The establishment of communist rule
The Russian revolution of November 1917 had been carried through on the assumption that Russia, although a backward country and not ‘ready’ for revolution in the Marxist sense, could be used to break the economic links that held together the major capitalist powers and thus to bring about a European and eventually a worldwide communist revolution. At the time these perspectives did not seem entirely unrealistic. Immediately after the First World War ended, in 1918-19, there were revolutionary uprisings in many parts of the world, and in Europe Soviet republics were established in Bavaria and Hungary. In 1920 factories were occupied in Italy, and Councils of Action were set up in Great Britain to oppose government policy towards Russia. The following year there was a communist-led rising in central Germany, and in 1923 there were more serious attempts at insurrection in northern Germany and Bulgaria. In 1926 there was a general strike in Britain, and by about the same time a powerful communist presence had begun to establish itself in China and elsewhere in the colonial world.