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The Russian Civil War took place in November 1917, coming off the heels of the Russian Revolution. The revolution took place in March of that year, and was the direct cause of the civil war. So in order to understand the civil war, one must take a look at the Russian Revolution first.
The Russian Revolution came as a result of the increasingly bad living conditions in Russia; the peasants had little to no food and the working class was underpaid while the upper class lead a comparably luxurious lifestyle. The revolutionaries felt that the answer to all the problems would be a shift to communism. The reason they felt this way is because communism, which has the same homiletic roots as the words common and community, preaches the abolition of all private property and the development of a classless social system. Communism is a political philosophy that in theory caters to the needs of the commoners, the commoners in this case being the working class and peasant Russians.
The outcome of the Russian Revolution was a victory for the Bolshevik party that represented the communist philosophy. The Bolsheviks, after seizing power, issued a number of Robin Hood-esque decrees. The Decree of Land seized all private estates and distributed them to the peasants. A second decree, the Worker's Control of the Factories Decree supported much coveted representation to the workers with the management of factories. The Bolsheviks then went on to nationalize all the banks, urging all common citizens to loot the looters, and take property that was rightfully theirs from the bourgeois.
Although clearly popular with the masses, the decrees were opposed by the Socialist Revolutionaries. They felt that once these decrees became known to the public masses, there would be social chaos and economic catastrophe. The Socialist Revolutionaries also didn't appreciate that the Bolsheviks had ignored all demands for free press, free trade unions and free elections. The complaints of the Socialists forced the Bolsheviks into holding a constituent assembly to vote on the political future of Russia. The outcome of the assembly was overwhelmingly anti-Bolshevik. The Bolsheviks, not content with admitting defeat and going home, immediately dissolved the assembly. Soldiers were sent in killing at least twenty people and that evening, Bolshevik soldiers beat to death two leading Cadets.
The two sides of the Civil War had been set. On one side was the White Army, the color white unintentionally representative of their "good guy" status. On the other side was the Red Army of the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks, officially representing communism, also represented, based on the recent events, social chaos, and cruelty. President Wilson, of the United States, did not have a hard time deciding which side he would prefer end up being victorious. The only dilemma Wilson faced was whether to intervene behalf of the White Army or not.
Upon the United States entering WWI, President Wilson and Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, met to decide what the goals of the United States should be in the war. They decided that the main goal of the United States was to be economic expansion. Wilson believed that no nation could be considered free unless they possessed economic freedom as well. Therefore, the United States, now as "The Land of the Free," must obtain as much economic freedom as they could. Wilson not only felt that economic expansion by the United States would bring freedom to the US but felt that the economic relations that the Us would then have with the other countries would in effect bring tastes of democracy and freedom to those countries as well.
Quotes talked about in this paper
- He had himself said, "When properly directed, there is no people not fitted for self-government." ...
- "Russian Problem," was unavoidable by Wilson and had to be discussed. ...
- Wilson stated that United States should give Russia an "an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy." ...
Names mentioned in this research paper
President Wilson, Wilson, Bolsheviks, all countries.,
Organizations talked about in this paper
Locations included in this essay
United States of America, themselves, Germany, Siberia, France,
Keywords mentioned in this essay
United States, the bolsheviks, Russia, civil war, economic freedom, Woodrow Wilson, Socialist Revolutionaries, Russians, Russian Civil War, Germany, allied powers, the russian revolution, the russian civil war, economic expansion, Siberia, political philosophy, White Army, dilemma, World War One, Czechs, Home Page, Bolshevik party, free trade unions, self determination, Russian people, constituent assembly, public policy, Red Army, German army, Robert Lansing, upper class, France, living conditions, good guy, Trans Siberian railroad, social system, national policy, Theodore Roosevelt, public interest, finest hours, British government, private property, Czech Legion, free elections, industrial strength, Edward House, social orders, right time, American military, Red Cross,