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Creation of the USSR

Modern History (Year 12) - Bolsheviks in Power

Ben Whitten

Securing the Regime

After 1921, the Communist Party was the only party that could field candidates for election to the Soviets as all other political parties were now banned. During this period, Russia saw an increased use of propaganda that glorified Communists and Lenin; only Communist newspapers were allowed for publication.

In 1922, the Cheka was replaced by the GPU (State Political Directorate), which remained a political police force (very similar to the Cheka). Gulags saw great levels of expansion; in 1920, there were approximately 85 camps and by 1923 there were approximately 315 camps in place. Show-trials took place for leading members of the clergy and the Social Revolutionaries. It was also during this period that universities lost all autonomy, and the USSR took control of curriculum and educational instruction.

Creation and Establishment of the USSR

The USSR was officially established on the 29th of December, 1922, consisting of:

  • The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

  • The Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic

  • The Ukranian Social Republic

  • The Transcaucasia Soviet Socialist Republic (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia)

By the end of 1921, the Communist Party regained control of the territory; Lenin was under the belief that the USSR could help overcome ethnic divisions which posed a potential threat to Communism. Each republic within the USSR had their own form of government as part of a federal system. Actual political power was retained by the Politburo (principal policymaking body for the Communist Party), and after 1922, Lenin saw complete control over the Communist Party.

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