A Separate Peace The Dying Legacy

By early 1918 in Russia, the Bolsheviks controlled only the north-western area of the Russian Empire (Petrograd and Moscow) together with the areas between and around them. Various opposition groups were formed against the Bolsheviks, under the new Provisional Government. The provisional government had proposed elections for a new assembly in late 1917; Lenin had seen that the Bolsheviks must act before this democratically elected government convened, but once in power, he allowed the elections to proceed. In the November 1917 polls, Bolshevik candidates won just under 25 per cent of the vote, while the moderate socialists polled over 40 per cent. Lenin sent his loyal troops to close down the constituent assembly the day after it convened. Russia was about to enter a bloody civil war, which was a culmination of the efforts of varied opposition groups to defeat the Bolsheviks, from which it would emerge into Leninist and Stalinist tyranny.
The causes of the civil war are diverse. A confusion of governments and opponents existed, some based on minorities and nationalities. From these, the Lithuanians, Moldavians, and Ukrainians declared independence. There was a Polish dispute over rights of sovereignty which raised tensions between Poland and her communist neighbor that would lead to war. Moreover, leaders of anti-Bolsheviks known as the "Whites" went to rebellion with the aim of establishing a power base and advancing from it to the Bolshevik stronghold (Years of Change, 402). With the ideal of "Russia one and indivisible" (Alexeyev), the White forces consisted of three main groups: revolutionary groups hostile toward the Bolsheviks, former officers of the Imperial army resentful of "betrayal at Brest Litvosk" (T A Morris) and national groups seeking independence for their particular minority. Lastly, according to T A Morris, the revolt Czechoslovak Legion was " the greatest catalyst of civil confl…

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