following the Russian Civil War, Trotsky stood second only to Lenin within the. Bolshevik Party in . the relationship between him and the Old Guard. To the end of . negotiations as a platform for propaganda. They remained. What was the relationship between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin? . and shocked his adversaries by turning the talks into a propaganda. A detailed biography of Joseph Stalin that includes includes images, quotations Trotsky argued that "Lenin's behaviour seemed unpardonable to me, both horrible According to a friend, Joseph Iremashvili: "His marriage was a happy one.
When fighting was precipitated by an ineffectual government raid early on November 6 October 24, Old StyleTrotsky took a leading role in directing countermeasures for the soviet, while reassuring the public that his Military Revolutionary Committee meant only to defend the Congress of Soviets.
Governmental authority crumbled quickly, and Petrograd was largely in Bolshevik hands by the time Lenin reappeared from the underground on November 7 to take direct charge of the Revolution and present the Congress of Soviets with an accomplished fact when it convened next day. Trotsky continued to function as the military leader of the Revolution when Kerensky vainly attempted to retake Petrograd with loyal troops.
Leon Trotsky - Wikipedia
Immediately afterward he joined Lenin in defeating proposals for a coalition government including Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. Germany and its allies responded, and in mid-December peace talks were begun at Brest-Litovskthough Trotsky continued vainly to invite support from the Allied governments.
In January Trotsky entered into the peace negotiations personally and shocked his adversaries by turning the talks into a propaganda forum. LC-DIG-ggbain Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Brest-LitovskTrotsky resigned as foreign commissar, turning the office over to Georgy Chicherinand was immediately made commissar of war, theretofore a committee responsibility.
As war commissar, Trotsky faced the formidable task of building a new Red Army out of the shambles of the old Russian army and preparing to defend the communist government against the imminent threats of civil war and foreign intervention.
- Citation Information
- Role in Soviet government
- Early life, education, and revolutionary career
Trotsky chose to concentrate on developing a small but disciplined and professionally competent force. His abandonment of the revolutionary ideal of democratization and guerrilla tactics prompted much criticism of his methods among other communists. Leon Trotsky, commissar of war in the new Soviet government of Russia, reviewing troops. Stock footage courtesy The WPA Film Library With the triumph of the communist forces and the end of the Russian Civil War inTrotsky, retaining his office as commissar of war, turned his attention to the economic reconstruction of Russia.
He first proposed a relaxation of the stringent centralization of War Communism to allow market forces to operate. Rejected in this, he endeavoured to apply military discipline to the economy, using soldiers as labour armies and attempting to militarize the administration of the transportation system. During the Civil War and War Communism phase of the Soviet regime, Trotsky was clearly established as the number-two man next to Lenin.
He was one of the initial five members of the Politburo when that top Communist Party policy-making body was created in Trotsky took a prominent part in the launching of the Comintern in and wrote its initial manifesto. In the winter of —21 widespread dissension broke out over the policies of War Communism, not only among the populace but among the party leadership as well. The point at issue in the controversy was the future role of the trade unions. The utopian left wing wanted the unions to administer industry; Lenin and the cautious wing wanted the unions confined to supervising working conditions; Trotsky and his supporters tried to reconcile radicalism and pragmatism by visualizing administration through unions representing the central state authority.
The crisis came to a head in Marchwith agitation for democracy within the party on the one hand and armed defiance represented by the naval garrison at Kronshtadt on the other. At this point Trotsky sided with Lenin, commanding the forces that suppressed the Kronshtadt Rebellion and backing the suppression of open factional activity in the party.
This degree of accord, however, did not prevent Trotsky from losing a substantial degree of political influence at the 10th Party Congress in March The struggle for the succession When Lenin was stricken with his first cerebral hemorrhage in Maythe question of eventual succession to the leadership of Russia became urgent. Trotsky, owing to his record and his charismatic qualities, was the obvious candidate in the eyes of the party rank and file, but jealousy among his colleagues on the Politburo prompted them to combine against him.
As an alternativethe Politburo supported the informal leadership of the troika composed of Grigory ZinovyevLev Kamenevand Stalin. LC-DIG-ggbain In the winter of —23 Lenin recovered partially and turned to Trotsky for assistance in correcting the errors of the troika, particularly in foreign trade policy, the handling of the national minorities, and reform of the bureaucracy.
