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A Soviet politician, revolutionist and theorist; Leon Trotsky, born as Lev Davidovich Bronstein on 7 October, was born in a small village by the name of Yanovka in Ukraine. He was the fifth spouse and child to his prosperous Russian-Jewish parents, David and Anna Bronstein. His parents were not religious. Mossei Spentzer, an Uncle of Lev, had been accommodated within his home whilst recovering from an illness and took notice of Lev’s intelligence. From this point, this led to a move to Nikolayev, the southern city of Ukraine, for education. Henceforth, Trotsky had eventually become heavily influenced by revolutionary ideals that were to significantly shape his life.
It is certain that the events that took place throughout Trotsky’s time were extraordinarily significant in shaping his role. Historical figures and events that greatly contribute to the political life Trotsky had become indulged in include the 1917 Revolution, the Power Struggle, the Tsarist Years and the Final Years. Throughout these particular events that took place within this time period, Trotsky took on the challenge of adopting many pivotalroles including becoming a communist theorist and agitator, being a leader in Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, and later the commissar of foreign affairs and of war in the Soviet Union. In the struggle for power and the following of Vladimir Lenin’s death, however, Joseph Stalin was emerged as victor, while Trotsky was now removed from all positions of superiority and power, and later exiled in 1929. He remained the leader of an anti-Stalinist opposition abroad until his assassinationin 1940 by a Stalinist agent.
Prior to the formation of the March and November Revolutions that took part in 1917, Russia was positioned as an autocratic country ruled by Tsar Nicholas II. There was indeed no parliament to portray people’s views and the Tsar had relied on the army and his bureaucracy to suppress dissent. All unions of workers and strikes were totally forbidden and the secret police; the Cheka, targeted any form of opposition to the government. Political groups including the Socialist Revolutionaries, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks had all contributed and sought to eventually overthrow the Tsar, and later implement socialism. As a result of the overflow of discontent and rapid strikes in 1905, Nicholas II established an assembly, or Duma, and constitution. In contrast, the October Manifesto had managed to please a few and the 1906 Fundamental Laws only served to reassert Nicholas II’s autocratic position. Tsar Nicholas II had dissolved the first two freely elected assemblies after they criticised his government and the next two were docile conservative bodies that supported the government line. As a result, this had actually motivated the left-wing revolutionaries more to incite revolution by violent means. In addition, the Russian involvement in World War I had only worsened rather than benefited the circumstance and had heavily contributed to the March Revolution of 1917.
The 1917 revolutions seemed to have significantly been the direct ramification of the war and the heavy burdens that Russian citizens had been forced to carry. The Tsar, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate, and from this, the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet were formed and co-existed peacefully until the elections for a Constituent Assembly could be run. On Lenin’s return from exile, he had begun to push for a socialist revolution. During the ‘July Days’, the Bolsheviks had attempted to take advantage of a popular uprising yet had failed to harness its political power. By this, the government had called and sent in troops and crushed the revolt. Leading Bolsheviks were also arrested and Lenin had fled to Finland. However, the Bolsheviks made an appearance to the Provisional Government in September in which was during the Kornilov Revolt, which led to the allowance of gaining valuable arms, discipline and experience.
With the adjustment to power that the Bolsheviks were given, a series of reforms to consolidate their rule and establish a new-formed communist state was introduced. From this, many actions were implemented. An example to support this is the formation of a formally organised government; Sovnarkom, and Lenin was placed as Chairman. In addition, the long-promised Constituent was now dissolved. The aspects involved alongside the political opposition that was oppressed, created the imposition of press censorship. The secret police, known as the Cheka, was also formed in order to deal with opponents and political enemies, and the Bolshevik Party was declared the only political party that was to be held. In the year 1918, the Bolshevik Party had now become known as the Communist Party. Throughout this time, private properties were replaced with factories in productive resources and they were placed under the dominance of elected committees of workers. Furthermost, unemployment insurance was introduced and church property was confiscated.
The Power Struggle was an event within Trotsky’s time that greatly contributed to his political role. After the following of Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Trotsky had competed against Joseph Stalin for the leadership of the Communist Party. In his testament, Lenin had urged his comrades to remove Stalin from the position of General Secretary. As each of them had vied for the audacity to hold supreme power and control, they argued over the direction the revolution should now take; Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country.’ From this, Trotsky’s had lost in regards to wanting to claim a ‘permanent revolution.’ This eventually made Trotsky portrayed as an enemy of the Soviet Union. In the year 1926, Stalin had established a triumvirate with members; Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev to oppose Trotsky and command a majority in the Politburo. The next year, Trotsky had become expelled from the Party and then later exiled in 1929.
Therefore, Leon Trotsky’s political role and the events including the 1917 Revolution, the Power Struggle, the Tsarist Years and the Final Years that he had contributed to had significantly shaped him into becoming a true and great revolutionist. This is evident through the pivotal roles that he carried out including becoming a communist theorist and agitator, being a leader in Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, and later the commissar of foreign affairs and of war in the Soviet Union.
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