How Far Do You Agree That Trotsky’s Leadership of the Red Army Was Responsible for the Survival of the Bolshevik Government? (30 Marks)

1477 Words Mar 3rd, 2015 6 Pages
How far do you agree that Trotsky’s leadership of the Red Army was responsible for the survival of the Bolshevik government? (30 marks)
There were many factors that contributed to the survival of the Bolshevik Government, ranging from Trotsky’s leadership of the Red Army to the failings of the Bolsheviks’ rivals for power. This essay shows that the main reason for the Bolsheviks’ continued survival through the period was not Trotsky’s great leadership of the Red Army, but the opposition’s mistakes and failings. This will be demonstrated by analysing the key factors leading to the survival of the Bolshevik Government: Trotsky’s leadership; Lenin’s leadership; The Bolsheviks’ geographical advantage; and finally the Bolsheviks’ enemies’
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Further suppression of the workers also occurred under War Communism through the ending of workers’ control in factories, which was replaced by the traditional “one man management”. Also introduced were internal passports designed to stop workers fleeing to the countryside. This suppressed any chance of internal revolution from the workers and also increased armaments production. This helped the Bolshevik Government to survive as it meant that the Red Army forces could focus entirely upon external threats to Bolshevik rule. Grain requisitioning was also introduced under War Communism; this entailed taking grain from farmers where needed, although in practice this often became straightforward extortion of grain. This part of War communism both helped and hindered the survival of the Bolshevik Government; whilst it was the only way to feed the ever expanding Red Army, it simultaneously angered the peasants.
When the Civil War ended, Trotsky, among many other Bolsheviks, wanted to continue the policy of War Communism; however, Lenin realised this would anger the peasants and so he enforced the New Economic Policy, in which he conceded some Marxist ideals, primarily by allowing small businesses to be independent. Lenin realised that the New Economic Policy was needed in order to appease the peasants and stop any revolt that might be brewing, thereby reducing any threat to the Bolshevik Government and helping it to

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