Trotsky's Role As A Revolutionary Between 1917 1940. Discuss Trotsky's Role As A Revolutionary In The Period 1917 1940

2246 words - 9 pages

Leon Trotsky's revolutionary role is much a discussed topic amongst historians some believe Trotsky had a significant revolutionary role others believe that Trotsky's Revolutionary role was insignificant in the period between 1917 and 1940.Trotsky had joined the Bolsheviks in July 1917 and from then on he significantly led the Bolsheviks to many successful revolutions.On September 9 the Bolsheviks were able to secure a majority in the Petrograd Soviet, The Bolsheviks then used their numbers to elect Trotsky as the first Bolshevik president of the Petrograd Soviet. With his new status as president of the Petrograd soviet Trotsky called on the Kerensky government to resign immediately and for all power to be transferred to the All Russian Congress of Soviets. With Trotsky as president the Bolsheviks could now plan for an insurrection on behalf of the Soviet itself. As president, Trotsky used his influence to form the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet on October 12. This was run by Trotsky and according to Graeme Gill "Was the means whereby the mechanics of the seizure of power were worked out and put into effect".Trotsky argued that the October insurrection should occur on the eve of All Russian Congress of Soviets not many would agree with him but later Trotsky had also convinced Lenin that this was the best time to start the insurrection.With Lenin absent from Petrograd throughout October for fear of arrest, Trotsky took on the leading role of planning the insurrection. Trotsky assigned each member of the Central Committee a specific role in the uprising. "Invigorated by the organisational genius of Trotsky, the Bolsheviks were able to defeat their opponents and drive them from Russian soil"Historians such as George Kline credit Trotsky as 'organising and leading the insurrection of October, 1917'.Max Eastman an American historian, also states that Trotsky was a significant revolutionary and says 'the significance in Trotsky's career could be best judged in relation to three major achievements: His chairmanship of the St Petersburg Soviet in 1905,his organisation of the October Revolution in 1917, and his leadership of the Red Army in the civil war.'Isaac Deutscher another historian also persuaded the views of other historians inside the Soviet Union and those outside to begin to reappraise Trotsky's Historical role as a Revolutionary. Deutscher presented Trotsky as the prophet of revolution who had been rejected by his own people. Deutscher wrote, 'I see him as the representative figure of pre-Stalinist communism and the precursor of post-Stalinist communism'.A number of historians refer to Trotsky as being a 'marginal' politician that is someone who never fully belonged to the party, even though he devoted so much time and energy to it. They continue to say that he was always on the fringe, never at the centre, even when he appeared to be directing events. An example of a historian who believes this is Michael Reiman, a...

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