Workers’ and Soldiers - Sample Essay
The provisional government had to share power with a formidable rival-the Petrograad Soviet (or council) of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Order No.1 stripped officers of their authority and placed power in the hands of elected committees of common soldiers. Meanwhile, following the foolhardy summer offensive, masses of peasant soldiers began “voting with their feet,” to use Lenin’s graphic phrase. That is, they began returning to their villages to help their families get a share of the land, which peasants were simply seizing as they settled old scores in a great agrarian upheaval. All across the country, liberty was turning into anarch in the summer of 1917.
Discuss five reasons why the Bolsheviks won the Civil War Strategically, they controlled the center, while the Whites were always on the fringes and disunited. Trotsky’s leadership was decisive. The Bolsheviks had preached democracy in the army and elected officers in 1917. Trotsky formed a disciplined and effective fighting force. The Bolsheviks also mobilized the home fromt. Establishing “war communism” -the application of the total war concept to a civil conflict-they seized grain from peasants, introduced rationing, nationalized all banks and industry, and required everyone to work.
“Revolutionary terror” also contributed to the Communist victory. The terror caused by the secret police became a tool of the government. The Cheka sowed fear, and fear silenced opposition. Finally, foreign military intervention in the civil war ended up helping the Communists. President Wilson’s January 1918 peace proposal, the Fourteen Points, stressed national self determination and the rights of small countries.
Lloyd Georges was to a considerable extent a captive of demands for a total victory worthy of the sacrifices of total war against a totally depraved enemy. Also Clemenceau wanted old – fashioned revenge. He also wanted lasting security for France. Clemenceau’s demands seemed vindictive, violating morality and the principle of national self-determination. By April the countries attending the conference were deadlocked on the German question, and Wilson packed his bags to go home.
A group of writers that approached radical dictatorships outside the Soviet Union through the concept of Fascism. A term of pride for Mussolini and Hitler, who used it to describe the supposedly “total” and revolutionary character of their movements, fascism was severely criticized by these writers and linked to reactionary forces, decaryin capitalism, and domestic class conflict. Some of the characteristics included extreme, often expansionist nationalism; an sntisocialism aimed at destroying working-class movements; alliances with powerful capitalists and landowners; mass parties, which appealed especially to the middle class and the peasantry; a dynamic and violent leader, and glorification of war and the military. European fascim remains a product of calss conflict, capitalist crisis, and postwar upheaval in these more recent studies.
He appealed to the conservatives or to the revolutionaries that were determined to create a certain kind of totalitarian state. In March 1936 when Hitler suddenly marched his armies into the demilitarized Rhineland, brazenly violating the Treaties of Versailles and Locarno. This was the last good chance to stop the Nazis, for Hitler had ordered his troops to retreat if France resisted militarily. But an uncertain France would not move without British support, and the occupation of German soil by German armies seemed right and just to Britain. With a greatly improved strategic position, Germany handed France a tremendous psychological defeat.
The policy of appeasement that the Britain Adopted granted Hitler everything he could reasonably want and more in order to avoid war. There were three assumptions that it was based on. First, a rearm program, second the cost/paying land and thirdly the annexation of Austria. For almost fifteen years, from 1799 to 1814, France was in the hands of a kee-minded military dictator of exceptional ability.
One of history’s most fascinating leaders, Napolean Bonaparte realized the need to put an end to civil strife in France, in order to create unity and consolidate his rule. And he did. But Napoleon saw himself as a man of destiny, and the glory of war and the dream of universal empire proved irresistible. For years he spiraled from victory to victory, but in the end he was destroyed by a mighty coalition united in fear of his restless ambition. And though Napoleaon sharply curtailed representative institutions and individual rights, he effectively promoted the reconciliation of old and new, of centralized bureaucracy and careers open to talent of noble and bourgeois in a restructured property-owning elite.
The most important figure in German history between Luther and Hitler, Otto von Bismarck has been the object of enormous interest and debate. A great hero to some, a great villain to others, Bismarck was above all a master of politics. Bismarck had a strong personality and an unbounded desire for power. Yet in his drive to secure power for himself and for Prussia, Bismarck was extraordinarily flexible and pragmatic. He kept his options open, pursuing one policy and then another as he moved with skill and cunning toward his goal. Transferred next to St. Petersburg and then to Paris, he worked toward a basic goal that was well-known by 1862-to build up Prussia’s strength and consolidate Prussia’s precarious Great Power status. He brought the unification of Germany by using nationalism.
The most frightening dictatorship developed in Nazi Germany. A product of Hitler’s evil genius as well as of Germany’s social and political situation and the general attack on liberalism and rationality in the age of anxiety, the Nazi movement shared some of the characteristics of Mussolini’s Italian model and was a form of fascism. The Nazi dictatorship smashed or took over most independent organizations, mobilized the economy, and persecuted the Jewish population. Thus Nazism asserted an unlimited claim over German society and proclaimed that all ultimate power belonged to its endlessly aggressive leader-Adolf Hitler.
In 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto, which became the bible of socialism. He read widely in French socialist thought and was influenced by it. He shared Fourier’s view of middle-class marriage as legalized prostitution, and he too, looked forward to the emancipation of women and the abolition of the family. But by the time Marx was twenty-five, he was developing his own socialist ideas. Marx’s ideas may sem to differ only slightly from the wild and improbable ideas of the utopians of his day. Yet Marx must be taken seriously because his ideas-practically unknown in 1848- became very influential in the later nineteenth century. He appeared to unite sociology, economics, and all human history in a vast and imposing edifice. In doing so, he synthesized in his socialsism not only French utopian schemes but also English classical economics and German philosophy- the major intellectual currents of his day.