Stalin moved rapidly to consolidate his hold on the Central Committee at the 12th Party Congress in April By fall, alarmed by inroads of the secret police among party members and efforts to weaken his control of the war commissariat, Trotsky decided to strike out against the party leadership.
In October he addressed a wide-ranging critique to the Central Committee, stressing especially the violation of democracy in the party and the failure to develop adequate economic planning.
Reforms were promised, and Trotsky responded with an open letter detailing the direction they should take. This, however, served only as the signal for a massive propaganda counterattack against Trotsky and his supporters on grounds of factionalism and opportunism. At this critical moment Trotsky fell ill of an undiagnosed fever and could take no personal part in the struggle. Convalescing on the Black Sea coast, Trotsky was deceived about the date of the funeral, failed to return to Moscowand left the scene to Stalin.
As a boy he attended a church school in Gori and then the theological seminary in Tiflis. Today the seminary has been converted into a museum of medieval Georgian art.
Young Joseph joined a Marxist society known as Mesame-Dasi while a student at the seminary, but it is not clear whether this had anything to do with his expulsion in During the next two years his Marxism crystallized, and his first Marxist essays appeared in a Georgian newspaper in At that time he was already an enthusiastic defender of Lenin and the other orthodox Marxist exiles who published the newspaper Iskra.
His literary style was not then distinguished; in fact, it never got much better. Stalin was active in the revolutionary movement in Tiflis, Batum, and elsewhere, not as Dzhugashvili, nor yet "Stalin," but as "Koba. It is uncertain which the nickname first signified.
Later he was called, indeed, practically dubbed himself, the "Lenin of the Cauccasus. The great majority of the Marxists in Georgia became and stayed Menshevik. Among the Bolsheviks Stalin was prominent, but that did not mean a great deal.
Very soon after the news of the London Congress of reached the Caucasus, he took a firmly pro-Bolshevik stand, and he continued to do so in After the Revolution ofin defiance of the ban of the then Menshevik-controlled Party, "Koba" led "fighting squads" in raiding banks in order to augment scant Party funds.
In one raid in Tifiis a squad seized ad quarter of a million rubles. This is the basis of the legend that Stalin was a bank robber. But he did not act as gunman, and he did not pocket the proceeds. He spent much of the period between revolutions in jail or in exile, but made a few important trips abroad in By this time the Bolshevik organizations in Russia had been gravely weakened, and the Bolsheviks of the Caucasus had assumed an importance quite out of proportion to their numbers.
Stalin had became editor of the Party newspaper, Pravda, and he was co-opted by Lenin onto the Party Central Committee just after the Prague conference ofat which the Bolsheviks broke permanently with the other Marxist factions. He visited Lenin in exile and spent some time with him. As a result of their talks, he wrote an essay on the "nationalities question" which led Lenin to inform Gorky that a "wonderful Georgian" had done a fine job on the subject.
The pseudonym with which the pamphlet was signed was "K. Stalin chose not to try to escape during the war. In he was summoned to Krasnoiarsk to be drafted but was found physically unfit for military service owing to his withered left arm.
During the war period he apparently wrote next to nothing. Liberated by the February Revolution, Stalin hastened to Petrograd and, as the only member of the Central Committee on the spot, assumed temporary leadership of the Bolshevik Party. Like almost all other Bolsheviks, he became identified with the movement for reunification with the Mensheviks. When Lenin arrived and sharply castigated such tendencies to compromise, Stalin was as dumfounded as anyone else, but he took his scolding without protest.
He owed his position in the Party to the fact that he worked hard and did not argue with his comrades, especially Lenin. Trotsky Trotsky, like Stalin, was born in His real name was Lev Davidovich Bronstein. His father was a well-to-do Jewish farmer in the Ukrainian province of Kherson. He attended school in Odessa, developing an early brilliance and bookishness.
He reports his observation of the composition of his class: In his teens he went to Nikolaev, met a number of populists, became enamored of a girl in the group, and accepted the populist doctrine. Soon, however, he became converted to Marxism, engaged in revolutionary activity, and for it spent his eighteenth birthday in jail.
He was exiled to Siberia but soon escaped and arrived in London in to join Lenin. In Western Europe he met another young lady. The girl from Nikolaev was known as Mrs. Bronstein, the Parisian as Mrs. Trotsky, and neither seemed to complain. After the II Congress in Trotsky was for a time associated with the Mensheviks, but in he developed an independent doctrinal line and between revolutions belonged to neither the Bolshevik nor the Menshevik wing.
