A Russian communist, revolutionary, politician and political theorist, Vladimir Lenin has been regarded as the greatest revolutionary leader and statesman in history, as well as the greatest revolutionary thinker since Karl Marx.
He is an almighty historical figure whose actions determined the course of some of the biggest political events of the 20th century.
On the occasion of his birth anniversary, here are few must to know facts about Lenin – the architect of the Soviet Union
Lenin was not his real name. Born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, Lenin tried out a number of pseudonyms, including “K. Tulin” and “Petrov,” prior to settling on “Lenin” by 1902. Historians believe it may have been a reference to the Lena River in Siberia.
Two circumstances were engraved within Lenin which shaped his life. The main came when Lenin was a kid and his dad, an auditor of schools, was threatened with early retirement by a suspicious government nervous about the impact state-funded school had on Russian culture. The more critical and more appalling circumstance came in 1887, when Lenin’s older brother, Aleksandr was executed for being a part of a group intending to kill Emperor Alexander III.
Lenin as Politician
He became exposed to radical political ideas at university. He went on to study law at Kazan University in August 1887. But by the December he had been expelled for taking part in a student protest. He eventually enrolled as an external law student at Saint Petersburg University and completed his studies there in 1891.
He developed his political theory from Marxism. Lenin believed that his interpretation of Marxism was the only authentic one. This interpretation was termed “Leninism” in 1904 by Russian revolutionary and Menshevik Julius Martov.
He initially became the leader of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party. Later, he led a Bolshevik toppling of the provisional government – what has become known as the “October Revolution” – and a civil war ensued between the various combatant forces vying for power.
The authoritarian Lenin
Lenin showed little mercy for political opponents. Among the many instances of political repression and mass killings for which he is held responsible are the arrests and executions that constituted the so-called “Red Terror” campaign of the civil war.
Lenin was plagued by ill health in the last few years of his life and suffered three strokes in the space of two years – two in 1922 and one in March the following year. After the third stoke, he lost his ability to speak. Although by May 1923 he appeared to be making a slow recovery, on 21 January 1924 he fell into a coma and died later that day