Lenin Essay, Research Paper
Vladimir Lenin, a political leader of the Russian revolution was born on the 20th of April 1870, in the Russian town of Simbirisk. His real name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. He was the third child in a family of six. His father was a school inspector and they lived comfortably, They had a pleasant, roomy house.
As a boy Vladimir was sly and naughty. He broke things and teased the younger kids. However,he got extremely good grades and did exceptionally well in school. When Lenin was fifteen years old, disaster struck his family when Lenin s father died. This took away the family s income and the protection of the father. Two years later his older brother Sasha, was caught with a group revolutionists on a mission to assassinate the Czar Alexander the III. At his trial Sasha said he wanted to gain political freedom for the Russian people. As a result of this incident Sasha was hung.
Sasha s death made a deep impression on Lenin, and he decided to continue his brother s work. Lenin saw himself as being on a mission to help the poor and to make Russia into social- communist government. He wanted to get rid of the different economic classes of people. At the time, most people lived on small farms and were very poor. When the crop was bad, they did not have enough to eat. A few people lived very well and were wealthy. They were called the aristocracy. Lenin s family was not poor but he felt that the system was not fair and people should be equal. To achieve these ends Lenin joined the Bolsheviks, a revolutionary movement.
Lenin continued his education at the university of Kazan, where he studied law. Three months later he was expelled from school for attending a student meeting protesting the lack of freedom in the school. He reapplied many times to the school but was not readmitted. However at St. Petersburg University he was allowed to study by himself and take tests. He received law degree in 1891.
While studying for his law degree Lenin also studied Marxism. He began to spread Marxist ideas of a classless society to peasants and workers. He was arrested for these activities and exiled to Siberia. While in exile he wrote about the problems with capitalism and how it was unfair to workers. After his release from Siberia he continued his writings in Switzerland and Germany.
Lenin was a revolutionary who felt that the czar must be overthrown. He worked to form the Bolshevik party which tried to teach the people that there may be a better way to live.
One of his important achievements was helping the Bolsheviks overthrow the czar on March 1917 and helping to form a provisional government. In November 1917 the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional Kerensky government and Lenin was elected as the new chairmen. This gave Lenin a chance to put his polices into effect. The Bolsheviks came to power with the slogan Bread, Peace, Land. The slogan was meant to help the Russian people. Peace was for the solders who wanted to stop fighting in World War I. The middle class people needed food (bread). The peasants needed more land to farm on.
When Lenin came to power he established a Cheka (a secret political police), who arrested and killed those who opposed the Bolsheviks and Lenin. Lenin thought people must be taught the new policy even if by force. On July 10th, 1918 many changes were made and a new Soviet constitution was written. Most of the country s privately owned industries, businesses land and property were to be owned by the government. Foreign trade was also taken over by the government. Workers only had to work eight hours a day and the church s power was taken over by the government. The government controlled all prices and students were able to get a education for free. These steps were part of Lenin s policy to achieve a classless society.
In order to stop Russian s fighting in the war, Lenin signed the Brest Litiovsk treaty. Russia was forced to give up three states by the Baltic sea and parts of Poland to Germany. However in 1918, a civil war broke out in Russia between the communists (reds) and the whites (who wanted the old government to come back). After the civil war, the economy was in very bad shape. To try to help the economy Lenin established the New Economic Policy (N.E.P.). This policy tried to do a way with some socialists policies Lenin had tried to use. Under the N.E.P. a person was allowed to have a small private business and try to make a profit.
Lenin had a lot of ideas which he tried to put into effect during his lifetime. Although I think that some of these polices were meant to be good for the Russian people, they were often too severe and I do not agree with them. I do not agree with some of these ideas at all. One of his aims was to establish a classless society, with which I agree in part. A classless society is one where you work for the general good of society. You get what you need for you and your family. No matter what you do, you are rewarded based on your need, not on how important what you do is. Although this is good because the people all get to share equally in whatever society has, I do not agree with a society where people do not get rewarded for working harder then others. Why should someone work harder if there is no reward.
Although, I do not fully agree with Lenin s classless society, I can understand why he wanted it. When Lenin was a child, life under the czar was very difficult. People were poor and did not have freedom, a few were very rich and enjoyed life. I can understand why Lenin became a revolutionary and wanted to overthrow an unfair czar. This is what he was thinking of, when he wrote some of his works. However, he became to extreme when he talked of revolution and overthrowing the government.
These extreme measures was shown in another of Lenin s policies. For example, Lenin used the cheka to enforce his ideas. The cheka was a terrible thing. It was a secret police who murdered and arrested those who opposed Lenin and the Bolsheviks. This idea deprived people of freedom of speech and was not in line with his policy of wanting people to be equal in a classless society.
In the end, his ideas did not all work and Lenin had to form the New Economic Policy (N.E.P). The NEP was a bit like capitalism. Small private businesses were allowed to exist and you pay a tax to the government. Also under this policy private and ownership was allowed again. Foreign trade was also allowed.
Near his death Lenin began to ask whether it was good to allow the government to have too much power. He was afraid that some people would try to get personal power by controlling the government. However, he died before he could make any changes.
Lenin may have had some ideas when he started, however, I do not think they could work for a long period of time.