In he won renown for his brief chairmanship of the St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers' Deputies. During the next few years he tried to reunite the Party and for that reason refrained form trying to build a faction of his own.
None of the other groups found this pose to its taste. During the years just before World War I Trotsky's anti-factionalist stand became in effect an anti-Leninist one.
After the war began he went to New York, and it was from there that he traveled to Russia in the spring of During the summer he joined the Bolshevik Party, although he clearly implied that his only reason for doing so was that the party had belatedly adopted the analysis and tactical line which he had espoused all along.
His ability and his logic did not always endear him to his comrades, but his oratorical and practical gifts did win him broad popularity among the urban workers and soldiers in late and during the Civil War.
As war commissar he clashed with Stalin, who ensconced himself at Tsaritsyn with some of his old friends from Caucasus days and flouted Trotsky's authority. However, Stalin was as yet no adversary in the field of theory and policy, which Trotsky considered fundamental.
As the triumvirate took form, Trotsky was plainly the most important figure outside it. But no one regarded Stalin as the most eminent of the three. Zinoviev, especially, had an international prestige which Stalin lacked, while both Kamenev and he were regarded as theorists in a way Stalin was not--and a Communist leader had to be a theorist. As the struggle developed between Trotsky and the triumvirs, Stalin counted less on his own influence than on Trotsky's vulnerability.
He did not at first try to turn the struggle into a personal contest. An eye witness has told the story of how Zinoviev and Kamenev would snub Trotsky in Politburo meetings, while Stalin would greet him warmly II.
Stalin banishes Trotsky - HISTORY
Trotsky Against the Triumvirate On the eve of Lenin's death, the Thirteenth Party Conference published, on Stalin's motion, the decision empowering the Central Committee to expel Party members for factionalism. At the moment the leader died a new sanctity enveloped his every word and deed, including this decision, in which Lenin had taken part.
Simultaneously the triumvirs decreed a new recruiting campaign, nominally with a view to strengthening the actual worker element in Party ranks. Actually Stalin, as general secretary, was able to bolster his own influence by guiding the Party machinery in selecting new members.
In a few short weeks nearly a quarter of a million men and women were admitted in the new "Lenin enrollment. Zinoviev openly attacked Trotsky and demanded that he retract his "errors. Trotsky replied to Zinoviev with a cri de coeur which went to the root of his whole position, morally requiring him to sit passive in the face of doom: The party in the last analysis is always right because the party is the single historic instrument given to the proletariat for the solution of its fundamental problems.
I have already said that in front of one's own party nothing could be easier than to say: I, however, comrades, cannot say that, because I do not think it. I know that one must not be right against the party. One can be right only with the party, and through the party, for history has created no other road for the realization of what is right. The Congress was unmoved. It promptly took steps to discipline the Russian Troskyites, as well as dissidents in the other parties of the Comintern.
In the autumn of Trotsky published The Lessons of October, in which he distinguished between objectively revolutionary situations and subjective failures of revolutionary leaders in such situations. As illustrations oft he latter, he cited Zinoviev's and Kamenev's opposition to Lenin's decision to launch an armed uprising in the fall of thus reopening an extremely ugly wound--and he also implied that Zinoviev was largely responsible for the failure of the German Communist revolt of Trotsky restated his old theory of "permanent revolution," with its emphasis on the world leadership of the proletariat and its implicit challenge to the Leninist position on the role of the poor peasantry in building socialism.
Trotsky had made a tactical error. By his emphasis on "October" he opened the way for Zinoviev and Kamenev to retaliate by reminding the Party again of Trotsky's sharp disagreements with Lenin prior to Stalin's caution had reaped its reward. Since he was not directly drawn into this controversy, he was in a position to make public statements in November which in effect forgave Zinoviev and Kamenev for their earlier mistakes--he even acknowledged some of his own--but forcefully recalled to his hearers the fact that Trotsky was, after all, a newcomer in Party ranks.
He set forth a theoretical position of his own from which he could challenge Trotsky. A few months later, in Problems of Leninism, he advanced his theory of "Socialism in one country. If the Russian Communists were not to be indefinitely bogged down in the NEP state, they must push on to socialism, even if the world revolution was still further delayed.
Authority for such an effort could be found in Lenin.