Russian Revolutionary, who was born in a Jewish family of proprietary farmers and studied law at the University of Odessa. From youth he participated in the clandestine opposition against the autocratic regime of the czars, organizing a Workers’ League of the South of Russia (1897).
Biography of Leon Trotski
- Born:- 7 November 1879, Bereslavka, Ukraine
- Died:- 21 August 1940, Coyoacán, Mexico
- Cause of death:- Assassination
- Political party:- RSDLP; SDPS; Mezhraiontsy; CPSU; Fourth International
- Spouse:- Natalia Sedova (m. 1903–1940), Aleksandra Sokolovskaya (m. 1899–1902)
- Children:- Lev Sedov, Zinaida Volkova, Sergey Sedov, Nina Nevelson
He was arrested several times and banished to Siberia; but managed to flee from there in 1902 and joined London in what appeared to be the head of the Social Democrat opposition in exile: Lenin. Although he disagreed with his authoritarian conception of the party, he collaborated with him and tried in vain to reconcile the faction he led (the Bolsheviks) with the rival faction of Russian Social-Democracy (the Mensheviks).
He returned to Russia to participate in the Revolution of 1905 (in which he organized the first Soviet or revolutionary council). When the revolution failed, he was deported back to Siberia and again escaped (1906). After traveling half a world coming into contact with the foci of revolutionary conspirators, he moved to Russia as soon as the Revolution of February 1917, which overthrew Nicholas II, broke out .
Abandoning his previous career as an independent socialist (in relation to the Mensheviks), he put his talent as organizer and agitator at the service of the Bolshevik Party and was elected president of the Petrograd Soviet. He played a central role in the conquest of power by Lenin: he was the main responsible for the Bolshevik takeover of the Winter Palace, which established the communist regime in Russia (Revolution October 1917).
Lenin occupied the pinnacle of power, Trotsky played a crucial role in the Soviet government until his death. As the first Foreign Affairs Commissary of Bolshevik Russia (1917-18), he negotiated with the Germans the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, which withdrew the country from the First World War to respond to the masses’ wishes for peace and to concentrate on the consolidation of the Revolution.
He was then Commissar of War (1918-25), position from which he organized the Red Army under very difficult conditions and defeated in a long civil war the so-called white (counterrevolutionary) armies and their Western allies (1918-20). Their work was therefore crucial to the survival of the first communist state in the world.
Lenin pointed to him as his successor before his death in 1924; but Stalin’s ambition , which had strong support in the party apparatus, prevented him from gaining power. Trotsky defended the idea of ”permanent revolution” as a way of realizing Marxist-Leninist ideals (gradually extending the Revolution to Germany and other countries); while Stalin opposed the more conservative conception of consolidating “socialism in one country”.
Ideological differences, however, were little more than a pretext for Stalin, who maneuvered skillfully in search of allies and then disposed of them (even physically); with these maneuvers managed to remove to Trotski of the direction in 1925, to expel to him of the party in 1927, to deport to him to Kazajistán in 1928 and to banish him of the country in 1929.
Trotsky did not cease in his revolutionary struggle, which he channeled from exile writing in defense of his ideas (works such as The Permanent Revolution, 1930, or the History of the Russian Revolution, 1932) and leading a dissident communist current (grouped in the Fourth International since 1938). Stalin made him assassinated by a Soviet agent ( Ramón Mercader ).