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A

HISTORY OF SOVIET RUSSIA

THE BOLSHEVIK
REVOLUTION
1917-1923
BY

EDWARD HALLETT CARR
*

VOLUME

TIIHEE

LONDON
MACMILLAN & CO. LTD
1953

This book is copyright in all cOlmtries which
are si{;lIotories to the Berne Convention

PRINTED

IN

GREAT BRITAIN

PREFACE
THE pu bli catio n of this volume co m pletes the first instalment of my
The three volumes together

study of the history of Soviet Russia.

purport to descrihe the essential elements of the Bolshevik revolution
down to the first consolidation of its power in the winter of H)22---I923.
By this time the first wave of economic recovery following- the intro­

duction of NEP in 1921 and the excellent harvest of 1922 had reached
its heig-ht;

new ag-rarian, labour and civil codes promised legal stab­

i1ity; s u bstanti a l progress had heen made tow ard s the establishment
of d iplomati c and commercial r e l ations with foreign countries;

and

longer occupied the centre of the
stage
The reg-ime had come to stay. For the first time s i n ce 1917
a sense of security had begun to dawn.
And it was at the mom e nt
when the worst obstacles seemed to haye been finally surmounted
the Communist International

IlO

.

that Lenin was laid low.
appropriate. almost

a

His withdrawal from the scene marks an

dramatic, stopping--place.

The hazards that lay

ahead belong to a fresh period_
The main diHieulty of arrangement which I have encountered in
writing- this thir d volume has been to keep simultaneously in view
the many-coloured but interconnected stran ds of Sovict Russia's
relations with the outside world. N ca tness can he achieved hy tre,lt­
ing Soviet relations with Europe and Soviet relatiolls with Asia i n
w a t,s.:r ti gh t compartments, or by m akin g a sh arp division between the
-

activities of Narkomindel and of Comintern.

But it is achieved at

the cost of sacrificing- the complexity and cOllfusion of the authentic
picture and at the risk of encouraging dogmatic opinions about the
primary importance of this or that aspect of Soviet policy.

I have

possible to arrang-e my material in such a way
as to intel'weave the different strands and to make clear the inner

therefore tried so far

as

By way of exception to the general plan,
I h ave reserved Soviet relations witli the Far East for the last two
chapters of the volume, since, owing to the civil war and the persistence
of Japanese military intervention ill Siheria, the Far East entered into
the general stream of Soviet pol i cy at a considerably later date than
Europe, or than the rest of Asia.
As in the two pr evious volumes.
the exact point in time at which I have brought the narrative to a
close has varied acco rd i ng to the exigencies of the suhject-matter.
Relations with European countries have, as a rule, not been carried
connexions between them.

v

PREFACE

VI

b eyond the end of 1922, since the French occupation of the Ruhr in
january 1923 start ed a new train of events throughout Europe. On
the other hand, the proceedings of the Lausanne co n ference h.ave
heen followed down to their conclusion in the summer of 192); and
the natural terminus for the Far East e rn chapters was the end of the
joife m i ss ion and the arrival of Karakhan in August 192).
The collection of the cop ious but scattered material for the volume
has

been

in itself

a

major task, and there are doubtless valuable sources

libraries
of the Soviet Union being still virt u ally closed to independent research,

which I have overlooked or failed to find. The archives and

the ri ch e st store of availahle material for Soviet history is to he found
iII th e United States

.

1951 J paid

In

a

further visit to the United

States at the kind invitation of the johns Hopkins University, Balti­
more, where I delivered

a

between 1919 and 1939.

series of l e ct u re s on German-Soviet

relations

I was also able on this occasion to consult

Soviet material in the Library of Congress, in the New York Public
Library, and in the library
time did not allow me to

of

all

of C o lu mbia University.

re v is it

Vnfortunately

the richest and mo st comprehensive

collections of Soviet material outside Soviet Russia - the Hoover

Institute and Li bra r y at Stanford;

] am, however, under a special

debt to M rs. O. II. Gankin of the Hoover L i hr ary for the unfai l i ng
generosity and patience with which she has answered my numerous

enquiries, and for h e r mastery of the vast sto res of

m ateri a l

collected

there.
J have also particular ohligations to a numher of w r ite rs scholars
,

and research workers in the U nit e d States, some of them personal
friends others not known to me personally, who have most gen e rou sl y
,

given me access to material or information in th e ir possession and
helped me to fill important gaps in my knowledge.

