Trotsky Essay Research Paper Trotsky was undoubtedly

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Trotsky Essay, Research Paper Trotsky was undoubtedly the most brilliant intellect brought to prominence by the Russian Revolution, outdistancing Lenin and other theoreticians both in the range of his interests and in the imaginativeness of his perceptions. He was a tireless worker, a rousing public speaker, and a decisive administrator. On the other hand, Trotsky was not successful as a leader of men, partly because he allowed his brilliance and arrogance to antagonize the lesser lights in the Communist movement. Perhaps he fatally compromised himself when he became a Bolshevik in 1917, subordinating himself to Lenin’s leaderhip and accepting the methods of dictatorship that he had previously condemned. At the age of eight, he was sent to school in Odessa, where he spent

eight years with the family of his mother’s nephew, a liberal intellectual. When he moved to Nikolayev in 1896 to complete his schooling, he was drawn into an underground Socialist circle and introduced to Marxism. In January 1898, Bronshtein was arrested for revolutionary activity and spent four and a half years in prison and in exile in Siberia, during which time he married his coconspirator Aleksandra and fathered two daughters. He escaped in 1902 with a forged passport bearing the name Trotsky, which he adopted as his revolutionary name. His wife remained behind, and the separation became permanent. Trotsky made his way to London, where he joined the group of Russian Social-Democrats working with Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin). At the Second Congress of the Russian

Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, held in Brussels and London in July 1903, Trotsky sided with the Menshevik faction–advocating a democratic approach to Socialism–against Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Shortly before this, in Paris, Trotsky had met and married Natalya Sedova, by whom he subsequently had two sons, Lev and Sergey. Upon the outbreak of revolutionary disturbances in 1905, Trotsky returned to Russia. He became a leading spokesman of the St. Petersburg Soviet (council) of Workers’ Deputies; when it organized a revolutionary strike movement and other measures of defiance against the tsarist government. In the aftermath, Trotsky was jailed and brought to trial in 1906. While incarcerated Trotsky wrote one of his major works, “Results and Prospects,” setting forth

his theory of permanent revolution. In 1907, after a second exile to Siberia, Trotsky once again escaped. He moved to Switzerland and then to Paris. His anti-war stance led to his expulsion from both France and Spain. He reached New York City in January 1917. Trotsky hailed the outbreak of revolution in Russia in February as the opening of the permanent revolution he had predicted. He reached Petrograd in mid-May and assumed the leadership of a left-wing Menshevik faction. Following the abortive July Days uprising, Trotsky was arrested in the crackdown on the Bolshevik leadership carried out by Aleksandr Kerensky’s liberal government. In August, while still in jail, Trotsky was formally admitted to the Bolshevik Party. When an ineffectual government raid precipitated fighting

early on November 6, Trotsky took a leading role in directing countermeasures for the soviet, while reassuring the public that his Military Revolutionary Committee meant only to defend the Congress of Soviets. Trotsky continued to function as the military leader of the Revolution when Kerensky vainly attempted to retake Petrograd with loyal troops. He organized and supervised the forces that broke Kerensky’s efforts at the Battle of Pulkovo on November 13. As foreign commissar, Trotsky’s first charge was to implement the Bolsheviks’ program of peace by calling for immediate armistice negotiations among the warring powers. Germany and its allies responded, and in mid-December peace talks were begun at Brest-Litovsk, though Trotsky continued vainly to invite support from the