Lesson 4 - The Civil War (Lenin in Power)

Lesson 4 -
The Civil War (Lenin in Power)
Outcomes (SWBAT)
 Identify the issues facing the Bolsheviks upon Lenin’s return to Russia
 List the terms agreed upon in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk
 Explain the role of the “Cheka”
 Analyze the Civil War in terms of the strengths of the “Reds” versus the
 Outline the terms of the Treaty of Riga that would end the Russo-Polish
student time to complete web constructs with pairs. Hand in the best
DVD segment – Russia, Land of the Tsars – Volume 1 chapter 13 to
end (less than 10 minutes)
Create a whiteboard timeline of the Russ Rev to date.
Cheka – slide show… students take brief notes.
Problems facing the Bolsheviks/Civil War… maps – students take notes
DVD “Russia, Land of the Tsars” – Pen-Hi library
whiteboard timeline
Cheka slideshow
Problems Facing the Bolshevik/Civil Wars – notes on map
Problems facing the Bolshevik Regime in January 1918
Germans still advancing into Russia
Finland had proclaimed its independence
Ukrainians proclaimed their independence
Other subject nationalities were not loyal to the regime
Allies were hostile and threatening to intervene
The old ruling class was attempting to raise civil war
Inflation had made money almost worthless
Elements of luck 
 Germans allowing and financing Lenin’s return
 Kerensky failing to take positive action
 Support of the railway workers
 Collapse of the 1917 offensive
Lenin’s Great Achievement 
 Not in seizing power but holding it afterward  leads us to consolidating
the Revolution
Allied Intervention and Civil War
Bolshevik Government – the object of hatred within and outside of Russia
 Marxist political philosophy
o Rejection of Christianity
o Rejection of private property
o Rejection of liberal democratic ideals
 Development of the Comintern
o To work with foreign communists to overthrow governments
 Russia’s determination to make a separate peace with Germany –
offended the Allied governments
 Bolsheviks announced they would not pay debts of Tsarist Government –
i.e. Imperial Russian Bonds
 A civil war in Russia by anti-Bolshevist elements
 US, UK, France & Japan intervene with troops
Note: soviet historians say that allied intervention caused the civil war
Western historians say – the civil war began from totally Russian causes
-evidence is unclear… what is true is that the Russians believe that the Allied
intervention caused the civil war
historical significance:
allied intervention in Russia (1918-1922) has contributed to the bad feelings that
exist between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies to this day.
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk – March 1918
Lenin realized the success of the revolution depended on peace with Germany at
any cost
Also, he felt Western Europe would be overwhelmed by socialist revolution
Lenin wanted to conclude the War on a belief of “no annexations/no indemnities”
Germans accept and draw up an armistice that would deprive the Entente
Powers of Russia’s military help
 Trotsky balked at settlement – but German troops continued to advance
into Russian territory
 Russia agreed to surrender the Baltic provinces, Finland, Poland, the
Ukraine and the Caucuses and to pay a huge indemnity
Key point:
Lenin thus preserved the Revolution – but at a price – millions of square
kilometres of territory – but he bought time.
Reasons for Allied Intervention
Allied wanted to protect military equipment at Archangel and Murmansk from
capture by nearby German armies
Vague hope that the Bolsheviks would resume the war – but Allies bitter about
Bolsheviks signing a separate peace with Germany
*after the war  Allies wanted to overthrow Soviet Government which had
cancelled all Russia’s foreign debts and preached world revolution (Comintern)
Civil War in Russia
Began when the Czech Legion turned against the Bolsheviks
Background 
 Czechs had been fighting for A-H Empire (had been prisoners in Russia)
 Kerensky convinced them to fight for Russia in exchange for an
independent Czech state
 When Brest-Litovsk signed, Lenin agreed to an Allied proposal to ship
Czech army via Vladivostock to the Western Front
Clashes occurred between the Bolsheviks and Czechs who feared they
would be interned.
Bolsheviks were joined by Admiral Kolchak and the Whites (although antiBolsheviks, the Whites didn’t want Czech restoration
Czechs were stopped at Kazon by Trotsky
The Czech Incident had 2 results:
1. provided an excuse for Allied intervention
2. railway control permitted anti-Bolshevik forces to coordinate efforts much
In the Ukraine and in Finland, separatists wanted an independent republic,
creating war between the “Reds” and “Whites”
July 1918- War Council of the Allies – intervention by Allies hoping to bring
Russia back into the war.
Britain  land at Murmansk (want to get equipment and not allow for a U-boat
French  land at Odessa
US and Japan  land at Vladivostok (US mainly to guard against Japanese
takeover of Siberia)
UK  land at Baku (on Caspian Sea) – seize oil fields July 1918
German Intervention
Germany, like the Allies, wanted to crush Bolshevism – German troops in 1918
aided Finnish “Whites” against Finnish “Reds” – thereby ensuring the
independence of Finland
*Germany also set up a puppet government in the “Ukrainia”, which was taken
over by the French after Germany collapsed
*widely believed rumours that the Germany were supplied by the Brits
“The Whites”
they were never a real threat because the Bolsheviks controlled the heartland of
wetern Russia
In Siberia, Kolchok proclaimed himself Supreme Ruler of Russia
In North Russia it was Yudenich
In the Caucuses it was Denikin
By re-establishing old landowners, they made themselves unpopular with the
By September 1918, Bolsheviks had, under Trotsky, defeated the Whites at
Kazon – but Kolchok ontinued to try and link up with Whites in Archangel.
Denikin from South Russia couldn’t get there in time.
The offensive fails and Kolchok is caught and executed
The Whites are starting to lose momentum – by November of 1920 all
counterrevolutionaries and interventionists are out of Russia
Polish Intervention 1920
Early in 1920 – Russo-Polish War breaks out
-the Poles hoped to acquire part of the Ukraine
-they captured Kiev in May 1920, but then driven back by the Red Army
By 1920, November, the Civil War was virtually over
Russo-Polish War concluded with the Treaty of Riga (March 1921)
The Defeat of the Counter-Revolutionaries
Many reasons for the Bolshevik victory:
1. strength lay in European Russia industrial areas (Petrograd/Moscow)
2. the could draw upon the people’s patriotism while their opponents were
associated with foreign invaders
3. they had the support of peasants who would have lost their newly
acquired land if the Whites had won
The Whites…
1. divided by geography
2. lack of combined offensives
3. competing aims
4. Trotsky able to use internal lines of communication and controlled the
means of production