“Peace, land, and bread” (Sokolskaya). That indeed was the supposed fulfillment made by Vladimir Lenin to the citizens of Russia, in order to seize power from the Tsar. Little did the people know that they might have been better off with Czar Nicholas II, rather than the Bolsheviks. The Russian Revolution unsuspectingly made negative impacts on society. The negative effects were the failure of the economy, the creation of a communist state, and the loss of entitled freedoms and rights.
The Russian Revolution had a few causes such as the starvation of many people, the failure of World War I and the Tsar, and the fact that Russia was not modernized. Russians suffered and struggled with life changing conditions such as poor harvests, diseases, and the absence of education (Ross 8). The military defeats of World War I caused political conflicts and the capital refused to take action. The Tsar failed to meet the needs of the citizens and did not take charge appropriately of the government until it was far too late (“Collapse”).
In result, society blamed him and gunned down his palace on “Bloody Sunday,” overthrew him, and then appointed Lenin as their leader. Furthermore, society soon came to the realization that they were not modernized. Therefore, the people of Russia wanted change and wanted to become industrialized like other societies who endured the Industrial Revolution. All in all, the people of Russia wanted change and thought that they would soon achieve it. Which is why, these wants and desires led to the contribution of the Russian Revolution. Primarily, a negative and damaging effect of the Russian Revolution, was the choice of leader.
When the citizens of Russia overthrew the Tsar, they willingly and pridefully chose Vladimir Lenin as the leader of their society. The Russians assumed and believed that Lenin would grant them all of their needs and benefit Russia as a whole. Unfortunately with the long terms with Lenin being appointed, it did not work out for the better. Lenin brought about communism, famine, denied rights, and empty promises in the end. Lenin with his “unbounded power” pursued his own ideal views on what life should be like without any oppositions affecting him or opinions given by other people (Pipes 43).
Therefore, Lenin and the Bolsheviks took complete power and spread communism throughout Russia. The Bolsheviks took advantage of so many people and made their own government policies. Additionally, while Lenin thought his New Economic Policy was helping and saving the country, it was still hurting many. Russians were still going through famine and starvation, even though Lenin promised, “peace, land, and bread” (Sokolskaya). Lenin also promised freedoms and rights but those were taken away and denied from citizens. When entitled rights are taken away and deprived, there will never be peace and unity within society.
The country of Russia expected great change and life changing welfare, all the people received was disappointment and misery in the long run. Another hurtful and degrading effect to the people of Russia were the agricultural and economic effects they had to go through. Before and during the Russian Revolution, there were poor harvests, which means famine. When Lenin and the Bolsheviks acquired power in October 1917, they claimed they were going to resolve the issue and cease starvation, but sadly they failed to eliminate the needs of food (Darby).
In Russia, food was limited and the Russians were starving day and night. Throughout the country, 25 million civilians were starving and over a million of them died (Epic). Children and families all over Russia were supposed to be ensured with food and they were dying of starvation. Moreover, in order to keep peace with Germany, Russia had to relinquish 27% of the land used for crops and 60 million people (Ross 8). When Lenin and his creation of the USSR, or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, came to power, he stripped the power and the wealth of the church.
Due to that action, the people could no longer practice their religions, which contributes to the freedoms that were taken away by Lenin. In addition to the land that was given to Germany to maintain peace, Russia had to hand over 33% of their manufacturing industry (Ross 8). This had many effects on the economy, which is why Lenin introduced his New Economic Policy. The people thought that the policy was only benefitting, but it was also hurting as well. The New Economic Policy was based on a tax on food production. Lenin was basically taxing what people owned and under war communism, food was forcibly taken (“New”).
Although this could help the economy, it also hurts majority of the people because it is taking money that people barely have. Essentially, the people of Russia could never make a profit or even just be content with a stable amount of money. Ultimately, Lenin composed negative agricultural and economic effects to Russia’s society, even though some people believed he was advantageous. Communism, communists, and communist ideas, unfortunately played a major role during the Russian Revolution. Also the deprivation and denying of basic everyday freedoms and rights, contributed to the negative effects of this revolution.
Communism took over and spread widely through the country of Russia and affected so many civilians. The people were told that equality of opinion, rights, and voice would exist. All of those were not equal, though said to be. During the election in an assembly, the Bolsheviks’ and Soviets’ votes counted more than the citizens’ votes (Ross 44). Also, war communism fundamentally destroyed the economy and the citizens. Lenin thought people would support the idea, but the sales and production of crops plummeted because the people knew they would just be taken away by the Soviets.
The Soviets during the Russian Revolution were considerably uncontrollable and unstoppable. If Russia had not chosen Lenin with his communistic ideas, the country’s government could have evolved into a modern democracy, rather than a monarchy with a fragmented society (Collapse). Communism is one of the crucial reasons that society believes caused and sparked World War II. Furthermore, Lenin underprivileged the civilians of Russia and overprivileged himself and the Bolsheviks. Lenin did not grant the freedoms people wanted.
People could not read, write, or say what they wanted because of Lenin. Peace was guaranteed, yet peace cannot be reached without liberties and entitlements. Ultimately, Lenin taking power with the Bolsheviks was a dreadful and appalling action in the end. Eventually when Lenin died, a man named Joseph Stalin rose to power in Russia and that was the most negligent and inferior event that could have happened. Stalin succeeded Lenin and set up a complete communist state. He created an elite bureaucracy and ideally had set up a totalitarian state (Pipe 45). Stalin had total power and he knew it.
Anyone who appeared as a threat to him or unloyal was terminated. This was also known as “The Great Purge” and it marked a period of persecution and oppression (“Guided”). Stalin and his Soviet Union persecuted and killed wealthy peasants, people involved in capitalism, clergymen, and oppositionists. The Great Purge instituted a new type of terror with its imprisonments and executions of anyone who threatens Stalin’s power (“Guided). All together, Stalin had executed millions of people and ruled through terror. He enforced militarism and also disadvantaged citizens of freedoms.
He disabled the Russians’ freedom of speech, press, and assembly, in order to secure his absolute power. He guaranteed his power in the government with his idea of command economy. In his command economy, the citizens had no say in economic decisions, only the government. As a long term result of Lenin acquiring power, Stalin succeeded him and essentially destructed Russian society. Stalin drastically hurt society, even more than Adolf Hitler. Stalin killed millions of more people than Hitler did, which shows the dramatic number of lives he ended (Snyder).
Stalin was the biggest threat to society when he ruled Russia and Lenin was the main root to why this happened. After examining the evidence, the conception of “peace, land, and bread,” led to agitation, limitations, and starvations (Sokolskaya). Regrettably at the start, Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown and the Bolsheviks then hijacked power. The Communists negatively affected society because of their revolution and the life changing negative effects that came along. The Russian Revolution demeaningly deprived the people of rights and sadly ignited communism which will never be forgotten.