Vladimir Lenin was the most influential leader and the first head of the Soviet government in the early twentieth century. His Marxist belief led him to create revolutionary steps to transform the foreign policy and economy or Russia, he faced many challenges and made substantial foreign reforms.
At the time of the founding of Soviet Union in 1922 formerly known as USSR, most governments internationally regarded the Soviet régime as a pariah because the country was the biggest advocate of communism and the diplomatic recognition was not possible to give too many states. The Soviet Union quickly emerged as a power and developed powerful relationships with the other states and nations over a period of 50 years; it truly progressed as a country refered to as superpower in the world. USSR was also the first founding member of United Nations in the post-World War II era in 1945; the Security Council had USSR as its permanent member and USA formed alliances for geological reasons during the Cold War.
Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov was born in 1870 and was also the founder of the Communist Party in Russia. He also led Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 who became the leader, architect and the first leader of the Soviet Union. He spends many years in exile. The biggest challenge for the Vladimir was to privatize the aspects of the Soviet economy to consolidate power and improve the country’s backbone. Lenin played a crucial role in shaping the economy of Russia for a better future. In 1924, Lenin’s death was preceded by the victory of Stalin who was victorious after a power struggle against Lenin. Let us examine the role of the great Russian Leader in the foreign policy and economy of Russia during the early twenties.
Early Years of Lenin
Lenin was a great leader and also the most controversial figures of the early 20th century in the Russian history. He left great influences as a leader over the future generations of leaders. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917 was also engineered by Lenin when he became the very first leader of the newly born Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Lenin was born on April 10th in 1870; to give him honor, later on, he was given the name of Ulyanovsk.His name Lenin was adopted by him in 1901when he was doing his party work in politics. Lenin was the 3rd child of six children born from his parents, His family background was an educated one, and he was close to his siblings and parents. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
Lenin was a good student in school and he showed great improvement in Latin and Greek. His family life took a shock when his father was forced to an early retirement as an inspector of schools. He faced a more tragic situation in 1887 when his brother was arrested in a group who was planning to kill the Alexander III. Lenin enrolls himself in the University of Kazan and studied law, but he was expelled from the university. Then he lived in exile in his grandfather’s house and studied literature. He developed his mind as a revolutionary politics when he declared himself as a Marxist in 1889. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
He finished his law degree in 1892 and relocated to Samara city and focused with all his energy to bring the revolution into politics. After leaving Samara, he started a new life when he connected with other like-minded people, and his role in politics became stronger. In 1895 when Marxist leaders got arrested, Lenin had to escape and stay in Siberia for the exile of three years where his uncle joined him later.
The Revolutionary Years
He came to Munich after his exile and played a significant role in an argument for a streamlined party leadership in the Social-Democratic Labor Party of Russia in 1903. When the war against Japan was started in 1904, the Russian society had transformed due to heavy impact of conflict. Lenin was observing the political structure of his country for so many years, and he began to raise his voice for the improvement of his country’s political structure and called for reforms when he was fully discontent. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
In January 1905, the Emperor of the country was Nicholas II, several people were killed and wounded by the military who came to St. Petersburg for solving their concerns in the city palace, the Russian Revolution was set to stage after this horrible act of killings in 1905. In his manifesto, the Emperor announced the creation of an elected assembly. Lenin was however far from being content, and he showed his dissatisfaction and joined a group called Mensheviks. The issues centered around party structure and the driving forces of a revolution to fully seize control of Russia. Lenin had a feeling of distrust for the most segment of the population, and he argued that a complete revolution is needed that could give rise to a complete Socialist Revolution. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
Lenin went into exile again during the World War I and went to Switzerland; He kept his mind focused on the revolutions and revolutionary politics. He published and wrote his ideas of imperialism in 1916 and defined the work of the future leader in Russia. He declared that international capitalism was the main reason for the World War I. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
As A Russian Leader
Lenin returned home to Russia in 1917, and he had plans to come into power after sensing his victory. He denounced the provincial government of the country quickly after his arrival in politics and called for a Soviet government. He insisted that the Soviet government would be ruled by the workers, peasants, and soldiers. He started the October Revolution of 1917 after the three years of civil war. He faced incredible odds while reading the Soviet government against the anti-soviet forces. The white generals and soldiers fought desperately to defeat Lenin and defeat his regime. Lenin wanted to secure power at any cost; he pushed his limits and ruthlessly faced the enemies by launching Red Terror campaign. Red Terror viciously helped to eliminate the enemies of the government within the civilian population. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
Lenin was lucky to escape an assassination attempt in 1918 when he was wounded by a pair of bullets from an opponent who attacked him. He appeared larger than life within his countrymen after his recovery from a gunshot, but unfortunately, his health never remained the same after that. Lenin still became victorious despite the heavy political opposition, he was hoping for a country that had not come to fruition yet. (Vladmir Lenin, 2006).
