Bolshevik seizure and retention of power, under Lenin

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In considering the influence of Lenin's leadership on the Bolshevik seizure of power and their subsequent retention of power, it is better to separate the two events. Lenin was an inspirational revolutionary, contributing greatly to the Bolshevik seizure of power. However, he held less influence and importance in the dealing with the problems that made the retention of power such a difficult task, his governmental policies making him unpopular. Yet ultimately he was able to consolidate power through repressive measures and terror, though the means were questionable.

Many factors resulted in the Bolshevik seizure of power, though by far the influence of Lenin's leadership was the greatest factor. On the third of April 1917, with Lenin's return to Russia, he announced a republic for Soviet of Workers, Poor Peasants and Peasants' Deputies, and his "April Theses  “ his plans for the future. He was the one that demanded that there would no longer be cooperation with the provisional government and was so insistent on the ending of the war.

Through sheer force of personality alone, Lenin was able to push forward the revolution. He was not elected to be the Chairman of Congress, but it was simply assumed that he would be the leader. The Bolsheviks followed Lenin's dictates, when he proclaimed that there was to be no war, there was an immediate armistice, and there was no protest at all. Lenin had a clear direction as to what he wanted the Bolsheviks to do, and his pre-revolution strategy alone gave the Bolsheviks strength and set it in good stead. His push for the revolution to take place in October 1917, with scepticism from other members in the party given the disastrous July Days, was proven to be a correct decision; as the Provisional government crumbled under the threat and the Bolsheviks took power. As Lenin said, "History will not forgive us if we do not take power now... Continue Reading