Mr. Gustav Hilger,

for many years l"ounsellor of the German Embassy in Moscow and
now resident in Washington, drew on his personal recollections for
many sign i ficant items in the history of German-Soviet relations;

his

memoirs, alre ad y announced for publication, will be an indispensable
source for future historians.

Mr. G. W. F. Hallgarten allowed me to

read hi s notes of documents found in the capt u red German military
ar ch i y es now in Washington.

Professor Owen

Latti more of the Johns

H o p kins lJniversity put at my disposal published and unpublished

Mongolian material in English translation, and gave me the benefit
Mr. Rodger Swearingen

of his unique knowledge of Mongol affairs.
and Mr. Paul Langer communicated to me

a

l arge amount of material

j apanese sources on the history of Japanese communism which
in Japan: International
Communism in Action, I9I9--I95I, p u bl ish ed in the United States

from

may now be fo und in their book, Red Flag

PREFACE

since the present volume went to

press.

VII

Mr. A. S. Whiting

of North­

western University showed me the manuscript of his thesis on S ov iet
-

1917 and 1922 which will shortly

Chinese relations between

­

be

pul5lished, and also drew my attention to the discrepancies in th e
records of the second

3 and 4)·

r

of Com i ntern noted on page 252 (notes
of Cornell University gave me valuable
local sources about the early development of

cong e ss

Mr. George Kahin

information drawn from

communism in Indonesia.

A friend who wishes to remain anonym ous

me the unpubli sh ed

made available to

correspondence quoted on pages 94 (note
1

of

3). Finally,
Oregon came to

and

German-Soviet diplomatic

4), 95 (note I), and 325 (notes

Mr. W illi am Appleman Wi lliams of the University
my aid at a late stage in my work hy sending me

illuminating extracts from the unpublished papers
and Alex Gumberg, as well

as

of Raymond Robins

notes taken by him fro m the National

Archives of the United States, together with
of his book American-Russian Relations

a

part of the manus cri pt

n8I-1947, which has

published in the United States during the present autumn.
th e help so

w i de ly

been

But for

and so generously accorded, the volume would

have lacked even that i m per fect degree of balance and comprehensive­
ness to which it may now pretend.
Many of th os e whose na mes I
have cited, and to whom I t en d e r this inadequate e x p re ssion of my

thanks, would

difrer widely

from

me

and from one another in their

interprctation of the events undcr discussion;

that mutual aid is not

hampered by such divergences is an encouraging symptom of the
i ndependence which

true

scholarshi p :'Iways

sceks to

preserve and

uphold.

I havc

onee more received valuable assistance from nearly all those

in this country whose help was gratefully acknowledged in the prefaces
and to their names should be added

to tJ1 e two previous volumes;

those· of Professor V. M i no r sky, who helped

me

with expert advice

on Central Asian matters in b oth the first and the third volumes; of

me

Mr. V. Wolpert who kindly lct
of his study

OIl

see

the unfinished manuscript

he publi s he d
of T nternationaI Affairs, and

the Worlcl Federation of Trade Unions, to

under the auspic es of the Royal Institute

read the parts of my manuscript relating to thc foundation of Profintern ;

and of Mr. F. L. Carsten, who len t
and periodicals throwing light
Mr. Isaac Deutscher
and

made

ag

ain read

me

a nu m b e r of rare pamphlets

the history

011

a

penetrating criticisms;

of G erman communism.

substantial part of my manuscript
and Mrs.

