::Vladimir Lenin

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{{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Улья́нов{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr ɪˈlʲitɕ ʊˈlʲanəf]), alias Lenin ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}};<ref>"Lenin". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.</ref> Russian: Ле́нин{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}; IPA: [ˈlʲenʲɪn]) (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death. Under his administration, Russia became a one-party socialist state; all land, natural resources, and industry were confiscated and nationalized. Ideologically a Marxist, his political theories are known as Leninism.

Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin gained an interest in revolutionary leftist politics following the execution of his brother in 1887. Expelled from Kazan State University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist regime, he devoted the following years to a law degree and embraced Marxism. In 1893 he moved to Saint Petersburg and became a senior figure in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). Arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years, here he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile he fled to Western Europe, where he became a prominent party theorist through his publications. In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP schism over ideological differences, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Encouraging insurrection during Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he later campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would result in the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to campaign for the new regime's removal in place of a Bolshevik-led government of the soviets.

Lenin played a leading role in the October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Provisional Government and established a new Bolshevik-led administration, the Council of People's Commissars, with Lenin as its Chairman. Suppressing rival parties, they established a one-party state under the new Russian Communist Party. This administration withdrew Russia from the First World War by signing a punitive treaty with the Central Powers, permitted non-Russian nations to cede from Russian control, and oversaw radical land redistribution. Fierce opposition to Bolshevik rule resulted in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922, in which Lenin's government proved victorious, partly through the use of the Cheka and Red Terror. Lenin himself survived several failed assassination attempts. To promote world revolution, Lenin supported the creation of the Communist International. In 1921 Lenin proposed the New Economic Policy, a mixed economic system of state capitalism that started the process of industrialisation and recovery from the Civil War. In 1922, the Russian SFSR joined former territories of the Empire in becoming the Soviet Union, with Lenin as its head of government. In increasingly poor health, Lenin expressed concern regarding the bureaucratisation of the regime and the growing power of his successor, Joseph Stalin, before dying at his home in Gorki.

Recognised as one of the most significant and influential historical figures of the 20th century, Lenin remains a controversial and highly divisive world figure. Admirers view him as a champion of working people's rights and welfare whilst critics see him as the founder of a totalitarian dictatorship responsible for civil war and mass human rights abuses. Held in high esteem as a founding father of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, he remains an ideological figurehead behind Marxism–Leninism and a prominent influence over the international communist movement.


Vladimir Lenin sections
Intro  Early life  Revolutionary activity  Lenin's Government  Decline and death  Political ideology  Personal life and characteristics  Legacy  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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