The Bolshevik Revolution


The Bolshevik Revolution Essay, Research Paper

The painting was done in the 1920?s some time

after the actual event making it secondary evidence. To a certain extent it is

historically accurate because the storming of the Winter Palace did take place

but it is inaccurate as there was not a great struggle between the Bolsheviks

and Provisional Government. The only Provisional Government soldiers present

that night were a women?s battalion because the Russian soldiers were fighting

in the war. ?This is

obviously propaganda by the artist who shows a lot of resistance in his

painting. This is because the Bolsheviks believed it was their job to create a

revolution, and although they respected Karl Marx did not want it to happen as

he said. We can see that the source is quite unreliable because of what it

tells us about the Storming of the Winter Palace and how it portrays the

Bolsheviks. It was obviously painted by a Bolshevik supporter because of these

reasons.Source B was done in 1917 . It is Primary

evidence. It is a cartoon that shows a woman representing mother Russian

dressed in Greek Orthodox robes about to be sacrificed by Lenin and Trotsky,

the ?tools? to make a 1917 revolution. Alexander Kerensky the leader of the

provisional government is stood well back doing nothing. He is neutral, not

portrayed as being on either side. Also looking on are two of Lenin?s soldiers,

some Red Guards and some Jews shown by their biblical 50 pieces of silver.The cartoon gives the impression that Russia

will be destroyed by Lenin and Trotsky Lenin. Kerensky did nothing to ease the

situation and he does not really do much – he became more European with his

views. It is him the Red Guards are laughing at? – they are made to look nasty by the artist, because they are the

enemy. The cartoonist is a supporter of the Whites because he makes the enemy

look evil and bad for Russia and are shown to be very powerful. The peasants

who are being ignored in the background are there to have shown the peasants at

the time that the Bolsheviks would not have given them what they wanted. However the impression given is purely the

artist?s opinions as the cartoon was drawn in 1917 before any of the events

took place.Question 2Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Provisional

government in 1917 at the time of the Bolshevik revolution. Source C is an

extract of an account written by him in 1932 describing what was happening at

that time. Although this evidence is quite reliable as it was written by

someone right in the middle of it all?

and can be classed as historically accurate; I would say it may be

slightly distorted because it was written years afterwards and Kerensky did not

want to go down in history as the person who failed to stop the Bolsheviks.

This means he did not want to look bad so the source is biased. He would want

to defend the policies of his provisional government and although he was the

leader and knew very well what went wrong?

I think he is making excuses for his government.For example he says; ? Only armed forces by the

Bolsheviks overcame the Provisional Government.? This shows that he was biased

because there was hardly any resistance and there was no conflicts with any

armed forces. The Bolsheviks came to power because they had more to offer Russia.Kerensky tell us of ?slow, but steady success.?

However the statistics are against him because the number of peasant uprisings

since 1915 had quadrupled. In my opinion Kerensky was making the situation

seem much less revolutionary or serious that it realistically was. There may

have been some ?success? but that really is irrelevant and overpowered by the

fact that he still failed to defeat the Bolsheviks and win the war.I don?t think source C is reliable due to the

time it was written and Kerensky concerned about his historical status. Also by

the time he wrote it, the revolution happened so long ago he thought it

probably didn?t matter what he wrote because it was indeed history. Kerensky?s

attitude and Ignorance towards the Bolsheviks also contribute to the

reliability of this source.Question 3 ?In this

source Lenin shows the amount of control The Bolsheviks have over Russia and

think that they should take over the country. He says they have ?support? from

the population and this is reinforced as the army have just given up their

weapons to the Red guards. Lenin thinks they should not wait for the

Constituent Assembly because it would be too late.The writers of source E think that the whole

future of the revolution and the Bolsheviks could be sacrificed and it could go

either way. Their opinions are the exact opposite to Lenin?s, according to them

the street fighting and following the revolution mood ?does not exist.? However

they have no evidence to back this up unlike Lenin who did.In source F the author says that the

disagreement of Kamenev and Zinoviev angers Lenin because he believes the time

is right and they do not. But the author is objective and unbiased, taking no

sides.Question 4 I disagree with this statement because Soskice

knew all about the Provisional Government and what they did wrong so is equally

to blame regardless of whether he knew of the Bolsheviks plans. He says ?little effort? was given by the

government to resist the Bolsheviks, so he is aware of their errors in that

area and this is one of the key factors which enabled them to take power. In

the evidence, Soskice shows that he knows a lot about how the Bolsheviks came

to power and why their plans succeeded. For example he knew that Lenin told the

army lies concerning Kerensky and that the army joined with the Bolsheviks. He

says he knew all this from ?military authorities? which shows he had access to

information. Therefore I disagree with the statement because as secretary and

Special Correspondent of the Provisional Government Soskice was in a position

to gather a lot of information.Question 5 In my opinion Reed is saying that the

Bolsheviks seized power at the right time. This is shown in the votes because

they had the lowest percentage in June then in September the highest. Reed

thinks it was the right time because the Bolsheviks were the favourites. He may

have been stressing the fact that Karl Marx was right and it was supposed to

happen then like Marx said it would. On the other hand Reed may have

intentionally chosen those figures and left out any negative results to show

his point of view. Basically it is propaganda who?s function was to tilt people

into believing in the Marxist theory. Question 6 Lenin is described as a ?professional

