Bolsheviks' Power 1917-1924
The Bolsheviks were a communist party, after the tsar, who believed
that all classes in society should be fair and equal. Therefore they
wanted to demolish the elites and the bourgeois and distribute their
land and money amongst the workers and the peasants. The Bolsheviks
were prepared to use any means to retain power and their slogan became
'all power to the soviets'.
When the results of the constituent assembly were revealed the SR's
(Social Revolutionaries) came out on top. This was mainly due to the
tremendous support in rural areas. Although, the Bolsheviks had the
majority vote in places of importance such as Moscow and Petrograd and
were backed by the military. 10 millions people had voted for the
Bolsheviks, a considerable amount. This led Lenin to negotiate a
coalition. He soon split the SR party and claimed that the vast
majority of people were represented. This was when Lenin dissolved the
However, a coalition meant that not all members would be loyal to the
Bolsheviks. So, to keep members complaisant, the CHEKA were formed.
The CHEKA were supposedly a 'secret police' force, but the CHEKA soon
turned to terrorising and murdering not just Bolshevik enemies and
unfaithful party members, but their friends and family as well.
When the civil war started, the violence and terror used by the CHEKA
soon became known as the 'red terror'.
When the communist party were rising to power in 1918 people of the
elite classes decided to set up the white army to fight the up and
coming revolution. Armies were set up in other countries and all over
Russia, for a while it looked like the Reds, made up of workers and
peasants, had no chance. But when the red terror developed things
began to change. People from other parties, with non-Bolshevik
beliefs, were executed. These were usually landowners, business owners
and the bourgeois.
Trotsky was the superb leader of the red army. He inflicted fear into
the minds of the soldiers with orders such as, 'every soldiers who
voluntarily deserts his post will be shot'. Trotsky also supported the
army on the fronts. His personal train, which became known as the
armoured train, carried supplies such as ammunition and new uniforms
for the reds. Trotsky was also an expert propagandist, he used the
fact that The Whites were so weak and undisciplined in his posters and