Essay Sample on Lenin and the Russian Revolution

Published: 2024-01-01
Essay Sample on Lenin and the Russian Revolution
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Revolution Historical & political figures
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1532 words
13 min read


Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov is better known by the name Lenin. He was born on April 22, 1870, and died on January 21, 1924. Lenin was a revolutionary, political theorist, and politician where he served as the head of administration of Soviet Russian between 1917-1924 (Hedeler, p. 257). He also led the Soviet Union between 1922-1924. The leadership of Lenin was marked by a liberal revolution, including the famous demonstrations that occurred on March 8, 1917 (Wood, p. 733). The March revolution of 1917 was regarded as significant to the Russian population. The revolution was one of the two sections of revolutions in the country in 1917. The revolutions sought to end Tsarist autocracy and contributed to the emergence and rise of the Soviet Union (Wood, p. 733).

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Workers on Strike

The next move on reform was in March 1917, where the army garrison at the capital joined workers on strike and demanded the enactment of socialist reforms. Tsar Nicholas II was compelled to abdicate. After his abdication, a provisional administration was installed to serve in his place. In April 1917, Vladimir Lenin returned from exile and was regarded as influential to events that followed in Russia (Lewis). He led the Bolshevik forces in their successful attempt to overthrow the provisional administration. He played a crucial role in ensuring Russians protected themselves from enemies. He inspired the military to ensure the robust protection of their colonies.

The leadership Lenin was characterized by factions included Bolsheviks and Mensheviks (Kuzmin & Tsipkin). Bolsheviks was the Lenin’s faction that won votes on majority key concerns during the second Congress vote. The minority group was known as Mensheviks from Martov’s side. Bolsheviks were regarded as a disciplined party and aimed at making the party serve as an instrument to bring about a revolution in the country. In contrast, Mensheviks used less radical policies and represented minority groups. Lenin spearheaded a Marxism ideology that championed a centralized command economy.

Lenin’s Leadership

Lenin’s leadership saw experiences of unrest in Petrograd, Russia, that happened between 16th to July 20. The period became commonly known as July Days (Mandel, p. 194). There was spontaneously armed unrest from sailors, soldiers, and industrial employees as they faced the Russian provisional administration. The unrest was perceived as more violent and angrier than demonstrations experienced during the February Revolution months. The administration blamed the Bolsheviks for causing violence, leading to the arrest of numerous leaders, although Lenin fled to Finland.

The outcome witnessed from the July Days depicted a temporary decline trend in the Bolshevik power growth and experience, especially during the October revolution (Mandel, p. 194). The revolution started on Wednesday, November 7, and ended on Thursday, November 8. On November 7, 1917, there was a historical coup d'Ă©tat of the October revolution that toppled the interim administration, and the Soviet rose in power. Ultimately, Russian ended the Trippled Entente military alliance with Britain and France, leading to an effective end of the war for Russia. Lenin led the Bolsheviks against the provisional government as they termed the administration as weak and agitated for improved economic and social issues. He motivated his followers to continue with demonstrations until they seized power.

Vladimir Lenin wrote the Decree on Land and passed by the Second Congress of Soviet workers, peasants’ and soldiers’ deputies on November 8, 1917, after the successful October Revolution (Kazantsev, p. 4). It suggested abolishing private property ownership and decreed the redistribution of land estates, particularly among the peasantry.

Lenin also wrote the Decree on Peace and passed by the Second Congress of Soviet of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies on November 8, 1917, after the successful October Resolution (Lenin). It suggested an immediate withdrawal of Russia's participation in World War I. the Decree on Peace was eventually implemented via the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918.

The Russian Imperial Romanov family, including Tsar Nicholas II and family, were executed, July 16-17, 1918. The Communist revolutionaries led by Yakov Yurovsky shot and bayoneted to death the Romanov family. Lenin was perceived as a traitor by a member of Socialists Revolutionaries known as Kaplan when they banned her party. Kaplan approached Lenin on August 30, 1918, as he was leaving the Moscow factory. She fired three shots that caused severe injuries to him. Lenin was also involved in numerous organizations such as the Red Terror that described a period of mass killings and political repression from the Bolsheviks after the Russian Civil War in 1918. Lenin led the Bolshevik government to adopt a new economic policy during the 10th Congress that included the All-Russian Communist Party in March 1921. It was promulgated by a decree on March 21, 1921.

