Why was the government so repressive in the years 1921 to 1929

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There are a number of reasons why the Communist government was so repressive during the years 1921 to 1929. The Communist government was mainly very repressive so that it did not have to deal with any opposition or other independent organisations. It was repressive due to the problems that the government had had to face in the past, which they did not want a repeat performance of in the future e. g. , the Russian Civil War.

The government’s aim was to have a one-party state in which they would have total control, so during the periods of 1921 to 1929 their aim was to totally eliminate any persons, parties or things which could obstruct their total control. Other than these reasons that have been stated there were many other reasons why the Bolsheviks were so repressive. As has already been said one of the reasons why the Bolsheviks were so repressive was because of events, which had happened in the past.

The Communist government wanted to learn from their mistakes so that they could be the only single party in Russia with no opposition to face. When the Bolsheviks seized power after their Coup on the 24th of October 1917 they allowed elections that Kerensky had promised to take place. The results of these elections were not positive at all for the Bolsheviks as the Social Revolutionaries received 45% of the vote where as the Bolsheviks received only a minor 25% of the vote. Due to this the Bolsheviks dissolved the Constituent Assembly as they did not believe in having to share power.

The government feared other parties being favoured above them between 1921 and 1929, similarly like what had happened in 1917 which is why they repressed the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in between these years. The Civil War, which began in 1918 and ended in 1921, was fought against the Whites, a collective group of different parties who wanted to get rid of the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks won the Civil War but began to repress the country of Russia so that another Civil War would be unable to emerge in the future and allow them to solely be in power.

The aim was to repress political parties like before so that the Communist government would be unable to face opposition as there would be none. The Communist Government also saw independent parties and organisations as a threat. E. g. the Proletukult – an offshoot of the factory committees – which by 1917 had 0. 4m members and was outside of Communist Party control and was seen to be encouraging bourgeois ideas. The Bolsheviks were also repressive because of rival socialist parties such as the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries.

These two parties had become more popular during the strikes and revolts and had played some help in encouraging Russian people to go against the Bolshevik party, this made sure that the Bolsheviks were not the sole Party in Russia. The Bolsheviks wanted total centralised control of Russia where only they could make the decisions. Other reasons why the Government was so repressive between 1921 and 1929 was because they did not want any freedom of speech, religion or individual rights to be available as they were seen to be able to ruin a government.

Before the Communist Party had set out to destroy the churches many people believed firmly in going to Church and worshipping God. The Church was one of the largest groups in Russia and the Bolsheviks wanted it destroyed as they knew how capable the Church was of gaining power. The Communist party did not want any elements of the Tsarist regime to remain in place while they were in power either. The fear of invasion in 1927 was also another reason why the Bolsheviks became very repressive during the period 1921 to 1929.

By 1927, relations with France and Poland had deteriorated, Britain had broken off diplomatic relations and there were suspicions about Japanese intentions. The USSR needed an industrial base to build up armaments and so introduced the Five-Year plan, which repressed Russian Society even more as individuals, especially peasants were unable to privately own land. They had to do what the government told them to do otherwise they ran the risk of losing their lives. These repressive measures ensured the Bolsheviks that industrialisation could start.

In conclusion there are a number of reasons why the Communist party was so repressive between 1921 and 1929, however, most reasons led up to the fact that the Communists wanted a one party state where the leading Bolsheviks made all the decisions. They did not want to have to compete with other political parties or the Church; they wanted to run the country by themselves. They were repressive in a number of ways e. g. censorship, a ban of factionalism, show trials and the establishment of the GPU. The reign of repression and terror allowed the leaders of Russia to implement their Communist ideas with little objection from others.

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