both arguing that he had destroyed democracy and
the idea that the people should have say in the running of the
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 1918.
· The Bolsheviks had been against the war and had promised immediate
peace if they came into power. They couldn't go back on this promise.
· This is where the differences between Lenin and Trotsky become
clear. Lenin wanted peace immediately while Trotsky wanted to wait.
· Lenin realised that with the amount of desertions at the front,
Russia wouldn't mount a serious challenge to Germany for much longer
so a treaty would be a minor set back if Germany lost the war to
Britain and France.
· Trotsky took the middle road between Lenin and some Bolsheviks and
Left revolutionaries who wanted to continue the war. Although he
accepted that Russia couldn't fight on for much longer, in the hope
that Germany would collapse against France and Britain he tried to
... middle of paper ...
... · The Bolshevik press tried to make the Kronstadt protestors seem like
white agents but really they were loyal socialists who felt betrayed
by Lenin's government.
· Scared by their increasing demands and numbers, Trotsky ordered the
red army to crush them.
· When the last ultimatum was rejects by the protestors, 60,000 Red
troops stormed Kronstadt. The workers/Sailor fought back savagely
before they were overcome.
· Leaders who escaped were hunted down and executed. Lenin justified
this by saying the rising was the work of the bourgeois enemies of the
· Lenin had learned something however when decided to lessen the
rigours of War Communism in order to avoid another rising.
· This was the prelude to the introduction of the NEP, designed to
reduce famine and opposition to the party.
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