4) What were the problems facing Lenin after the October Revolution and how successfully did he deal with them?
The initial difficulties faced by the new Soviet Union were so severe that its survival seemed almost miraculous" . The remains of the czarist regime left Lenin to face a country wrought with war, devastated economically. Russia's involvement in World War I, followed by its Civil War, wide spread famine and a change in political and social ideology were the problems confronting Lenin after the October Revolution. Lenin did succeed in ending both the war with Germany and the Civil War for Russia. Yet, the economic and social aspects of the revolution can be more critically assessed.
Lenin knew the importance of ending Russian involvement in World War I. On March 3, 1918 Russia lost 1/3 of its fertile farm lands, 1/3 of its population, 2/3 of its coal mines and oil fields and 1/2 of its heavy industry to German peace terms.
Though the treaty of Brest-Litovsk was harsh, the terms were annulled once the Allied powers defeated Germany. Lenin managed to end the war that had for so long depressed Russia's resources and morale. He succeeded in focusing on the severe internal problems of the new government, and in "saving the socialist republic" . One of the largest problems that Russia faced prior to the October Revolution was finally ended, though its effects were still to be felt.
Almost immediately afterwards, in 1918, Civil War begins. The battling White Army divided amongst different leaders and interests left the Red Army, led by Trotsky victorious. Lenin does succeed in eliminating opposition to the Soviet Union in November of 1920. As in the case of the World War, a simple end to the fighting did not signify an end to...