Lenin was the first political leader to attempt to put Marxist principles into practice. In 1917 he established Bolshevik control after the overthrow of the tsar, and in 1918 became head of state (Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars). With Trotsky he defeated counter-revolutionary forces in the Russian Civil War, but was forced to moderate his policies to allow the country to recover from the effects of war and revolution
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