With the Bolsheviks it is important to remember that they had many opponents to their power, some who wanted Tsarism back or the Provisional Government or wanted the elections to go through for a Constitutional Assembly, so causing the Civil War. Throughout this they had clear leaders who knew what they were doing and how they were going to get there. However it was the use of violence that lead them to be able to suppress the unrest among the people, win the Civil War, get rid of any threats to power and so keeping them in power.
If they had not used violence then their opponents would have had the upper hand and would instead be in power. Violence was the main way that the Bolsheviks held onto power not just because of its effect but because they used it everywhere within their regime, so using the Cheka, grain requisition, and Red Army and Kronsdat sailors. One way they used violence was the Cheka, they were the secret police that Lenin had created to get rid of any political threats. It is estimated that between their creation and 1921 over 30,000 political “enemies/threats” were killed and many more were imprisoned or tortured.
They would also track down the deserters and either force them to fight or kill them for running away from the war. The Cheka had a big effect on the opposition within the Bolshevik power they were terrified that if they said anything or tried to strike then they would be killed. So this helped them to keep power, as the people obeyed the rules even if they did not completely believe in them, so there seemed to be little unrest. Another way they use violence to keep power was the grain requisitioning.
Bolshevik revolution The Bolshevik revolution occurred in November of 1917, its aim was to create a workers paradise and a dictatorship of the proletariat. By 1930, the Bolsheviks had imposed a totalitarian rule over Russia. This period can be divided into two distinct eras. Firstly, there was the period from 1917-1924, which included the decision to seize power, the civil war and a consolidation ...
This was when they had War Communism in place, this caused the peasants to start hoarding the grain as they did not want to just give it away, and this meant here was not enough for the people in the towns and cities. So the Bolsheviks had to start sending in people to get the grain form the peasants. If any of the peasants tried to resist then they would be shoot or in extreme cases a whole village would be burned down such as the Tambov revolt. Another way they used violence was the Red Army, when the Bolsheviks first created and used the Red Army it was dishevelled to say the least with desertion and unrest among some parts.
Once they had put a proper leader in charge (Trotsky) this changed it became one of the most efficient fighting forces. An example is in October 1919 when Kolchak was pushed out of Omsk and some vital supply territory, which at first had seemed to be the White’s greatest victory so turning around the battle something they had been struggling to do. This allowed the Bolsheviks to be able to win the Civil War by using violence of such force it caused the Whites to retreat and surrender. The final main way they used violence was surrounding the Kronsdat sailors.
They were the most loyal of the Bolshevik supporters and in many fights against the Whites they were the turning point that allowed the Bolsheviks to win. After the Civil War they were unsatisfied with the Bolsheviks and Lenin, and so wanted to create their own idea of communism. When they tried to do this Lenin and the Bolsheviks sent in troops and so crushed the sailors killing at least half of them in 1921. So without violence they would not have been able to do these things and if they had not dealt with these points then they would have not held on to power.
Although violence was the most important factor the Bolsheviks also held onto power because of what they did, how they ran the country and the leader themselves. One way they held onto power was their polices, so improving the Russian economy by increasing their industry and production by allowing the workers to be in charge of the factories because they thought this would make them work harder as they wouldn’t have people in charge who would over work them, so making them want to work less well, but this did not work and production fell, as the gross industrial output went form 100 in 1913 to 31 in 1921.
For millions of years the sun has wrapped the world in it’s warmth and light, providing the necessities for life. Even now we are still finding many uses for the massive amount of energy the sun produces. Light travels to the earth in about eight seconds and is filled with little packets of energy called photons, which make utalizing this solar power possible. There are three main ways to ...
Also economically the Bolsheviks decided to cancel all foreign debts because they did not want to pay out that money and they said they were a new ruling party which should not have to take on the problems of the old, this allowed them to invest more money, so making them seem as trying to help the people. Another way was their land polices they gave land to the peasants to appease them and made the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, by doing all of this it allowed them to keep their promise slogan of peace land and bread as if the economy was improving there should be more food, the land was now shared out more and they were no longer in World War 1.
They also held onto power because they had such good leader as it was Lenin’s idea to make all these polices, so without him it would have not worked and they would have not held onto power if they had come into power at all. Lenin also had great leadership skills and was very clever by being pragmatic, so willing to change his polices when needed so that the communist party could survive the opinions and problems. Also if Lenin hadn’t been in charge then Trotsky wouldn’t have been in his position
Trotsky had immense skill in being able to increase the troop’s morale by going around in an armoured train with loyal troops with food, clothing and ammunition. This gave the troops hope and more morale and making them a better army. So Trotsky leadership had a big effect on the way the Civil War went and if he hadn’t such skill in this are then the Bolsheviks would have surely fallen. This can be linked back to violence as of course it was a war, where violence in the form of fighting was needed. Another way that the Bolsheviks managed to consolidate their power was because the opposition to them was so weak.
This was because they only had one thing in common wanting to over throw the Bolsheviks but because they did not agree completely on anything else, this led to splits among them this meant they could not work effectively as a team. There was also too many officers compared to soldiers this meant there was too many leaders trying to lead not enough men, this lead to an ineffective system. Also the generals often did not like other generals and because of personal mistrust or dislike lead them to being unable to join together to make one big strong army such as Kulchak and Kornilov.
How did the Bolshevisks seize power of the Russia Empire in 1917? They were able to do this as a result of taking advantage of the current political and social situations in the country at the time. Through such decisions as disbanding the army, and siding with the majority, the peasants, though such promises as land, food, equality and peace. Through such events Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, also ...
They also did not have many new recruits for many reasons such as they did not have an appealing image to the masses, because it was seen that they were returning to post Revolution, and a lot of people did not want to go back and the land they occupied was sparsely occupied. Also the area they occupied did not have much industry so they did not have a ready supply of weapons ammunition or even clothes and food. This meant that the relied on foreign support otherwise they would have not be able to fight.
This allowed the Bolsheviks to portray them as unpatriotic so weakening them further. So in conclusion although there were many other factors such as personality, skills, polices, propaganda and weakness of opposition, the main factor was violence because all the other factors used violence throughout to reach their aims. So without violence nothing else would have worked, because even Lenin (with his amazing leadership skill) would not have been able to implement his polices such as War Communism and NEP without using violence to subdue unrest.