revolutionary? in source I, and also a key role in the revolution. The author

says that Lenin, ?had no other occupation? and that it was his deliberate

intention to start a revolution. The author does not show any approval of

Lenin?s methods but says Lenin?s public image helped him to gain such support. The author of source J credits only Lenin and

no one else for the timing of the revolution, he deems him, ?entirely

responsible.? This shows the writer thinks Lenin was the man behind it all and

he was an important player. The source shows he does not believe in Marx?s

writing.The author of source K does not believe that

the entire revolution was down to Lenin. He says that Lenin ? could not have

done…everything.? He agrees that, yes Lenin was an important factor but we

cannot put it all down to one man.Lenin is not even mentioned in Source L so the

writer cannot think too highly of Lenin?s role in the revolution. He says that

the armed forces took most of the action, ?the Petrograd garrison and the Red

Guards? took ?direct Military action to bring about the over – throw of the

Provisional Government.?The theory that Lenin played a big role in the

revolution is agreed by sources I, J and K however they differ as to what

extent. I and J believe that it was all Lenin, where as K is slightly more

realistic in saying that it could not have all been down to Lenin. Source L has

a completely different view to the others because it does not say that Lenin

had any involvement.Question 7 Source M?s view of the Czar is that he is

leader of Russian but ignoring the needs of its people. The Czar is represented

and a skeleton with an eagle on its shoulder, representing Russia. There is

also a man in the picture? with a

petition in his hand, crushing the bear who also represents Russia. The petition

is symbolic of the needs of the people. The title of the Sketch is ?The Czar of all

Russia?s? which implies that there were all the different classes in Russia at

that time all supporting and controlled by the Czar. The peasant who could be

Gabon looks dead and the Czar is sitting on the throne, I think this shows the

people loyalty to the Czar even when he was not ruling the country efficiently.Many things are shown to the British public in

this cartoon. The fact that Russia was way behind the rest of Europe because

they were ruled by a king and queen and the other countries were all ruled by

politicians and the royal families had no power. The cartoonist is expressing

the view that Russia?s system was old, unsophisticated and un civilised and

most of all unfair to its people. The only reason why the Czar survived in 1905

and Kerensky?s government did not in 1917 was the peoples loyalty to their

country?s monarch. It was a tradition that had been around for a long time and

the provisional government was relatively new in its day so did not have so

much support. Also the army had been on hand in 1905 but in 1917 there was very

little resistance.The Duma was formed by the Czar to keep the

Russian middle classes happy which also helped a lot with the problems at that

time. The cause of the 1905 revolution was peasants not receiving their demands

however they wanted the Czar to stay. But in 1917 there was not a Czar and the

peasants went to whoever gave them what they wanted which was Bolsheviks. No one

was Loyal to the Provisional government compared to the loyalty shown to the

Czar. There was no protection in 1917 from the Bolsheviks and the people of

Russia wanted the Bolsheviks to seize power.Question 8 In both the sources shown and also throughout

recent times there has been much dispute over the role of Lenin in the Russian

Revolution of 1917.Source A shows us a great battle of which Lenin

was the instigator. It is propaganda used to show the artists views.Source B shows Lenin as a powerful man who

along with Trotsky the author believes is about to destroy Russia. By wielding

the dagger he is shown as the person most responsible for the revolution and

the one with the biggest influence.Kerensky, the author of source C thinks the

armed forces were more effective than Lenin in Bringing about the revolution.

He believes it was all about pure strength rather than his government being a

failure.Source G does not even mention Lenin when

talking about the revolution, Soskice describes mainly ?the troops?. Soskice,

like Kerensky believes the armed forces actions were more important than those

of Lenin and contributed more towards the revolution.Source H?s statistics are to show that the

timing of the revolution was perfect, Lenin really strived to reach his goal of

revolution by warding off Kamenev and Zinoviev as sources D, E and F tell us.

It shows that J. Reed believes the role of Lenin was significant.I, J and K all think Lenin?s role was important

because he is described as a ?professional? and that the revolution was

entirely down to him. Although they all differ at what extent.A number of causes are given in source L but it

does give the impression that the revolution was more Lenin?s fault.There is a lot of arguments over how, exactly, the

revolution was won so that is why there is so much dispute over the role of

Lenin in the Revolution. Many people say he was the driving force and if he had

not have returned from Finland it would never have happened however others

believe it was inevitable, with or without Lenin because of Marx?s Theory.Other sources do not give Lenin any credit

whatsoever these are mainly leaders of the Provisional government who are

trying to make themselves look better and protect their policies and not get

into the question of whether Lenin was a better leader.It is amazing that the opinions differ so

greatly for an event which took place less than 100 years ago. Some people say

it was all Lenin, others say it was nothing to do with him. There are so many

aspects as to why the revolution worked and if the success was down to Lenin or

not that people are divided. That is why there is so much disagreement over the

role of Lenin.

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