I. Overview, What were the aims of Soviet foreign policy under Lenin?
- In the new Bolshevik government Trotsky was made Commissar of Foreign Affairs.
- Taking Russia out of the First World War had been a major Bolshevik pledge and the Decree on Peace, which called for an immediate truce and a just peace, was issued in October 1917. It, however, brought no response from the major powers fighting the war.
- Hence, a separate treaty was signed involving only Russia and Germany due to Lenin's insistence. It was known as the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
- Hopes of world revolution were put on hold as the Bolsheviks sought for their survival in the Civil War. Nevertheless, Lenin was convinced the revolution would spread.
- Lenin's main aim in terms of foreign policy was to divide the imperialist countries and prevent them from forming a capitalist bloc against the Soviet Union.
II. Why did the Comintern exist and what problems did it prevent?
- January 1919 Lenin called for an international congress of revolutionary socialists. In March of the same year 35 groups met in Moscow forming Comintern.
- Comintern which intended to fight "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State."
- Comintern soon drew up 21 conditions for its members, a few are as follows:
Communist parties had to be organized on Leninist principles of centralization and discipline
Parties had to prepare for civil war by establishing an underground organization, by spreading revolutionary propaganda among the proletariat, peasantry and armed forces, and by setting up cells in trade unions and other worker organizations
Party programs had to be approved by the...