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Assess what happened to Lenin after the Civil War.

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yoyo1998 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted March 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM via iOS

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Assess what happened to Lenin after the Civil War.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 25, 2013 at 12:53 PM (Answer #1)

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The original question had to be edited.  The Russian Civil War's impact on Lenin was that it compelled him to have to adopt nuanced political positions that tried to masquerade the fact that Russia was in financial, political, and social trouble.  The Civil War did much to expose the brutality in Soviet style Communism.  Lenin's adoption of "war communism" as a way to justify this revealed some of the harshest of treatment against the poorest in Russian society.  This was about as far from the stated goal of Soviet style Communism as possible.  The collectivization of Russian peasantry land, needed because of the constant threats from the Whites in the Civil War, alienated them from the Bolshevik government.  Lenin's own use of the military to put down the sailors in the Kronstadt garrison enhanced this.  

The Civil War compelled Lenin to have to adopt a new economic policy, literally entitled "New Economic Policy."  This allowed for a socialist style control of the economy, while enabling capitalist style growth to emerge.  The Civil War did not result in Lenin abandoning power, as the Bolsheviks won the war.  Yet, the Civil War in Russia brought out more challenges for Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  The Civil War demonstrated a fundamental precept to the Russian leader that gaining power and keeping it are two different elements.  Fighting the Civil War took a toll on the Russian economy and political stability.  This led to Lenin having to adopt the New Economic Policy, which was more of a measure to keep his own power as opposed to being deposed of it.  The presence of the Civil War made Lenin's job of leading all the more difficult.  

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