Why Were the Bolsheviks Successful in establishing their authority over Russia in the Years after 1917?
The initial triumph of the Bolsheviks in October 1917 did not indicate overwhelming support for the Bolsheviks. On the contrary, as Orlando Figes indicates in ‘A People’s Tragedy’, “ few people believed in it’s second week, that the Bolshevik regime could survive”. The fact that it did survive, and was able not only to establish its authority fully in those
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that the Bolsheviks produced leaders of genius – in particular Lenin – and during the civil war Trotsky, and despite everything said then and since, it was not ideology alone that which made Lenin act. He was a great political opportunist who ignored Marxist ideology when it conflicted with his interests. It must also be kept in mind that before and after the revolution the Bolsheviks faced weak and divided opposition in the confusion of the time.