During the time period of 1917 until 1924, Lenin remained in full power of Russia through the Bolshevik party. During this time he made major decisions that affected the Russian people in a positive or negative way, reflecting whether he was a good or bad leader. This essay will look at the actions of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in their rein to see whether his leadership ship skills were good or bad. Overall, Lenin appeared to be a good leader and had a natural talent to lead his party to success.
His good leadership was shown first shown by the civil war, which led the Reds into power or Russia. Despite foreign support of that the Whites had, eventually they were defeated by the Bolsheviks War Communism was very negative for the citizens of Russia and cause Lenin to become very unpopular with his people, especially the peasants. War Communism was policies that were needed for Lenin and Trotsky to take control of the economy. When the peasants owned the land and workers controlled the factories, both failed to deliver the production needed.
Lenin had to take control and ceased all the grain from the peasants and put new workers at the factories to run them. Putting new stricter workers in control at the factories caused factory workers to do their jobs properly; otherwise they would suffer the harsh punishments. All the grain was ceased from the peasants and was used to feed the Red Army, causing the peasants to loose their main source of food which lead to starvation and death amongst many.
If any grain was hidden peasants were taunted and threatened until the grain was found, peasants began to grow less as they would rather give less to the Bolsheviks as they were unable to keep any. Lenin soon became extremely unpopular with the peasants, showing that his leadership skills were failing as the majority of his country no longer supported him. Lenin’s policies became unbearable and serious opposition came to the government in March 1921. Sailors at the Kronstadt Naval base revolted; accusing the communists of breaking their promises of 1917.
Lenin immediately ordered the Red Army to abolish this revolt, this caused 20,000 casualties and all leaders of the revolt were executed. Though Lenin thought it was best to keep his people under control, his leadership tactic was extremely harsh and causing over 20,000 casualties did not improve his popularity. The Kronstadt Revolt made Lenin realize how unpopular War Communism was and that changes had to be made to prevent the overthrow of the communist government.
Though Lenin had made vital mistakes, he realized that he had been too harsh and change was needed, improving his popularity and showing better leadership skills. Lenin began to try and improve his peoples lives and to do this he introduced the NEP. The ceasing of the peasants grain was abolished, a certain amount still had to be taken but it was much less than before. The remaining grain that was produced could be sold or kept.
Small scale businesses under private ownership were permitted; they were allowed to trade and make a profit. Private trades were also permitted; all the food and goods were moved more easily from the countryside to the towns, the shops began to open and all rationing was ended. The NEP proved to be successful, people were more happy, peasants grew more grain as the could keep and receive a profit from it and factory workers worked more efficiently as food wasn’t rationed and the prices had dropped.