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>== Essential Question ==
What was Vladimir Lenin's role in the Russian Revolution?
Summary of Research
Vladimir Lenin was a very important person during the Russian Revolution. He was infulenced by his brother, Alexander Ulyanov to be a radical thinker. Alex introduced him to the ideas of Karl Marx before he was executed. Lenin was arrested in university and expelled because of his radical policies and then exiled to Siberia. There he got married and returned to western Europe to emerge as a prominent figure in the international revolutionary movement and become the leader of the 'Bolsheviks' faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party. He introduced the New Economic Policy, a policy that continued for several years after his death.
Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (later known as Lenin) was born in Simbirsk into a well educated family on the Volga River on 22 April 1870. His father, Ilya Ulyanov, a local schools inspector, held conservative views and was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church. Lenin excelled at school and went on to study law. At university, he was exposed to radical thinking, and his views were also influenced by the execution of his elder brother Alexander Ulyanov, who introduced him to the ideas of Karl Marx. Lenin was educated at the Simbirsk Gymnasium. His headmaster was F. I. Kerensky, the father of Alexander Kerensky. Although Lenin despised the conservative views of his teachers he still managed to do well in his examinations.
While at university Lenin became involved in politics. After one protest demonstration he was arrested and taken to the local police station. One of the police officers asked: "Why are you rebelling, young man? After all, there is a wall in front of you." Lenin confidently replied: "The wall is tottering, you only have to push it for it to fall over." Expelled from university for his radical policies, Lenin completed his law degree as an external student in 1891. Lenin practiced as a lawyer for some years in Samara, a port on the Volga river, before moving to St Petersburg in 1893 to become a professional revolutionary. Like many of his contemporaries, he was arrested and exiled to Siberia, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his Siberian exile, Lenin - the pseudonym he adopted in 1901 - spent most of the subsequent decade and a half in western Europe, where he emerged as a prominent figure in the international revolutionary movement and became the leader of the 'Bolshevik' faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party.
In 1917, exhausted by World War One, Russia was ripe for change. Assisted by the Germans, who hoped that he would undermine the Russian war effort, Lenin returned home and started working against the provisional government which had overthrown the tsarist regime. He eventually led what was soon to be known as the October Revolution, but was effectively a coup d'etat. Almost three years of civil war followed. The Bolsheviks were victorious and assumed total control of the country. During this period of revolution, war and famine, Lenin demonstrated a chilling disregard for the sufferings of his fellow countrymen and mercilessly crushed any opposition.
On January 14, 1918, an assassination attempt was made against Lenin’s car in Petrograd by unknown, unrecognizable gunmen. Lenin and Fritz Platten were in the back of the car together, after having given a public speech. When the shooting started, “Platten grabbed Lenin by the head and pushed him down. Platten’s hand was covered in blood, having been grazed by a bullet as he was shielding Lenin.”
Although Lenin was ruthless he was also pragmatic. When his efforts to transform the Russian economy to a socialist model stalled, he introduced the New Economic Policy, where a measure of private enterprise was still permitted, a policy that continued for several years after his death. The assassination attempt in 1918 had affected his long term health was, and in 1922 he suffered a stroke from which he never really recovered. In his declining years, he worried about the bureaucratisation of the regime and also expressed concern over the increasing power of Stalin. Lenin died on 24 January 1924. His corpse was embalmed and placed in a mausoleum on Moscow's Red Square.
Vladimir Lenin was a rebel and a very improtant figure of his time. He and Stalin both had a lot to do with the rise of the Soviet Union. Vladimir had introduced the New Economic Policy which was an economic policy created to prevent the Russian economy from collapsing. It allowed some small businesses to re-open for private profit. Lenin believed strongly in the revolution and dispised the conservative government of his time. He had planned for the revolution to have a good result but because of his unfortunate death, most of his ideas were thrown out. Stalin then took over and bred an even more extreme radicalism and cruelty that resulted in the death of millions of people.
Lenin is best known for his role in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the founding of the Soviet Union. He symbolized for many people the principles and ideas of the 1917 Revolution. In many ways, Lenin turned Marx on his head by placing politics over economics when he argued that Russia had gone through its capitalist stage of history and was ready for a second, socialist revolution. Vladimir also helped to start the "Union for Struggle of the Liberation of the Working Class".
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