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.The most significant internal threats to the new regime were the various armies put together by the supporters of the old regime.The White Armies (so named to distinguish them from Trotsky’s Red Army) fought a vicious civil war, and managed to outdo the Reds in terms of sheer terror.Slowly the Bolshevik forces gained the upper hand, helped by the errors of their enemies, by the unpopularity of the ancien régime among the peasants, industrial workers and conscript soldiers, and by the Whites’ insistence that Russia’s old imperial frontiers had to be re-established, which alienated many of the subject peoples of the empire who were starting to dream of freedom.The Bolsheviks also faced important external threats.France moved its navy to the Black Sea (where it was joined by ships of the US navy) and pumped in cash subsidies to the White Army leaders.Japan invaded in the east, hoping to grab territory in Siberia.British troops landed in Murmansk and Archangel with Canadian and Italian support.The two biggest threats came from America and Germany; by far the most immediate was Germany, with whom Russia was still theoretically at war.The new regime had a novel approach to international relations.Trotsky, as commissar of foreign affairs, published all the secret correspondence of the tsarist regime, made a few proclamations and then announced he was shutting up shop and everyone else should just leave Russia alone.Life was not that easy, however.The Germans had a massive army on Russia’s western frontier, which the Red Army had no hope of defeating.In the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk the Bolsheviks were forced to give up a vast amount of territory that contained around a third of the empire’s people and of its industrial capacity.American intervention was of less immediate impact than German but in the long term was more important.What distinguished the US position from that of most other governments was its motivation.Germany and Japan wanted territory.France wanted its money back: the French had invested heavily in Russia under Nicholas II.Britain did not really know what it wanted but as the premier imperial power of the day knew it ought to want something.The American secretary of state, Robert Lansing, knew exactly what he wanted: Russia under the Bolsheviks was a cesspit of anarchy and revolution from which America was determined to save not just the rest of the world but the Russian people themselves.The American response to the October Revolution was overwhelmingly ideological, more so than that of many other nations, and reflected the bitter ideological battles that had been and were being fought within the United States.Come the RevolutionThe Russian Revolution is often portrayed as the event that determined the ideological battle lines for the twentieth century.In reality the roots of the cold war can be found much earlier – in the period of soul-searching and ideological turmoil that ran from the American Civil War to the First World War.No single event made it inevitable that the world would divide into ‘capitalist’ and ‘communist’ spheres.That it did divide was as much owing to developments in America as to those in Russia.Through much of the world labour unrest and socialist agitation accompanied industrialisation.With hindsight it may seem obvious that revolution was most likely in an autocracy like Russia, where there were no representative institutions to channel protests, rather than in countries where socialist groups could enter the electoral process and disgruntled workers could join legitimate trade unions.At the time, however, it was thought that revolution was far more likely in the advanced industrial nations, which lacked the conservative peasant masses and police state apparatus of tsarist Russia.In particular it seemed to many Americans that their country was ripe for revolution.There were Marxists in America but the labour movement was never as ideological as Russia’s – as evidenced by one of the first trade unions, an Irish secret society with the distinctly un-Marxist name of the Molly Maguires.The Molly Maguires organised a series of strikes in the Pennsylvania coalfields that turned violent, and in 1877 nineteen members were hanged for the murder of a mine owner [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]