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The Soviet Union under Lenin 1917-1924

Key Questions Activities Resources
How did the Bolsheviks consolidate state power 1917-21? Lectures and note taking activity based around Oxley.
How did Russia become a single-party state? Lectures and notemaking on:
Importance of Lenin's ideological conviction, Sovnarkom, the army, Cheka and dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, impact of Brest-Litovsk and suppression of opposition. 
Begin with Oxley (113-117) but supplement notes on Lenin's 'Terror' with Lynch (117-121). You may wish to make a note of the Kronstadt Rising of 1921 in this context. 

Darby - Chapter 6

Mason (111-113) as usual gives an excellent summary of the main points. It also includes a brief summary of the main 'positive' social changes introduced by Lenin. 

Why was there a civil war in Russia?

What were the main events of the Civil War?

Why did the Bolsheviks win the Civil War?

Comparisons made with later civil wars in Spain and China. (Paper 2 style questions)
Lectures and notemaking on: 

Why was there a civil war in Russia? Collapse of the Russian Empire, political opposition, allied opposition, breakdown of law and order, food requisitioning (Kulaks).

What were the main events of the Civil War? Brief notes of the four phases of the war.

Why did the Bolsheviks win the Civil War? Bolshevik strengths: The Red Army, munitions and manpower, commitment, terror, control of railways and Trotsky. White weaknesses: allied help, White divisions, lack of cooperation, lack of commitment. 

Oxley (117-126). A simple description of the main events of the Civil War is available in Darby (112-13). 

A good but more detailed narrative is available in Lynch (108-16)

Mason (114-115) has an excellent diagram five factors to explain the reasons for Bolshevik success. 

Remember that essay questions are likely to be focused on causes of the war and reasons for Bolshevik success.

How did the Bolsheviks change Russia 1917-24?

How did the Bolsheviks create a 'communist' economy? 

Was the motivation for economic development pragmatic or ideological?

There were three stages in Lenin's economic strategy after 1917 (i) State Capitalism 1917-18 (ii) War Communism 1918-21 (iii) NEP  Lynch Chapter 7 (128-141) 
Conclusion: How were the Bolsheviks able to hold on to and consolidate state power? Essay. Have a close look at Darby's factors: 
  1. Bolsheviks self-belief, ruthless determination
  2. Divisions in opposition
  3. Support for Bolsheviks
  4. The Civil War (crucial factor)
  5. Concession to a mixed economy.
Darby (esp. 121-126)