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HIS351 October 1 - October 1917

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Professor Bernstein

HIS351 – October 1, 2012 1 October Revolution: Events and Interpretations  Lenin and the Bolsheviks  Outline the October Revolution  First Steps of the new regime Origins of Bolshevism  Plekhanov o Populist turned Marxist o Breaks with populists over terrorism and peasantry o First real Russian marxist o 2 main issues with the populists  Thought the working class not the peasants would be the basis of revolution in Russia  Saw terrorism as not the most productive way to create a revolution and a new order  Emancipation of Labour (1883) o Pavel Axelrold, Zasulich o First Russian Marxist group  First Congress of Social Democratic Party o Minsk, 1898 o First real congress based on Marxism o Only 7 - 9 Marxists and it didn't amount to any real organization within Russia of Russian Marxists  Iskra (The Spark) was the brain child of Lenin o It was the Marxist newspaper that was the early focus of the Russian Marxists movement o First issue, December 1900 o The main aim was to organize a congress that would be the Marxist party for Russia  Schism o Second Congress of Social Democrats: Schism  Martov:Membership as 'association'  Lenin: Define membership strictly o Lenin wins after Bund walks out (unrelated issues) o Lenin forms 'Bolsheviks' (majority)  Martov forms 'Menshevisk" (minority) o Plekhanov and Lenin split o Bund = Jewish socialst organization HIS351 – October 1, 2012 2  They were separate, and at odds with Lenin and Martov who were also at odds with each other  What is Bolshevism? o Lenin, What is to be Done?  Stress on organization  Centralized professional revolutionaries o Historiographical approaches  Traditional: blueprint for revolution  Revisionist: response to tsarist repression  Post-revisionist: combination of spontaneity and consciousness  Assessment of Lenin o Understands Russia  Willing to adapt Marxism to Russian conditions  Follows masses as much as leads  Not as dogmatic as other intellectuals o Was he a dictator?  Dominated party  Persuasion and politics  Undisputed leader  Trotsky o Reputation equal to Lenin o Interdistrict Menshevik until 1917  Tried to bring the party together again  Joined the Bolsh
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