Notes on the early actions taken by Bolsheviks

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After assuming power, the Bolsheviks acted with great speed and energy. One of the first action which the Bolsheviks took was that it immediately announced its intention to conclude an armistic without ‘annexations or indemnites’, with right of self-determination for all the people. But as France, England or even United States were not willing to negotiate the peace on the terms announced by the Bolsheviks, the latter proceeded to conclude the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany.

No doubt the terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk were dictated by Germany and constituted a severe blow to the working class of Russia, but the Russian leaders accepted these terms because they were keen to ensure that the Bolsheviks should remain in power in Russia.

In the domestic sphere the Bolsheviks introduced a number of radical .changes. A J] estates of state, church and private owners were confiscated and turned over to the volost land committees. These lands were acquired without giving any compensation to the landlords. The banks, industries and means of transport and communication were taken over by the state. Laws were passed for the protection of women, minors and mine workers.

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The working hours were restricted to eight hours a day. Civil ranks and classes were abolished. Insurance and price regulations were introduced. Ail pre-war loans of the Czarist regime were declared null and void. The registration of births, marriages and deaths was made obligatory. Only civil marriages were recognized. The equality between legitimate and illegitimate children was adopted. Divorce by petition of one or both parties was made possible. Church was separated from the state and religious education in the schools was stopped. In the army all titles and class distinctions were done away with. Committees of soldiers were set up and elections of the officers were introduced.

The inheritance of property was abolished and a great programme to abolish illiteracy was launched. The courts were abolished and replaced by People’s tribunals. The Police System, which had broken down during the revolution, was replaced by the Cheka (Extraordinary Commission). Following the break­down of the negotiation with Germany at Brest-Litovsk, the Red Army was created.

It was organized on the federal basis and was charged with the defence of the socialist Fatherland. The problem of nationalities was solved by promising right of self-determination to all the groups of the empire. Various national groups were authorized to constitute themselves as independent states. It was in pursuance of this law that the Unkraine, Bessarabia and Caucasus regions became independent states.

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