How Far Were Lenin's Policies Implemented After WW

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

Downloaded 10 times

HOW FAR WERE LENIN'S IDEAS PUT INTO PRACTICE AFTER WORLD WAR I? During the revolution, Bolshevik slogans such as 'Peace, Bread and Land' and 'All power to the Soviets!' won the support of the masses. Such pledges formed the basis of the Bolshevik Party programme, as clarified by Lenin in his April Thesis. In this speech, Lenin urged that no co-operation be shown with the Provisional Government. Instead he called for the Soviets to unite to form a new government. He also called for an end to the war, the nationalisation of land and banks and the abolition of the police force, the Army and the bureaucracy. To depose a government which could barely be said to exist or govern proved to be the easiest part of the Bolshevik's task. To carry out their programme and hold together a fragile and vulnerable country whose disintegration had created the conditions of their rise and success was another matter altogether.

Land reform was well underway before the war was ended as Lenin had introduced the Decree on Land in November 1917. This abolished all private property and placed it in the hands of peasant committees. 540 million acres of land were taken from the Tsar, the nobles, the church and other landlords and responsibility to oversee the redistribution of these estates was given to local peasant soviets. No compensation was given for this expropriation of all non-peasant land.

Thus Lenin had begun the process of land nationalisation set out in his April Thesis and increased the power of the soviets. The Bolsheviks certainly claimed great credit for their land policy (which had been stolen from the SR's). However, it is possible to question the level of control that the Bolshevik party had in resolving the land issue. In effect the decree...