History of Soviet Union Part 1

From the overthrow of the tsarist rule to the establishment of the USSR

Even before the February Revolution, which emerged spontaneously from strikes and demonstrations in Petrograd (today Saint Petersburg), on November 2nd (15th) 1917 led to the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, two new centers of power had formed in Russia: the Provisional Government that emerged from the Duma under the liberal Prime Minister G. J. Prince Lwow and the Petrograd Soviet, acting on behalf of the workers and soldiers, in which the moderate Socialists, Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries held the majority. This bipolar structure has gone down in history under the term “dual power”, although the two institutions did not compete for power. The Soviet limited itself to controlling the government and exerting reform pressure on it, but shied away from an immediate seizure of power.

The Provisional Government was unable to solve the most pressing problems: end the war, carry out land reform, improve the social situation of the workers and the supplies of the starving cities, and call a constituent assembly. Regardless of the state of war between the two states, Lenin returned to Petrograd with German help in April 1917 from his exile in Switzerland. In his April theses he formulated a radical alternative program (“All power to the Soviets”). With the help of a “left bloc” made up of several radical socialist and anarchist groups, the Bolsheviks had a majority in the Petrograd Soviet in September / October 1917. The new chairman of the Soviet, L. D. Trotsky, founded a “Military Revolutionary Committee for Defense against Counterrevolutionary Dangers”, which prepared an armed uprising against the Provisional Government for October 25th (November 7th) 1917, the day of the convening of the II All-Russian Congress of Soviets.

After the successful overthrow (October Revolution), the Bolsheviks, legitimized by the II All-Russian Congress of Soviets, took power in Russia. According to internetsailors, the “Council of People’s Commissars” was constituted under Lenin’s leadership. LD Trotsky (external relations) and Stalin (nationality issues) belonged to. Lenin led the government on the basis of decrees of the II All-Russian Congress of Soviets not only negotiated an immediate armistice, but pushed for a complete transformation of society (decree on “land”, which provided for the expropriation of property and church land without compensation). On the basis of further decrees, it nationalized the banks, decreed the separation of church and state and restricted the freedom of the press. In January 1918 the Soviet government forcibly dissolved the “Constituent Assembly” elected in November and December 1917, in which the Bolsheviks only had 175 out of 707 members. A bourgeois parliamentary democracy was rejected in favor of the council system. In March 1918, the Soviet government moved from Petrograd to Moscow. On July 10th, 1918 the V. All-Russian Congress of Soviets adopts the constitution of the “Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic” (RSFSR). With the one created in December 1917 Cheka, headed by F. E. Dzerzhinsky, the Soviet government created an instrument of “red terror”. The first concentration camps were established as early as 1918, and thousands of alleged “counter-revolutionaries” were taken hostage, arrested or shot. Bourgeois parties (e.g. the Cadets) were banned, the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries were excluded from the Soviets. The left Social Revolutionaries, who had formed a coalition government with the Bolsheviks by mid-March 1918, were accused of attempting an uprising in July 1918 and made illegal.

After the February Revolution, a process of national decomposition began in the former tsarist empire. Initially only the Poles had demanded state independence and received it in March 1917, similar demands were made among other nationalities. After the Soviet government had recognized not only equality with the Russian nation but also the full right of self-determination in the “Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia” in November 1917, at least in letter, the Finns, Ukrainians and Baltic peoples as well as the Georgians declared Armenians and Azerbaijanis their independence. The bourgeois, The moderate socialist government of Ukraine (Central Rada) took advantage of the separate peace negotiations between the Central Powers and Soviet Russia from late December 1917 to early February 1918 in Brest-Litovsk and concluded a separate peace with the Central Powers on 9 February 1918. Explained the following day LD Trotsky that the Soviet power was ending the state of war unilaterally, demobilizing all armed forces, but refusing to sign an annexionist peace treaty. The Central Powers then resumed the arms trade. In the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks, but also in the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets, there were disputes v. a. between supporters of war, namely all political parties including the “left communists” around NI Bukharin , and supporters of peace around Lenin. Lenin asserted his position by threatening to resign, by group pressure and manipulation. On March 3rd, 1918 the peace of Brest-Litovsk was concluded (Brest).

History of Soviet Union 1