What are four ways in which Vladimir Lenin influenced the Cold War?

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saintfester | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Lenin was a very important figure in bringing on the Cold War. He helped bring on the Cold War in many different ways, but the most formative were as follows;

1)   Introducing Marxism to the U.S.S.R. – Lenin was the individual who brought Karl Marx’s communist thought to Russia, converting the monarchical country to the first true socialist republic. Ultimately it was this ideological difference with the U.S. that characterized the Cold War, and it may never have happened without Lenin’s introduction.

2)   Formation of the Red Army – Lenin was instrumental in forming the Red Army, which would eventually win the Russian Civil War and go on to become the backbone of the Soviet Army.

3)   The Empowering of Stalin – By not removing Stalin from his post as Secretary of the Communist Party, Lenin unintentionally groomed the future totalitarian for his position at the head of the Soviet Union during the beginning of the Cold War. Stalin’s escalation of hostilities during the beginning years and his construction of the Soviet Block made this Cold War all but inevitable.

4)   The expansion of the Gulags – Both Tsarists and Bolsheviks utilized prisons and work camps to take care of political prisoners, but it was Lenin’s use of the during the Red Terror that would allow later Soviet leaders to do away with pesky reformists.

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