Analysis of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the Events Surrounding It.

Essay by tonex5University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2005

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There were several major sources of conflict between the Bolsheviks and the western states in Europe between 1917 and 1921. Conflicting ideologies that each attacked the core of each other's respective society led to the notion that Capitalism and Communism could not coexist. The attempts of both actors to hold control of their own political system and to expand their political ideas internationally led to major conflicts between them. Also, the lack of respect for the upstart of the Bolshevik government by the west led to misperceptions concerning the actions of the Soviets. The fundamental difference between Russia and Europe was extremely contrasting views in ideology.

The modernization of politics in the late 1800's and early 1900's had created political movements to ameliorate the lives of the common people. Leading states of Europe such as France and Britain began to take the path of "social democracy" in which the working class would be given a voice through parliamentary elections.

Also by organizing the proletariat through trade unions, social democracy allowed for collective bargaining to lead to improvements in working conditions, pay, benefits, and other factors that helped to limit the exploitation of lower class labor. On the other hand, the Bolshevik model for serving in the best interests of the common people was not to raise the level of the proletariat by giving them more rights and a stronger political voice, but to bring down the upper class that was exploiting them by destroying the caste system altogether. "The goal of Bolshevism was to use a governing body to place the masses into one equal social class where everybody would work equally for the advancement of society as a whole" (Nevsky 2).

Communism under the direction of Vladimir Lenin called for the abolishment of private property and the nationalism of...