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Russian Civil War

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CIVIL WAR EVENTS

- the Brest Litovsk Treaty (March 1918) was negotiated by Trotsky….he and he Bolsheivks wanted the int’l rev to spread and so from their vantage point the treaty were “stalling tactics”…the treaty gave up Poland, Baltics, and all territory in the North that Russia had gained since 1618…all told 1.3 mill km2, 26% of her people and 75% of her iron and capacity…needless to say Lenin had hard time “selling” the Treaty

- the October coup d’état = “beginning of the Revolution” not end….Bolsheviks in the provinces + the centre had to be decide how to handle local Soviets which asserted authority but happened to be dominated by Mensheviks.
- long difficult struggles against anarchy, decentralization + separatist tendencies lay ahead – the future form of gov’t = an “open question”

- for Lenin, “Dictatorship of proletariat” was what the revolution needed…now this was a slogan and principle that fit into the circumstances of the winter 1917–1918…but, what did it mean?...it meant:
a) crushing counter revolution of the old ruling class – the dictatorship would have to have coercive organs like Tsarist police (i.e. the Bolsheviks would assemble the Cheka)
b) that the dictatorship of Bolshevik Party and other political parties was incompatible…and would pose problems
c) that giving broad powers to unions + factory committees could in itself be problematic… what if worker ideas differed from Bolsheviks?

Problems for the Bolsheviks 1) one underlying problem came in that the Bolsheviks considered themselves to be a part of an international proletarian revolution….and they hoped their success in Russia could helped spark similar success in Germany for example…indeed, many believed they couldn’t survive without them.
2) another issue = that of territorial boundaries of new Soviet Republic….before the WWI Lenin endorsed “nat’l...

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