Vladimir Lenin: A Catalyst for Revolution
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, revolutionary Vladimir Lenin was the driving force behind Russian Marxism, reformation and organization of the working class, and the political catalyst behind the Revolution of 1905. During this time period, the new Russian working class had left the countryside for urban factories. Workers revolted against Tsarist oppression and participated in illegal strikes. Lenin organized workers under the Social Democratic Party who petitioned for civil liberties, higher wages, and increased land for the peasantry. These petitions led to strikes across the Russian empire, spurring political change on account of Vladimir Lenin. The many revolutionary ideologies which were introduced in the late 19th century spurred a clash between Lenin and other political groups. The Narodniks’ social movement was at its peak in the 1860s and 1870s and believed that the peasantry would over throw the Tsardom, but now without the help of extreme leaders. Lenin staunchly disagreed with the latter part of this belief, knowing that “the people” could organize to form a strong, cohesive organization capable of directing themselves. 1 He also criticized the Narodniks’ extreme methods which included sending daring and lonely revolutionaries to bomb or kill people connected to the tyrannous Tsardom “because it was the will of ‘the people’ ”. Lenin acknowledged that his followers had never “rejected terrorism on principle”, but disagreed with the individualized attacks carried out by the Narodniks. 2 He knew that a central revolutionary organization with complete harmony would be most effective in spreading Marxist ideals. Vladimir Lenin sparked interest in his revolution via anti-Tsarist and pro-Marxist propaganda. In the mid 1890s, Lenin travelled to Western Europe to learn about developments in their labor movement from leader in the Emancipation of Labor Group. 1 The group was made up of the oldest, most...
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