Stalin and the Soviet Union

Stalinism describes the policies and governing approach implemented in the Soviet Union between 1927-1953. The socialism ideology was implemented by Joseph Stalin (McCauley). It was in line with Marxism-Leninism and involved developing a sign party totalitarian state. Besides, Stalinism advocated for rapid industrialization, collectivization of agriculture, the theory of socialism in a single state, and escalation of class conflict (McCauley). Stalin’s ideology also championed the subordination of foreign communist parties’ interests to those of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party and a cult of personality.

The regime of Stalin forcibly purged society of what is perceived as forms of threat to the regime and communism brand that included non-Soviet nationalists, political dissidents, better-off peasants, and bourgeoisie (McCauley). The regime also focused on the working-class individuals who depicted sympathies regarded a counter-revolutionary. Stalin’s ideology contributed to the mass repression of such individuals alongside their families. They included show trials, mass arrests, imprisonment in concentration camps referred to as gulags and forced labor, and executions. The significant instances include the Dekulakization campaign and the Great Purge. Further, Stalinism was marked by ethnic cleansing via forced deportations and mass religious persecution (McCauley). The policies introduced during Stalinism have since been blamed for resulting in families including the Holodomor.

Stalin stressed rapid industrialization since the Soviet Union had in the past lagged behind economically in comparison to the Western nations (McCauley). The socialist country required industry to face impending challenges from external and internal communism a result, rapid industrialization was found to include rapid urbanization and mass collectivization of agriculture. Small villages became industrial cities.

Stalin was committed to accelerating industrialization development by importing ideas, materials, workers from the United States and Western Europe, and expertise (McCauley). He engaged in establishing joint venture contracts with key private enterprises in America, including Ford Motor Company, that allowed the development of the Soviet economy during the 1920s and 1930s.

The Soviet Union, under the leadership of Stalin, implemented the collectivization of the agricultural sector between 1928-1940 (McCauley). The approach included the first five-year plan of his leadership, where it integrated labor and personal landholdings into collectively regulated and state-controlled farms. Stalinism anticipated the replacement of personal peasant farms through collective ones as they perceived it would ultimately increase food supply, especially for the urban population. Besides, Stalin sought to improve the supply of raw materials to the processing industry and increase agricultural export (McCauley).

Stalin was focused on improving the education sector in the country. The Soviet Union guaranteed education as a constitutional right to all individuals offered via state schools and universities. The education system was widely known for eliminating illiteracy level and contributing to a population characterized as highly educated. The Soviet Union saw that its system’s foundation relied on an educated population and significant developments in fields such as natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, and life sciences.


The Soviet Union, under the leadership of Stalin, was also keen on improving the transport sector as it played a key role in the country’s economy (McCauley). The country adopted economic centralization during the 1920s and 1930s that saw infrastructural development at a rapid pace and massive scale.
The second five-year plan under Stalin included increased production of raw materials, consumer goods, and electricity (McCauley). The administration also was keen on improving infrastructure and communication and introduced a no wage equality policy.

Generally, Stalin was free to shape a given policy and did not receive any opposition. As a result, he led to an era characterized by harsh authoritarianism, but it helped drive the nation toward rapid industrialization despite the heavy cost.

Works Cited

Hedeler, Wladislaw. "Lenin and Stalin, Theory and Politics." The Palgrave Handbook of Leninist Political Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2018. 257-280.

Kazantsev, N. D. "From Lenin's 1917 Decree on the Land to the Principles of Land Legislation." Soviet Law and Government 7.4 (1969): 3-12.

Kuzmin, V. L., and Yu N. Tsipkin. "The Far Eastern Mensheviks and October 1917." The International Science and Technology Conference" FarEastSon". Springer, Cham, 2018.

Lenin, Vladimir. "Decree on peace." Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Vol. 8. 1917.

Lewis, Ben. "Lenin’s arrival in Russia."

Mandel, David. "The July Days." The Petrograd Workers in the Russian Revolution. Brill, 2017. 193-216.

McCauley, Martin. Stalin and Stalinism. Routledge, 2019.

Wood, Elizabeth A. "February 23 and March 8: Two Holidays that Upstaged the February Revolution." Slavic Review 76.3 (2017): 732-740. DOI:

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