Russia: 1917-1921 - Lenin And The Consolidation Of Soviet Power

In GCSE History one topic studied is Russia in the first half of the 20th Century. One aspect of this that is looked at is Vladimir Lenin and his time in power. This is the first of two quizzes on the subject and it focusses on the first few years of this period.

In 1917 Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional Government in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Thereafter they had to fight a bruising civil war against all of their opponents, only emerging victorious after three years of struggle. Thus Lenin only had a short while in power before dying in 1924.

Play this quiz and learn more about the revolution in Russia, Vladimir Lenin and the time he spent in power.

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  1. The Bolsheviks deployed a ruthless secret police force during the Civil War. What was its name of this organisation?
    The Tsarists also used a brutal police force called the Okhrana. The Bolsheviks felt that they had to be utterly ruthless to prevail in the Civil War, and made full use of their equivalent force
  2. Who was the Bolshevik Foreign Commissar who negotiated with Germany, and who was told by Lenin to accept the Germans' harsh terms for peace in 1918?
    The Bolshevik negotiators were put in an impossible position. If they failed to agree to the German terms the war would go on, but the terms were extremely severe. If they signed they would lose (perhaps only temporarily) large areas of land, millions of citizens and much of their agriculture and industry
  3. Lenin moved the Russian capital in 1918 to a location further away from the Civil War fighting. Which city became the new capital?
    The capture of the Bolshevik capital would have been a disaster
  4. Bolsheviks murdered the entire Romanov family in June 1918. What was the name of the city where these executions took place at the Ipatiev House?
    During the Civil War the royal family had to leave St. Petersburg. Ekaterinburg (or Yekaterinburg) was renamed Sverdlovsk in 1924 after the Communist party leader Yakov Sverdlov. It reverted back to its original name in 1991
  5. Which Russian Marxist revolutionary party split off from the Bolsheviks in 1903 at the Brussels conference and fought against them in the Civil War?
    The Bolsheviks lacked allies in the Civil War - either domestic or foreign
  6. Which senior Tsarist naval officer controlled the anti-Bolshevik forces attacking the red zone from the east?
    The Bolsheviks controlled a relatively small area between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Thus they could be attacked on all sides. However, the White Russian commanders found it difficult to co-ordinate their efforts, and to overcome personal differences
  7. To which of these former parts of the Tsarist state was Lenin prepared to concede independence after the Civil War?
    Lenin was prepared to grant independence to areas that did not have significant natural resources or were unlikely to be used as invasion routes by hostile powers
  8. What happened at Kronstadt in the Gulf of Finland in 1921, which so disturbed the Bolshevik leadership?
    Having just defeated the Whites in the Civil War, the Bolsheviks were terrified by a challenge by the "enemy within"
  9. Where did the Bolsheviks make peace with Germany in March 1918, thereby ending the First World War on the Eastern Front?
    Lenin had promised peace if he became Russian leader. Thus he felt obliged to accept Germany's harsh peace terms in 1918, if he was to remain in power. He believed also that Germany herself would fall prey to a communist revolution, and that - in those circumstances - Russia would soon regain her lost territories
  10. Which large Slav province of Southern Russia, bordering the Black Sea, enjoyed a brief period of independence against the Bolsheviks during the Civil War?
    The Bolsheviks were determined to hold on to as much territory as possible - especially as they had by now recovered their losses to Germany from Brest-Litovsk

Author: Edward Towne

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