original name Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (: Влади́мир
( (, ), - ,
the leader of the party, the first of the
and the founder of the ideology of .
was one of his revolutionary pseudonyms. He is believed to have created
it to show his opposition to who used the pseudonym Volgin, after
the ; Ulyanov picked the which is longer and flows in the opposite direction. He is
sometimes erroneously referred to in the West as "Nikolai Lenin",
though he as never been known as such in Russia. Early
in Simbirsk, Russia, Lenin was the son of Ilya Nikolaevich Ulyanov (1831
- 1886), a Russian civil service official who worked for increased democracy
and free universal education in Russia, and his liberal wife Maria Alexandrovna
Blank (1835 - 1916). Lenin had Jewish ancestry through his maternal
grandfather (who later converted to Christianity), although he was himself
baptised into the , and also
ancestry through his mother, who was a . He distinguished
himself in the study of and .
In May of
his eldest brother was hanged for participation in
a plot on the life of
. This radicalized Lenin and
later that year he was arrested, and expelled from for participating in student
protests. He continued to study independently
rather than settle into a legal career he became more involved in revolutionary
efforts, and the study of , much of it in . On ,
was arrested and held by authorities for an entire year, then exiled
to the village of
July of he married socialist
activist . In April of , he published the
book . In ,
his exile ended. He travelled in Russia and elsewhere in , and published
the paper ,
as well as other tracts and books related to the revolutionary movement.
was active in the (),
he led the
faction after a split with the that was partly inspired by his pamphlet What
is to be Done?. In
he was elected to the Presidium of the RSDLP. In he moved to for security
reasons. He continued to travel in Europe and participated in many meetings
, he returned to following
the overthrow of Tsar , and took a leading role within
the Bolshevik movement, publishing the . After a failed workers' uprising
in July, Lenin fled to Finland for safety. He returned in October to
successfully lead an armed revolution against the led by
November 8, Lenin was elected as
by the Russian Soviet Congress. Faced with the threat of German invasion,
Lenin insisted that Russia sign the proposed harsh peace treaty, though
the failure of the Russian delegation to do so resulted in the loss
of much of the country's western territory in the eventual (March 1918).
a member of the , was furious
when Lenin shut down the and began to suppress
non-Bolshevik political groups, including other socialist groups. On
, she approached Lenin
after he'd spoken at a meeting and was on his way to his car. She called
out to Lenin, and when he turned to answer, fired three shots, two of
which struck him, in the shoulder and lung. Lenin was taken to his private
apartment in the ,
and refused to venture to a hospital, believing other assassins would
be waiting there. Doctors were summoned, but decided that it was too
dangerous to remove the bullets. Lenin eventually recovered, though
his health declined from this point, and it is believed that the incident
contributed to his later strokes.
Bolshevik faction overcame the remaining factions and renamed itself
into RCP(B), or (Bolsheviks), which
eventually became the .
was greatly impressed by the after a demonstration by inventor . He took lessons on
the instrument, commissioned 600 of the devices to be made for distribution
throughout the Soviet Union, and sent Termen abroad to demonstrate Soviet
musical instrument technology to the world.
the failures of the policy of introduced during the , in March ,
on Lenin's initiative, the (NEP) was adopted, allowing
limited private enterprise, in an attempt to rebuild and especially
. But the same month saw the suppression of an
uprising among sailors at Kronstadt ("the ").
Krupskaya, Lenin, and American journalist Lincoln Eure in the Kremlin,
health had already been damaged due to the asassination attempt and
the intolerable strains of revolution and war. In May , Lenin had his first
He was left partially paralyzed (on his right side) and his role in
government declined. After the second stroke in December the ordered
that he be kept in isolation. The assassination attempt earlier in his
life also added to his health problems. In March he suffered the third
stroke and was left bedridden and no longer able to speak. Lenin died
of the fourth stroke on January 24, .
official cause given for Lenin's death was , or a stroke,
but out of the 27 physicians who treated him only 8 signed onto that
conclusion in his autopsy report. A posthumous diagnosis by two
recently published in the was that
Lenin died a slow and painful death from . This
diagnosis was based on documents released after the , , and including Lenin's
medical chart, autopsy results and personal notes from physicians who
city of was
renamed Leningrad in his honor; this remained the name of the city until
the collapse of the Soviet Union in , when it reverted to its original name, St Petersburg.
preserved body is on permanent display in Moscow.
his first stroke he published a number of papers indicating future directions
for the government. Most famous of these is which criticised , who had
been the Communist Party's general secretary since April 1922, claiming
that he had "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands"
and suggesting that "comrades think about a way of removing Stalin
from that post". Many of these papers were suppressed for decades
as Stalin and his supporters gained control. After Lenin's death, Stalin
gained full control of the Party and leadership of the Soviet Union
following a brief power struggle.