Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive actions over the past few years have led to suggestions that he may be trying to reinstate the former Soviet Union. So how exactly did the Soviet Union rise to power to begin with?
Well, the history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics begins with the end of the Russian czardom. For hundreds of years, Russia was ruled by a series of monarchs, called “czars”, who wielded absolute authority.
By the late 19th century, Russia had been controlled by Romanov family. A dynasty which had ruled nearly for 300 years.
In 1881, Czar Alexander II was killed in an explosion caused by revolutionaries. But this revolutionaries was not able to end Romanov rule over Russia. Alexander III become the new Czar of Russia.
In 1887, Aleksandr Ulyanov with other revolutionaries attempted to assassinate Alexander III. But this assassination attempt was failed and all revolutionaries were ultimately arrested.
Czar Alexander III offered a option that, if the group claim their actions for wrong and make a public apology than their punishment will be expelled, but Ulyanov refused and he was hanged.
Note:- Ulyanov was elder brother of Vladimir Lenin.
In 1894 Alexander III died in the relatively young age of 49. Alexander III son Nicholas II declared as the new Czar of Russia.
But in the early 20th century, Russia suffered a series of demoralizing military defeats, in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War puts the Czar capability to the test.
This state of affairs eventually prompted a revolt from revolutionary groups, who rejected rule by elites, instead encouraging rule by the working class. Russia looses the war and this was promote the idea that Czar was not capable.
This results in a series of protest in Russia. Events like the Bloody Sunday massacre triggered a more bigger nationwide protest, but ultimately the protest was crashed by Czar army. The 1905 revolution was unsuccessful.
World War I proved to be last nail in the coffin. World War I was a complete mess for Russia and the Czar gave himself military control rather than his experienced military personnel. With over 3 Million dead revolution errupted in whole over Russia.
As the protest becoming uncontrollable Nicholas II immediately attempted to nominate new Czar which was obviously declined. The public not just done with Nicholas Ii but also with Czardom in general. This was known as February Revolution.
From here a new provisional government setup at the czar place. But the Russia continued to be engaged in war, even though Russia involvement in World War I was enormously unpopular. Still the citizens of Russia has nothing to eat.
This is the time when Vladimir Lenin marks his entry in the Russia.
In February 1897, Lenin was sentenced without trial to three years’ exile in eastern Siberia. After three year exile Lenin went to Europe and in these times Lenin continue to learn communism. Vladimir Lenin introduce a new concept called Leninism inspired by Karl Marx, Marxism’s.
In 1917 when Lenin learned about the ongoing situation in Russia, he decided to return Russia to take charge of Bolshevik.
He organised a plan with other dissidents to negotiate a passage for them through Germany, with whom Russia was then at war. Germany helped Lenin to reach Russia through a Train.
A civil war started in Russia and Bolshevik started gaining sizeable amount of power in the nation. World War I was over as Russia made a peace treaty. Two forces Bolshevik and the provisional government started clashing with each other.
The following year the Czar and his entire family were summarily executed. After a civil war between loyalists, known as The Whites (interim Government), and revolutionaries, called The Reds (Bolshevik), the Reds won and unified under the communist ideology, creating the first socialist state: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922.
Vladimir Lenin was instituted as the leader of the state, and the Bolsheviks were renamed “The Communist Party”.
In 1922 Union treaty formally joins Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Transcaucasus – which were divided in 1936 into Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – into the Soviet Union.
Lenin nationalised the country’s industries, particularly manufacturing and banking, and distributed land among its citizens.
Those who opposed him were either executed or imprisoned in concentration camps, in a campaign known as the Red Terror. Although Lenin died just two years after the formation of the USSR, his cult of personality was used throughout its history to promote a political ideology known as Marxism-Leninism, a derivation of Communism.
After Lenin’s death, another revolutionary Bolshevik, Joseph Stalin, gained power despite serious opposition from Lenin in his final years. This opposition was kept secret from the public, and Stalin effectively became a dictator in the Soviet Union.