- Published: December 31, 2021
- Updated: December 31, 2021
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Believer of Communism, Leon Trotsky was a Russian Marxist and Soviet politician that led the revolutionary win of the Bolshevik Party in October 1917. Leon Trotsky was the founder and leader of the Red Army, but his revolutionary activity began from a young age. Trotsky was known for being a prolific writer that informed people about his opinions on the aspects of the Russian Revolution and government through numerous journals and articles. Although a comrade and close companion of Vladimir Lenin, Trotsky loss against Joseph Stalin in a power struggle over who was to become Lenin’s successor. Leon Trotsky was exiled from the Bolshevik Party and then the country, which eventually led to his assassination in Mexico on August 20, 1940.
Leon Trotsky was born as Lev Davidovich Bronshtein in Yanovka, Ukraine on November 7, 1879. Trotsky’s parents, David and Anna Bronshtein, were prosperous Jewish farmers; they sent Trotsky to Odessa for school when he was eight years old. During his final year of school in Nikolayev, Trotsky was only 17 years old when he became acquainted with the ideas of Marxism. His interest in Marxism led him to affiliation with other young men who read, spoke and debated revolutionary ideas with Trotsky. These prompting talks had eventually taken Trotsky to an involvement in active revolutionary planning. Trotsky helped found the South Russian Worker’s union in 1897, and because of his participation in the Union, Trotsky was arrested in January 1898. He spent two years in Odessa prison until he was trialed and then exiled to prison in Siberia. On his way to Siberia, Leon Trotsky met and married Alexandra Lvovna in a transfer prison; Lvovna was a female revolutionary that was also sentenced to four years in Siberian prison. Together they had two daughters while in Siberia, but after serving two years of his four year sentence, in 1902, Leon Trotsky decided to escape from prison, leaving his wife and daughters behind. Trotsky was given a forged passport and was then smuggled out of the town in a horse-drawn carriage. Due to limited time for his decision, he quickly wrote ‘ Leon Trotsky’ on the blank passport, not knowing that this name would forever be his primary nom de plume.
After his escape from the Siberian Prison, Leon Trotsky traveled to the city of London. While in London, Trotsky conspired with Vladimir Lenin on a revolutionary newspaper called Iskra that targeted Russian socialist-democrats. 1n 1903, Trotsky married his second wife, Natalia Ivanovna, and had two sons together. Trotsky made a decision to return to Russia when the news of Bloody Sunday arrived to him. The majority of the year 1905, Trotsky wrote articles in newspapers and other public sources to motivate and stimulate the uprisings and public protests that challenged Czar Nicholas II’s power during the 1905 Revolution. By the end of 1905, Trotsky had acclaimed a spot as a leader of the Russian Revolution. Once again, Leon Trotsky was arrested for his involvement in revolutionary activity and was exiled to Siberia in 1907. Trotsky escaped from prison, and did not return to Russia until after February 1917, when the Czar Nicholas was overthrown from the Russian Government.
It did not take long for Trotsky to become a leader in the Russian Revolution of 1917. Leon Trotsky became a member of the Bolshevik, or communist, Party in August of 1917 and had grown to be a strong ally of Vladimir Lenin. Because of the Bolshevik Party’s success in the Revolution of 1917, Lenin had become the new Soviet government’s leader and Trotsky his second in command. In March 1918, V. I. Lenin appointed Leon Trotsky to the people’s commissar of navy and army affairs, placing the charge of the Red Army to Trotsky. Although Lenin’s new government prospered, Lenin himself weakened. After Lenin’s first stroke in May 1922, people began to wonder who would take Lenin’s position as leader. The most obvious and smart choice would have been Leon Trotsky since history detailed him as a strong Bolshevik leader and was the man Lenin favored himself. Unfortunately after Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Joseph Stalin outmaneuvered Trotsky after influencing the Politburo, the Communist Party’s executive committee, against him. With Stalin in power, Trotsky was slowly taken out of leadership roles in the Soviet, and then eventually the country.
Trotsky was initially exiled to the country of Alma-Ata in January 1928, but to Stalin, it was not far enough. So in February of 1928, Leon Trotsky was expelled from the entire Soviet Union. For the next seven years, Trotsky and his family lived in various countries, including Turkey, France and Norway. In 1936, Trotsky decided to settle down in Mexico, where Trotsky did not fail to continue criticizing Stalin and the Soviet Government through prolific writing. In 1936, Joseph Stalin conducted political purges of those who posed a threat on his new Government and leadership, which is known as the Great Purge. During the purge, 16 of Trotsky’s affiliates and allies were executed for aiding him in treason. Stalin then sent out multiple henchmen to assassinate Trotsky. Trotsky’s home in Mexico City was machine gunned by Soviet agents on May 24, 1940, but were unable to harm Trotsky or his family who were in the home during the attack. Leon Trotsky’s luck had taken a wrong turn when a Soviet agent by the name of Ramon Mercader punctured Trotsky’s skull with an ice pick on August 20, 1940. Leon Trotsky was declared dead the day after and had died at age of 60.
Leon Trotsky was a mastermind of his own kind that expressed most of his opinions and feelings through his writing. Leon Trotsky had an outstanding record as military general and administrator, and was a major figure of the Bolshevik Party victory of the Russian Revolution. Although he was unable to win again Joseph Stalin influence, scholars say that if Trotsky had been the successor of Lenin, the fate of the Russian Government would have had a better and brighter future. For many years after his death, Trotsky was discredited in the Soviet Union; however in 2001 Trotsky’s reputation had been “ rehabilitated” (courtesy of the Russian Government). So today in history, Leon Trotsky is known for being the brightest and most intellect leader of the Communist Revolution, and maybe if he was not taken advantage of by deceitful men, like Joseph Stalin, the history of the Russia would have been very different.
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