This task asks students to investigate the perplexing question as to why the Bolshevik regime was able to survive from 1917-24. Students are given the context: no plans; poor start; small party; fierce opposition from within and outside Russia. Few expected it would last. And yet by the time of Lenin’s death in 1924, the Bolsheviks had overcome all major challenges including a bloody civil war, resisting a series of foreign interventions and surviving a devastating drought, deprivation and a famine in which 4 million Russians starved to death So why then was it able to survive? Students have to work out the most plausible explanation they can. But this will be far more than reciting a list of reasons. They have to come up with a sophisticated explanation of their own, using their own judgement.
Preparation before the lesson
Students have to be well-prepared for the task. Initially, away from the classroom, students have to watch/listen to a two-part History Faculty podcast in which Dr. Ian Thatcher outlines eight reasons for the Bolshevik success
http://www.thehistoryfaculty.org podcast number 268 The Bolshevik State 1917-24 parts 1 & 2 by Dr Ian Thatcher (free as of 19.09.2014).
Students need to make notes