A History of Soviet Russia by Georg von Rauch

By Georg von Rauch

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Stalin had quickly taken his cue from Lenin's ten theses. Now he hastened to defend them in Pravda. He took particular interest in the peasant question. When the Minister for Agriculture, Shingarev, forbade the peasants to till the land of the landlords before the land reform was legally settled, Stalin called on them in an article, Land for the Peasants, to form committees and to help themselves to the land. Besides that he made the nationality problem—in which he had already shown a theoretical interest before the war—his special 46 A HISTORY OF SOVIET RUSSU domain.

The controversy between the provisional government and the leftists soon came out into the open. On March 5 (March 18) Miliukov, in his speech addressed to the Allied representatives, had promised that Russia would fight on the side of the Allies until victory was won. On March 14 (March 27) the Soviets gave their answer. In a proclamation addressed to the peoples of the world they unequivocally demanded peace. Henceforth the Socialist parties hammered at Miliukov's "militaristic and imperialistic" foreign policy.

In St. Petersburg a new Bolshevik paper, Pravda ("Truth"), was founded; the first issue appeared on April 22, 1912, with articles by Kamenev and Stalin. The paper soon had a circulation of 40,000; the Menshevik Luch ("The Ray") had only 15,000. On the day Stalin's article appeared, he was arrested and exiled to Narym m Western Siberia. Soon he escaped and reappeared in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the election campaign for the Fourth Duma. After the elections in November, 1912, Lenin convened the Central Committee in Cracow for a survey of the situation.

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