Vladimir Ilich Lenin (1870-1924), was a Russian revolutionary leader, political
ideologist, and the creator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Hear Alexei German discussing Vladimir Lenin. (RealAudio)
Lenin moved to St. Petersburg from the small Russian town of Samara in 1893.
In 1895 he joined the outspoken Marxist circle and was soon arrested. After
serving 15 months in jail, he was exiled to Siberia until 1900. Lenin then
went abroad where he remained until the February revolution of 1917 which
overthrew Tsar Nicholas II. Quickly returning to Russia, Lenin spearheaded a
second revolution in October 1917 which brought his Bolshevik party to power.
Lenins main concern was the preservation of the revolution and Soviet power
against foreign and domestic enemies. Lenin, with Leon Trotsky, made peace
with Germany and successfully brought Russia through the civil war. Lenin
issued the New Economic Policy in 1921, returning the country to a mixed
economy, partially nationalized and partially market based. He also insisted
on the principle of one-party rule.
A series of strokes in 1922 and 1923 incapacitated Lenin leaving him without
speech and effectively ending his political career.
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