Sunday, June 26, 2022

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin was the architect of Russia’s 1917 Bolshevik revolution and the first leader of what became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Vladimir Lenin was born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov in 1870 into a middle-class family in Ulyanovsk, Russia. He was the third of six siblings in an educated family and would go on to become first in his class in high school.

In August 1887, just a few months after his brother’s death, 17-year-old Lenin entered Kazan University to study law. He was expelled that December, however, for taking part in a student protest.

In 1889, Lenin declared himself a Marxist. He later finished college and received a law degree. Lenin practiced law briefly in St. Petersburg in the mid-1890s.

Lenin published his first Marxist essay in 1894, and the following year he traveled to France, Germany and Switzerland in order to meet with like-minded revolutionaries.

He soon was arrested for engaging in Marxist activities and exiled to Siberia. His fiancée and future wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, joined him there. The two would marry on July 22, 1898.

Lenin later moved to Germany and then Switzerland, where he met other European Marxists. Lenin first moved to London in April 1902, where he met the ill-fated Leon Trotsky. From a small office at 37a Clerkenwell Green, he published Iskra, a leading socialist newspaper.

The term 'Bolshevik' was coined by Lenin in London, during a congress in July 1903. The word meant 'those in the majority' (in favor of a strong top-down leadership), in contrast to the rival Mensheviks, who were in the minority. Lenin returned to Russia in April 1917 after the czar had abdicated and the Soviet Revolution was underway.

Lenin and his Red Guards, a secretly organized army of peasants, workers, and disaffected Russian military men, seized control of the government in a nearly bloodless coup d'état in November 1917.

Lenin died on January 21, 1924 in Gorki at the age of 53 years. Although some doctors suggested that the origin of his health problems was neurosyphilis, the autopsy findings were consistent with a severe atherosclerosis.
Vladimir Lenin

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