Russia was once the leader of the communist world. With a history
of harsh communist dictatorship and cruel leadership, their past is one
of desperate civilians seeking to live in
a world that for them has seldom been with justice and too often
been coerced into serving the dictators of the eras.
Russia became the world's first communist ruled nation in 1922. The
Bolsheviks were a group of communists who overthrew the last of the
czars and established the Soviet Union.
Before this, however, Russia had been ruled by various authoritarian
monarchies. Passing through totalitarian kingdom eras, the country
went from the hands of the Kievan State, in the early hundreds AD,
through Mongol-Tatar rule, with harsh, absolute power and an autocratic
method. The first czars came to the throne in the 1400s, and Moscow
became the center of the government.
The era of a government ruled by czars involved autocratic government - a government by a single individual who
possesses unlimited power. The supreme loyalty of the people was expected to acquiesce to
the royal czar. Different leaders came to
the throne, bringing their own ways and rules. As is the case with totalitarianism,
the nation and its people were subject to
the judgment and decisions of one person, which meant life or death at
that person's sole desire. One such czar was Ivan the Terrible.
During his regime, Russia was enlarged and government power was
expanded under his desire and executions. He suppressed
uprisings, resisting with force any group who tried to live differently
than the czar wanted. Ivan the Terrible had people killed for reasons such as disloyalty to the crown.
At one point, Napoleon invaded Russia and tried to add it to his
conquered lands. But he lost his hold, and Russia continued to be
ruled by czars.
As centuries passed, groups rose as opponents to the czar rule.
One such group, the Social Democratic Party, succeeded.
The group was divided into two wings: the Mensheviks, which made up the small
minority, and the domineering Bolsheviks, followers of Karl Marx,
self-proclaimed Communists, led by Vladimir Illich Lenin.
Lenin was an individual with a firm determination. He devotedly
followed the principles of Marxism, developed by the Father of
Communism, who looked at history as a war between the poor working
class and the rich employers. Lenin followed the same belief that
communism was the right way to govern a nation. Marx talked about
better lives and pay for the ordinary individual, although evidence
suggests that this theory does not always work in fact, both for the
rights of the citizens and the success of the government.
Lenin was the first to clearly bring communism
to Russia. Although he was arrested and sent to prison in Siberia, he
was released and swept through Europe and Russia promoting and
strengthening his Communist movement. As WWI began, which went badly
for Russia, Lenin called for support from the working class. He
encouraged them to turn the conflicts of the era into a war against the
higher class. The people revolted. The czar abdicated.
In March, Czar Nicholas II gave up his thrown. There were now two
groups competing for the support of the people. One of them was led
Lenin and the Communists. Their success was a result of his
determination and goal to conquer the government of Russia.
For a while, before the Communists had taken control of the
government, Russia became a provisional government, but Lenin wanted
something else. He wanted it ruled by the Soviets, strictly the
dictatorship of the Communist party. The traveled around Russia
gaining supporters by filling them with the ideals of communism, and
encouraging them to resist against the richer class by shouting slogans
such as "Peace, Land, and Bread!" Lenin was creating ideas of
rebellion, making promises, and gaining their support.
The provisional government was overthrown. The Bolsheviks had
Russia in their control, with Lenin at the head.
Although they had some support, they came to power without the
support from the majority of the people. The defeated
provisional government tried holding elections for a constituent
assembly. The people only gave less than one quarter of the vote to
the Bolsheviks. But it was broken up by Communist-loyal troops. The
Communists had come to the seat of government without much strong
opposition. The provisional government was lacking the military
organization needed to keep the government. The new governing body was
proclaimed the Soviet of People's Commissars, controlled by the
If they hadn't risen to power, if the provisional government had stayed
in authority, there would have been an entirely different outcome of events. The
provisional government would have set up a very different way of
thinking, based more on political freedom, land reform, and elections.
Their intent was to establish democracy. The turning point of the overthrow meant that a
lasting mentality would control the nation for years, one that evolved into
Communist Russia and its results.
Communism Envelopes Russia
The remainder of Russia's history further involves communism. They
encountered years of war, famine, disease, and conflict within their own
country during these points. Lenin had to retreat to a plan to meet the
needs of the nation, and he took up the New Economic Policy, with which
some private business was permitted. Lenin did this only as a way to
"pacify" the people, not really giving them all that they needed, but
incorporating some fundamentals of capitalism, which the country could
have benefited from. Eventually, after the need died, in
December of the year 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was
Stalin was the next dictator through whom the Communists of Russia
continually progressed the Russia into a state of Communism. The building
blocks stacked one by one to create an even more
After Lenin died in 1924, there was one man who sought power over
the soviets. His name was Joseph Stalin, who was general secretary of
the Communist Party. His aim was to gain leadership. His method:
killing those who stood in his way. He had murdered most all humans
who endangered his leadership, clearing out all opponents who could
threaten his claim. By 1929, Stalin was absolute ruler of the Soviet
During his rule, the working peasants were forced into living on mass
labor farms. They resisted, which caused agricultural production to
plummet. In the 1930s, Stalin had the remaining Bolshevik leaders
executed. He ordered millions of everyday people to be arrested and
sent to forced-labor camps.
Russia's Influence, and the Spreading of Communism
After WWII, the non-aggression pact that had earlier been signed
between Nazi Gernmany and Communist Russia was dissolved. As a result
of Russia's participation in the war and all that transpired between
nations, Communism was spread. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
Rumania, Bulgaria, and Eastern Germany had adopted the Communist way of
government and were now communist nations.
The spreading of communism made for tension between the Soviet Union
and western countries such as the United States and Britain, who were
trying to keep the agreement that gave the Eastern European countries
freedom to choose their own way of government. Now that this had been
violated, tension led to the Cold War, a time of hostility
between Russia and western countries including the United States.
The Soviet Union continued to pass through different Communistic
dictator's control. Relations with USA had periods of negotiations,
Russia had entered a century of communism and dictators. Relations
Russia's Past Decade