key questions for
discussion, week IV
Base your answers on Suny, the Hickey
documents, and Kuromyia. Be ready to refer to specific sources.
- What positions taken by the
Bolsheviks in fall 1917 helped them (and the other left socialist parties)
gain popular support?
- What were the most important
differences between the approaches of the following Bolshevik leaders to the
problem of how to take power in October 1917: Lenin, Trotskii, Stalin,
Kamenev and Zinoviev?
- Which strategy was actually closest
to what actually happened in Petrograd in October 1917?
- Until the 1970s, most historians (in
the West and in the Soviet Union) argued that the
October Revolution was the result of Lenin's iron-willed leadership.
Since the 1970s, historians have made other arguments to explain how the
Bolsheviks came to power--some stress that Lenin had "good luck" and things
simply fell his way; some stress that the Bolsheviks and Left SRs had broad
support among soldiers and urban workers, and some stress that the moderate
socialists and Kerensky's government had so little authority that there was
actually a vacuum of power (that the Bolsheviks then filled). What do
the authors we read for tonight argue and what evidence supports their
- Did the October Revolution in Moscow
follow the exact same course of events as that in Petrograd? What
about other cities and regions? How might we explain the different
patterns of events by which the Bolsheviks/left socialist groups in the
soviets took power from the Provisional government?
- The Bolsheviks/Communists came to
power promising the they would end the war, turn land over to the peasants,
give workers supervision over the factories, and call the Constituent
Assembly into being. Did Lenin's government actually do these things?
- Why did Lenin's government disband
the Constituent Assembly, and what were the consequences? Was the
disbanding of the assembly, for instance, the starting point of a one-party
- Different historians date the start
Russian Civil War differently--some say it started in October 1917, some say
it started in January 1918, some say it started in March 1918, some say July
1918. What argument could be made for each of these months as the
starting point for the Civil War?