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October (1917).pdf

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University of Ottawa
Corinne Gaudin

Lenin'sAprilThesis • The other important thing from 1917April was that Lenin came home to Russia • April 3rd Lenin gets off his train in Petrograd and gave his first speech which was his speech on the situation • The points of this speech were known as the ril thesis ⿞It was a rejection of the two phase revolution ⿞He said that Bolshevicks should not cooperate with the provisional government ⿞The Bolshevicks should push to pass directly to the phase of building socialism ⿞This would be a good idea because Lenin thought that if there was a proletarian revolution in Russia it would serve as the spark to awaken revolution in those countries that were historically right ⿞These advanced industrial nations that were ready for revolution • What did that mean in concrete terms? Peace,Land,Power to the People ⿞Immediate confiscation of private land and redistribution to the peasants ⿞Immediate end to the war and beginning of peace negotiations ‣ He rejected revolutionary defensism ⿞All power to the soviets ‣ So the workers,the peasants,soldiers,any soviet ‣ This was interpreted as a version of direct democracy by local councils of the poeple • This is important because he is rejecting the Petrograd soviet • Condemned leaving power in the hands of the provisional government • But many of Lenin's colleagues thought he was nuts • Lenin had to persuade the Bolshevicks until they agreed with his view • So at this point in time he is not a dictator of the party,until July 1917 he was unable to get his articles published in the main Bolshevik publication Pravda • Yet,later on this position would become the main position of the party.How do we get there? ⿞Increasing popular radicalisation and discontent with the policies of the provisional government ⿞In the course of the summer the Bolshevicks started to win more seats in the local soviets ⿞This came around with key groups in population turning against provisional government and the position of the Petrograd soviet • Why? ⿞TheWar and Soldiers ‣ The war was not going well and the provisional govt knew they had to end the war ‣ In June Kerensky (SR) minister of war felt that one last offensive would break through the German lines and win the war for good,began in June but failed terribly ‣ This only exacerbated discontent among the soldiers who were already politicised and organised,so discipline and order broke down on the front,and there was also an uprising of soldiers in Petrograd ‣ They protested against the provisional govt and called for all power to the soviets ‣ These are known as the July days,mass demonstration in Petrograd which did not go well for the demonstrators,as enough soldiers were loyal to govt and uprising was put down ‣ And the Bolshevicks were severely silenced,Lenin fleed,others were arrested ‣ But their fortune would change after July,this is when Lenin's argument that it is a war of capitalists began to pay off,it was the only party to openly oppose the war ‣ So as soldiers increasingly got fed up,increasing members began to vote with their feet and abandon the front and come home ⿞The Economy andWorkers ‣ The economy isn't getting any better,it's actually getting worse ‣ Inflation was out of hand,and was cancelling out significant salary increases that had been conceded in March ‣ Shortages of food continued ‣ And there were growing shortages of primary materials for the factories,a BIG DEAL ‣ Coal was very hard to get,as the mining was close to the front,so the major new factories in Petrograd had to shut down because of lack of fuel ‣ So the workers aren't happy and begin to suspect that the owners are lying ‣ The owners just want to starve the workers out to kill the workers movements - not true • They want to lose the war to return the monarchy ‣ So workers begin to essentially take over factories in some cases ‣ All of these things happening led to prove Lenin's thesis that the provisional government was capitalist ⿞Land and Peasants ‣ What happened in the countryside ‣ After February the govt had established committees throughout Russia that were supposed to administer the countryside temporarily until elections had a constituent assembly,so maintain order ‣ At first peasants went along with this,set up their own soviets but these went along with the committees ‣ By spring the peasents were impatient,beginning of agricultural season,so peasents start to spontaneously embark on land reform from below ‣ The provisional govt condemns these and says they have to wait,land is private property and cannot be taken and redist
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