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5. The Impact of the Civil War
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the extent to which the political culture of the early Soviet regime was shaped by the experience of the Russian Civil War (1917-22), focusing in particular on: (i) the devastating impact of the Russian Civil War; (ii) the growing importance of the Red Army, and the extent to which the army became a politically-important institution in this period; (iii) the development of the organs of government within the Communist Party, including the creation of the Politburo and Orgburo; (iv) the extent to which decision-making powers shifted from the Council of People’s Commissars to the Politburo of the Community Party, and the influence that the Civil War had on this shift; and (v) the extent to which the personnel that now made up the Communist Party were of a different frame of mind to those who had founded it – less interested in the ins and outs of Marxist ideology, more interested in political power and how to keep hold of it.
In this course, Dr Lara Douds (Northumbria University) explores the development of the Soviet system of government in the years following the October Revolution. In the first module, we introduce the rich and contested scholarship on this topic, including the concepts of ‘circumstantialism’ and ‘the totalitarian paradigm’. After that, we think about the nature of the government set up by the Bolsheviks following the October Revolution. In the third module, we explore why the Bolsheviks dissolved the newly-created Constituent Assembly after just thirteen hours, before turning in the fourth module to consider what the Red Terror can tell us (if anything) about the intrinsic nature of Bolshevism. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about the extent to which the political culture of the early Soviet regime was transformed and shaped by the experience of the long and brutal Russian Civil War, 1917-22.
Dr Lara Douds is Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow in History at Northumbria University. She is a specialist in the history of state building, political practice, and political culture in the first decade of Soviet power and author, among other things, of Inside Lenin’s Government: Power, Ideology and Practice in the Early Soviet State (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Douds, L. (2021, February 04). Russia: The Development of the Soviet Politics, 1917-22 - The Impact of the Civil War [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/russia-the-development-of-the-soviet-politics-1917-22/the-impact-of-the-civil-war
Douds, L. "Russia: The Development of the Soviet Politics, 1917-22 – The Impact of the Civil War." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 04 Feb 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/russia-the-development-of-the-soviet-politics-1917-22/the-impact-of-the-civil-war