In Russian, the Civil War and World War shaped the society with famine and poverty. He again faced the challenges in 1921 in rural sections of the country among peasants who threatened his government’s stability again. He introduced a New Economist Policy to ease the tensions this time and allowed workers to sell their cultivation in the market.
Later Years in Politics
In 1922 Lenin’s health further declined, but he was still working hard to reform the newly born USSR; he expressed his regret over the dictatorial power that dominated Russia for so long. He was also not satisfied with Joseph Stalin who was the general secretary of the Communist Party. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
The ideology of Bolsheviks under the Lenin’s leadership is a worth mentioning revolution that spread across Europe for the industrial revolution. For preserving the revolution in Russia, Lenin believed that the international worker’s support is necessary. He believed that Germany was the key to their relationships for development and power. His ideology of Marxism also played a significant role in transforming Russia. He always had a fear of invasion regarding geographical, historical and ideological terms. The international situation was not so good and economic backwardness was prevailing in Russia. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
The Civil war and suspicion of foreign help forced Lenin to make revolutionary changes in the system; Leon Trotsky was the Commissioner for war in 1918. He did not agree to the Treaty of Breast, and he gave his resignation after being forced to accept it. He was replaced by Chicherin afterward who became the foreign commissioner in 1918 and helped his position till 1930 after the death of Lenin. Lenin admired Chicherin because he was a former Tsarist and an education diplomat with a charismatic personality. He believed in the rule of divide and rule and started the reforms with the west to initiate the sake of peaceful coexistence. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1 plays a vital role in the reformation of Russia during the reign of Lenin. The treaty was signed with Germany in 1918 when Soviet Russia lost 1/4th of their land to Poland and Ukraine. Russia also lost 1/3rd of its population during Brest-Litovsk. Brest-Litovsk 2 was signed to confirm the efforts of the powerful government to ensure political, social and economical stability in the country. The complications were overwhelming due to Civil War era, shortages, and desertions. However, the Brest Lotovsk suggested that Germany must be defeated to start the Socialist Revolution in an industrial European state. The loss of territory including the breadbasket of Ukraine was terrible; the government found it hard to balance the affects of loss of population, military defeat and the prestige. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
In 1918, Trotsky resigned from his post after signing the Brest Litvosk 4 suggested that World War I was the fight of international capitalism and imperialism. Lenin believed that a Civil Class War should be followed by an immediate end to World War I. He also believed that the revolution in Germany was seconds away and the fight against the whites and Tsarists is essential. He solved the domestic issues keenly by putting the international policy on hold in his reign. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
The foreign support of whites was also a reason that the whites were greatly mistrusted as foreigners. Lenin banned nationalized industry a private trade during the Civil War; the Communism war also isolated Russia further from the world when 8 million people faced hunger and caught dangerous diseases that finally lead to death. In March 1919, the Comintern also spread the worldwide revolution which became the strongest arm of the Soviet government unofficially. A dual policy existed due to the existence of Comintern. The government of Lenin was also able to focus on the issues of diplomacy and agreements. Revolutionary movements worldwide were also instigated by the Comintern by July 1920. The Comintern announced CP of Russia central to all CP globally. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was formed in 1918 where women had full rights to vote for their elected government; a true parliamentary system was put in place at that time. The major oil reserved existed in Baku, almost 50% of the world production was met by Baku. The Soviets had the lack of resources.Russo-Polish War 1919-1920 also played a significant role in shaping up the future of Russia. The war spread over the large portion of Ukraine when the Ukrainian and Polish Presidents overturn Kyiv. The Ukraine was taken back quickly by the Red army which marched on to the outskirts of Poland.In March 1921, the Treaty of Riga was signed when Red Army embarrassed leaders. The failure of Red Bridge over Europe forced Ukraine to stay with the Soviet Republic, and the portions of Ukraine were ceded to Poland as well. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
