POLI 329 Lecture Notes - War Communism, Basmachi Movement, Czechoslovak Legion

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14 Apr 2012
January 16
- Soviets trying to implement a certain ideology under difficult circumstances,
October 1917, the Bolsheviks take power after deposing the provisional
- Face a number of challenges, first how to put the theory into practice while
holding onto power at all costs
- Somehow need to gather power among opposition
- 5 key areas for Bolsheviks:
- 1) Political System-
o Form a council of Commissars
o Allow voting for the Constituent Assembly
o Still lost, 58% of the vote went to the SR Party, Leftist party that had
its roots in the peasantry, Russia was still heavily agricultural,
Bolsheviks come in at distant 2nd with 25% of the vote
o Bolsheviks disband the Constituent Assembly, make enemies with
parties that have similar positions
o Cheka, the secret police that turns into the KGB
- 2) Economic System
o Decree On Land, which abolishes landlord property
o Early attempt at collectivization, which was primarily voluntarily
o Workers will decide how to run affairs in the factories
o Nationalize the commanding heights, aka the banks and the financial
- 3) The National Issue
o Over 100 different ethnic groups in the Russian Empire
o Declaration of the Rights of People of Russia, different groups had
right to national self-determination
o Lenin and the Bolsheviks promoted national self-determination
because they thought it would be short-term since the main cleavages
were those of class, not race or ethnicity
- 4) Socio-cultural Policies
o Military Officers
o People’s Courts, a jurisprudence system based more on peers than
selected judges
o Increasing equality of the sexes, in divorce men and women had same
rights to property
o Changed the calendar and the alphabet, to the Julian Calendar used in
- 5) WWI
o This is what really kicked off the civil war
o The Bolsheviks had been campaigning on the promise to get Russia
out of WWI
o Not a clash of nation vs. nation, actually a clash of bourgeois classes
against each other fighting for control over resources and weaker
o First thing they try to do is foment the world revolution
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