Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Leon Trotsky stood as one of the most prominent Bolshevik members in Russia from the onset of the revolution in 1917 until his expulsion from the Communist Party and exile in 1927. He earned respect for his Marxist philosophy, organizational abilities, and brilliance as a public speaker. After the Revolution of 1917 and immediately following the Russian Civil War, Trotsky stood second only to Lenin within the Bolshevik Party in the eyes of the public. Trotsky, though joining the Bolshevik Party only on the eve of the revolution, had proved his abilities in inspiring the masses and also in creating the Red Army from the remnants of Russian Army, which was decimated by the effects of World War I and the revolution. His prominence at this time has led many historians to study and evaluate his career, and its rapid decline. Historians have been intrigued by how a man so brilliant, so popular in the eyes of the public, could have failed to take the reins of the Soviet government after Lenin's illness and eventual death left the Communists searching for new leadership. Stalin's rise to power and the tension created in the world by the Soviet emergence as a world power under Stalin's authoritarian control have only heightened interest in Trotsky's demise.

Included in

History Commons