Jane Degras,

who had

already placed me in her deht hy her ready and expert help in my
constant search for material, undertook
and thus

saved

me fro m many

more been under

a

to read the whole

erro rs and mis p rin ts .

text in

proo f

I have once

heavy oblig a t i on to the devoted and efficient staffs

PREFACE

viii

of the libraries of the London School of Economics and of the Royal
Institute of International All"airs. Mindful of my own difficulties in
running my sources to earth, I have endeavoured to increase the
practical utility of a necessarily incomplete and selective bibliography
by indicating where the volumes there listed can be found, if they
arc not in the British Museum; Mr. J. C. W. Horne of the British
Museum was good enough to check the hibliography for me with the
Must'um catalogue. Last (for obvious reasons), but by no means least,
Dr. lIya Neustadt of University College, Leicester, has earned my very
warm thanks by undertaking the arduous task of compiling the index
for the three volum(·s.
The completion of The Bo/shnJik Revolutioll I9I7-19:J3 has naturally led me to survey the prospects of the larger work for which it is
intended to be the prelude. Though I am perhaps in a better position
than ever before to appreciate the strength of the now popular argument in favour of collective enttrprise in the writing of modern history,
1 am not without hope, if I can count on the same support from so
many helpers as I have hitherto found, of being able to carryon my
independent task. 1 have already done much research, and some
writing, for the next instalment, and hope that I may complete a further
volume next year, though 1 have not yet reached a final conclusion
about its scope, arrangement and title.
E. H. CARR
October

20, 1952

CONTENTS
PART V

SOVIET RUSSIA AND TIlE \vORLD
Chapin-

21.

FHOM OCTOBER TO BHEST-LTTOVSK

22_

THE DUAl. POLICY

23 _ TIII-: Y EAI{

Note E.
F.

OF ISOLATiON

24-

DIl'L():\IATlC FEELERS

25.

REVOLUTION OVER EUJ{(}I'E

26.

REVOLUTION OVER ASIA

221)

27.

NEl'

27 1

28.

RUSSIA AND GEI{MANY

3°5

21).

To

331)

IN FOHEH;N POLlCY

GENOA AND HAPALI.O

30.

HETREAT IN COMINTEHN

31\.1

3 I.

CONSOLIDATION IN EUHOPF

.p()

32.

TITE

33.

THE FAR EAST:



34.

THE FAR EAST:

II

EASTERN QUESTION
ECLIPSE

.-~ RE-EMER<JENCE

41>7

490

5 1 1)

TUE MAUXIST ATTITUDE TO 'IVAI!
THE PHE-H/STOHY OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

57 1

llIBLlOOUAPHY

573

INDEX

587

ix

SOVIET I{lTSSTA AND THE WORLD

CHAPTER 2 I

FROM OCTOBER TO BREST-LITOVSK

"TIlE

social-democratic movement", wrote Lenin at the
beginning of his career, "is international in its very
_ essence." I It was international in two senses. The
French revolution had introduced and populari7-ed the view of
revolution as a phenomenon which defied frontiers, so that it was
both the right and the duty of revolutionaries to carry to other
countries the torch of liberation \vhich they had kindled in their
own; this was the origin of the conception of the revolutionary
war. The revolution of 1848 had not been limited to one country,
but had spread by process of contagion all over Europe as far as
the boundaries of Russia. It was taken for granted that the
socialist revolution would follow this pattern and, having achieved
victory in one country, would quickly spread, partly by process of
contagion and partly through the deliberate action of the revolutionaries themselves, all over Europe and, eventually, all over the
world. But social-democracy was international also in another
sense. "National differences and antagonisms between peoples ",
deda.red the Communist Mamj(>sto, .. are daily vanishing more
and more .... The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them
to vanish still faster." The battle-cry of the social-democratic
movement was" \Vorkers of all countries, unite!" Its programme
was to break down national barriers " in order to open the way
for division of a different kind, division by classes ".z Allegiance
to class must, as Lenin insisted, always take precedence over
allegiance to nation.'! In virtue of this principle Lenin in 1914
unequivocally proclaimed "the transformation of the present
imperialist war into a civil war ". As early as October 1915 he
contemplated the possibility that the proletarian revolution might
I Lenin, Sochilleniya, iv, 380.
' Stalin, Sochilleniya, ii, 362.
, For specific assertions of this principle by Lenin see Vol. I, p. 426.
3


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