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Bolshevik Power In Russia

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The Great October Revolution was a key turning point in Russian history. It caused a great upheaval in how the Russian government was run and how it was viewed. The great October Revolution was successful for several different reasons. The first and brightest reason was the strength of the Bolshevik leadership, most notably V. I. Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin. The second of these reasons was the proletarian class and their support of the Bolshevik party and the revolution. The final reason for Bolshevik success was the overwhelming influence that the Bolshevik leaders had over the proletarian class. These three items were all essential elements in the Bolshevik victory.
Mary Mcauley in her book Soviet Politics 1917-1991 voiced these same feelings on page one of her book stating, "The Bolsheviks, a working class party with a small group of intellectuals among this leadership, came to power in the major industrial centres [sic] with the support of the rank and file soldiers and the industrial workers" (1).
Victor Serge and Natalia Sedova note in their book The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky that Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin all three were in favor of the Bolshevik revolutionary platform. Several of the Bolshevik party lines were directly influenced by the Parties strong belief in the proletarian class ( ). These men felt that the workers should be in direct control of production and distribution in the factories, banks and the industries that the Bolshevik party deemed necessary to organize. The Bolshevik leadership also felt the pain of the proletarian class and their struggle against the repression from the Tsarist regime. This in turn caused the Bolshevik party to end this repression, upon their victory, and halt all death penalties against military members that had committed crimes. The Bolshevik party also felt that the proletarian class had a right to bare and keep arms, and that a classless society should be established thus putting an end to the noble class ( ). Serge and Sedova's last topic of the Bolshevik platform states that this platform had a tremendous impact on the proletarian class. This topic called for the reduction of the working day to eight hours and to initiate a program that resembles what we know as the United States Social Security system (50).
The Bolshevik leadership was controlled by V. I. Lenin, in the article The Founding Fathers of Communism Revisited, Paul Hollander writes that Lenin was a tremendous leader. Lenin had two strong characteristics that gave him this exquisite leadership ability. First was his mighty iron will that battered and overwhelmed his opponents. Second was Lenin's steadfast belief that Russia was in dire need of a revolution. Hollander also refers to Lenin as being an "idealist" and a "decent human being" which sincerely strengthened the proletarian support of this revolutionary leader as well as the Bolshevik party. Sheila Fitzpatrick supports Lenin and his revolutionary mind in her book, The Russian Revolution noting that Lenin was the "vanguard" during the revolution for the proletarian class. Lenin, too was the key leader who influenced the workers to take up the revolution for the proletarian class (30-31). A passage by Ignazio Silue in Bertram Wolfe's Three Who Made a Revolution shows that Lenin had the drive and concentration for the revolutionary cause and that, from the worker's vantage point, made Lenin appear to be "extraordinary". Lenin's concentration on the revolution enabled the Bolshevik party and the proletariat to gain power on a daily basis, like one who gambles on a daily basis learns from mistakes and becomes a better gambler, thus achieving a certain stature as time progresses (215). This demonstrates Lenin's belief in the power of the people and that he placed his full attention towards making Russia a better place to live.
Lenin's strong will was seen throughout the pre-Great October Revolution proceedings. An example of this is seen in Ivan Grey's, The Horizon History of Russia, when while in exile Lenin swayed the Bolshevik party by writing and promoting the taking of the Russian government by revolutionary means. Grey continues his discussion writing that Lenin while still in hiding infiltrated Petrograd and persuaded the Bolshevik Central Committee that Russia was in dire need of a revolutionary uprising and that the time for it was immediate (344). According to Gregory Freeze in his book, Russia a History Lenin used his skillful tongue to demand that the Bolshevik party take power immediately in the name of the proletarian class. Lenin had a sense of urgency for this revolution to happen, for he feared that the Provisional government, which had been put in power in February, might become corrupt and turn their temporary democratic government into a dictatorship (341). Lenin continued his oral mastery by convincing all the members of the Bolshevik Central Committee to revolt. This did not prove to be an easy task for Lenin, previously the committee had been split on this view. But Lenin stayed true to his commitment of a proletarian revolution and accomplished this mission. Lenin had instigated a proletarian revolution in a country which had a limited working class, this meant that Russia was not a prime candidate for this type of revolution. But Lenin's success made this an even greater testament to the Bolshevik support of the proletarian class (Freeze 241).
The second of these three key Bolshevik leaders was Leon Trotsky. Theodore Von Laue in Why Stalin? Why Lenin?, states that Lenin was "The Grand Strategist" but Trotsky was "The Grand Stage Manager" of the Great October Revolution. Trotsky was a gifted revolutionary leader who looked at revolution as a form of art not just a military action. Von Laue further states that Trotsky was a remarkable speaker, and that none of the other Bolshevik leaders could hold a candle to his oration skills. Lenin in his own right was a masterful speaker but of the two Trotsky was the best. This ability to speak so brilliantly drew the proletarian class even closer to Trotsky and the Bolshevik revolutionary frame of mind (131). All points of Trotsky's personality led towards revolution and the successful victory of the Great October Revolution (Serge and Sedova).
Trotsky had been the key organizer for the success of the Bolshevik military. According to Hollander, Dimitri Volkoynov spoke of Trotsky and labeled him as being second only to Lenin in the Bolshevik party during the Great October Revolution. This perception gave Trotsky the freedom to direct the Bolshevik military to a successful victory. John Thompson adds to Trotsky's military genius in his work, Russia and the Soviet Union, noting that on the third week of October in 1917 Trotsky was named the chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd in the Bolshevik party. This gave Trotsky total control of the Bolshevik military forces. After Trotsky was placed in charge of the Military Revolutionary Committee party officials were placed within regular Russian military units and given the mandate that, all orders must have their counter signature to be considered official. Thompson adds that this action caused the Provisional government to lose further control of the Russian military. The majority of these troops had already decided not to protect the Provisional government because they were in favor of the Bolshevik party and their idea to conduct a social revolution (Russia and the Soviet Union 195). Upon the initiation of the Great October Revolution, Trotsky marvelously ran the revolutionary forces, forcing his Provisional government counterpart to make costly strategic mistakes which further showed Trotsky's military skills (Russia and the Soviet Union 195).
Joseph Stalin was the third member of this revolutionary trio. Stalin truly believed in Lenin's revolutionary ideas and proceeded to join the Bolshevik party. This bolstered the Bolshevik party even further, adding even more skilled leadership to an already stelar lineup. Stalin's addition made the Bolshevik party even more powerful in the eyes of the proletarian class with this united leadership front.
Stalin first gained notoriety in the Bolshevik party by keeping his nose to the grind-stone, not calling attention to himself and an attitude that anything substandard was not acceptable (Thompson, Russia and ...

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Keywords: bolsheviks seize power in russia, bolshevik takeover of power in russia in 1917, how did the bolsheviks take power in russia, how did lenin take power in russia

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