In this essay I am going to talk about how Trotsky’s contribution helped the Bolsheviks to success in Russia.
Trotsky had a broad personality which helped him grow in popularity. He was a brilliant orator which allowed him to deliver speeches to Russian citizens and win the Bolsheviks a lot of support. Without this help, the Bolsheviks couldn’t have had success in the revolution. Trotsky delivered some of his speeches on war trains whilst travelling around Russia. He spread propaganda to his supporters and to the soldiers in the civil war. This would have upped their moral during the war and helped the Bolsheviks by encouraging them to fight harder to win a victory for the reds.
Trotsky was university educated so he was intelligent and would have known what kinds of ideas were good or bad. This would have helped the Bolsheviks plan their way through the revolution well. His speeches backed up Lenin and the rest of the Bolsheviks, which showed that he was a committed member of the party which would have made Trotsky’s supporter become Bolshevik supporters.
Furthermore, Trotsky was the major part in the negotiation of the peace treaty at Bret-Litovsk with Germany. Even though a lot of Russian land was given up, the Bolsheviks were put into a stronger position than the Tsar and Provisional Government ever were in. This helped the Bolsheviks because the treaty showed meaning to the slogan “Peace, land, bread” and was backed up. This helped the Bolsheviks because people could trust them to do what they were saying. This gained extra support from people who didn’t want to continue with the war in Europe. The treaty also strengthened the Bolsheviks’ power and control because the army was brought back and used to help the Bolsheviks maintain that control.
Before the revolution in November 1917, Trotsky worked for newspapers, writing articles to stir up a rebellion. He delivered propaganda into Russia and was particularly anti-Tsarist. This helped the Bolsheviks gain supporters before the revolution, which would have been much needed to win it.
In addition to this, Trotsky was Commissar of War and Foreign Affairs. This allowed him to direct the army during the civil war how he wanted it to be. He also held families hostage to bribe ex-Russian officers into the army which made his army larger and stronger. This helped the Bolsheviks to success in the civil war because his army was more experienced and therefore more likely to win the war. Trotsky did lead the Bolsheviks to victory which helped them stay in control and keep power. This victory also ensured the survival of the Bolsheviks Government.
Moreover, Trotsky was responsible for the creation of the Red Army and the Red Guard. He used ex-Russian army officers that were experienced, to be in his army. This won the war for the Bolsheviks. The Red Guard helped the Bolsheviks at the beginning of the revolution. They were the guard that seized power in Petrograd and other major cities in November 1917. This helped the Bolsheviks quickly gain control before the Whites could create a counter-revolution.
The Red Guard also were the main body of the Red Terror in the country. This helped the Bolsheviks scare the White supporters and allow the Bolsheviks to keep their power and control over Russia.
What is more, Trotsky was the cause of the Red Terror in the country. He was a ruthless man who made sure those who opposed him and the Bolsheviks were arrested or killed. This helped the Bolsheviks minimize White supporters and ‘enemies’ by arrest, torture or murder. Trotsky was further ruthless by commanding generals of his Red Army to shoot any soldier who deserted his post or didn’t want to fight any more. This helped the Bolsheviks gain complete loyalty throughout the army because Trotsky created fear in the soldiers so they wouldn’t desert, and therefore the Reds would have a bigger army to win the civil war with.
Finally, Trotsky had a part in the writing of new Communist Laws. These laws helped the Bolsheviks keep control and stabilised the power in Russia. The laws also made the people act and do what the Bolsheviks wanted them to, so order and control was kept.
In conclusion, Trotsky contributed largely to the Bolsheviks up to 1922. Using his intelligence, his ruthlessness and his experience as a military leader Trotsky gained the support he needed to keep control and power in Russia for the Bolsheviks.