Question by y: why did trotsky join Lenin after the split in 1903?
Why is he important and how did he become a revolutionary leader?
Answer by Spellbound
Trotsky was an idealist who wanted the Russian Social and Democratic Labour Party to end the factional infighting that was tearing it apart in order to unite against the common enemy – the Tsar. He was also a massive egoist, and wanted the editorship of the party newspaper – Iskra.
In 1904 he saw his chance at attempting the first and getting the second, so he reconciled with Lenin.
He became a revolutionary whilst at school in Odessa. He hated the strict regime of the school, and the injustices he saw in the streets of the great seaport.
Trotsky was a maverick, disagreeing with both Menshevik and Bolshevik factions and only joining Lenin and the Bolsheviks in October 1917.
Before and during the October Revolution Trotsky was the chairman of the the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet. It was this organisation that, under Lenin’s direction, that staged the takeover of the state known as the October Revolution.
As the Revolution descended into Civil War, Trotsky was given the task of organising the Bolshevik Red Army to fight the anti-Bolshevik forces, the Whites and other groups hostile to the Bolshevik takeover – including the UK, USA, France and Japanese who took over ports around the country trying to force Russia back into WWI – and later to try to depose the new regime.
After the Civil War he was considered one of the front runners for the role of leading the country after the death of Lenin – but he fell foul of the master manipulator (who hated his popularity, his organisational skills and was wary that the army may be loyal to him – Stalin). He was the leader of the Left Opposition, and because of this Stalin had him exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929.
Trotsky wrote a number of books, articles and pamphlets decrying what had happened to the revolution and proposed alternative policies for the country – leading to the branch of communism known as Trotskyism. Stalin took action against him, and, in 1940, in Mexico, he was stabbed to death.
His birth name was Leiba, not Lev or Leon, Davidovich Bronstein.
He took the name Trotsky from one of his gaolers.
He had four children, two each by his two wives: Nina and Zinaida by Aleksandra
and Lev and Sergei by his second wife – Natal’ia
For an in depth examination of his life, works and ideas see:
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