Lenin’s Decree of peace also set the stage for the soviet foreign policy in the early twentieth century. The Second Congress of Soviets also adopted the Decree of Peace in 1917 which set forth the dual nature of the Russian foreign policy. The dual policy encompasses peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world and proletarian internationalism. The ideology of peaceful coexistence ensures the measures of the government to ensure relatively peaceful government to government relationships, especially what the capitalist states. Both policies were able to execute at the same time while the dominance of peaceful coexistence does not rule out the proletarian internationalism but certainly preoccupies it. The people were going through aggression and defending their gains for fighting the foreign oppression in Russia. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
Since the founding of the Russian State, the commitment to peaceful coexistence and proletarian internationalism declined. This police were still implemented in the later parts of Russian history. A greater role was played by the ideology of class struggle in providing a worldwide for action in the future in the 1980s. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
Many researchers have analyzed the way. Soviet behavior in various countries supported the goals of its foreign policy. The relationships with Germany was the primary focus of the foreign policy of the Lenin. The three distinct phases in shaping up the foreign policy of Soviet Union were the Civil War of Russia, Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939 and the October Revolution of Vladimir Lenin.
The export revolution of Lenin known as Comintern (The Communist International) played a crucial role in exporting the revolution in Europe and Asia. Lenin mostly admired Germany above all the countries in Europe because he thought it would help him to make his revolution successful. Lenin and his leaders had a very vivid picture of Germany, but that picture was far away from reality, unfortunately. After the October Revolution, Lenin was disappointed as a leader when a similar revolution did not happen in Germany as he might be expecting; he was forced to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which helped Russia to come out of the World War I. To the Bolsheviks, the Best Lt vs policy was a huge shock, Lenin would have sent his army to Western Europe if the Russian Civil War had not begun, his view was to export communism and his colleagues mostly complained that he went too far with his policies as a part of his efforts to make Germany a Soviet friend. (Lenin’s Foreign Policy and Relations 1918-1924, 2011)
In the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922, another agreement with Germany was signed when Leon Trotsky argued that this is the continuation of the revolutionary process. The death of Linin in 1924 gave rise to an opposition under Joseph Stalin who was against the revolutionary measures and for the socialism in the country. Later on, the Russian leaders tried hard to end the isolation of the country due to communism and signed many bilateral agreements with the other governments.Later on, the foreign policy build relationships with the neighbors China and Chinese Communist Party Stalin favored that policy after the death of Lenin in 1927 when a major industriali\zation program was made by Stalin to progress the Russian economy.
The foreigners in USSR also helped the economy to grow after the NEP; these people were Americans, British, Germans nd Frech. The Soviet State was recognized by Briton with an agreement of Second Trade with Britain which also developed good relationships with Europe as a part of the foreign policy of Lenin. However there were many revolutionary failures in Berlin, Munich and Soviet Hungary leads to strict policies by Bolshevik. In 1921, there was an immense support for the military and economic alliances in support of revolutionary movements in Germany; Moscow was to control the communist parties under the leadership of Lenin, and many cells were created in the trade unions. It was necessary for all programs to be approved by the Comintern. The Spanish and English Communist parties also reacted negatively against the Comintern Conditions when the chances of European consolidated efforts disappeared and diminished to continue the revolution.
Vladimir Lenin was the most influential powerful leader of Russia’s first government, His dynamic developments in international relations were a part of his legacy and leadership role in the Russian Reformation, he played a significant role in igniting the world’s socialists and take part in World Revolution.The ideology of Marxist Lenin reinforces the characteristics of political culture that also creates conflicts with other states, The Foreign Policy goals were conceived regarding priorities, but the priorities have changed over time in response to the changing international and domestic environment of Russia.
Although the Soviet Union could not manage to hold the plans of Lenin which failed, the Soviet defeat in 1921 in the war with Poland ended the revolution, and the zeal for revolution was also reduced after the death of Lenin. The focus was the shift on the building of socialism in the USSR rather than building revolutions. Lenin’s revolution disappeared due to Comintern Conditions, but his efforts will always stand as extraordinary achievements to create a powerful Russian State in the four-year era.
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