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Vladimir Illych Ulyanov, more commonly known as Vladimir Lenin, (1870-1924) was one of the greatest and most important revolutionaries known to mankind. He was the founder of the USSR and he was the leader of the Bolshevik Party during the Russian Revolution. After the Russian Civil War, Russia had a ruined economy but Lenin then made it grow very fast with making rights for civilians like decriminalising same-sex relations and abortion . During his rule, he also established free universal health care, free education systems and promulgated the politico-civil rights of women.  Lenin was the first person to put Communism into practice. Lenin has been described as a murderer by right-wing media but viewed by others as a hero, both in Russia and elsewhere. In Russia, 57% of civilians have a positive attitude towards him. Lenin died in 1924 and years after Lenin's death, Joseph Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union. Lenin's body is still displayed at his mausoleum at Red Square, and 61% of Russians believe he should remain there.
Lenin was born on April 22, 1870, in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), a quiet town on the Volga River. His real name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. He adopted the name Lenin in 1901. Lenin's father, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, was a teacher who became director of schools in Simbirsk province. Lenin inherited his father's dark complexion, high cheekbones, and dark brown eyes. His mother, Maria Aleksandrovna Blank, was the daughter of a doctor. She was an educated woman and was deeply devoted to her children. Lenin had two brothers and three sisters. All the children, except one sister who died at the age of 20, became revolutionists.
Lenin had a pleasant childhood. He often imitated his brother Alexander, who was four years older. When Alexander was a young man, he was executed for conspiring to assassinate the Tsar. This brought so much anger and dispair into Lenin that he soon become a revolutionary himself.
Lenin received a law degree from St. Petersburg University in 1891 and joined a law firm in Samara. By this time, he was absorbed in the study of Marxism. In 1893, Lenin joined a Marxist organization. Later that year, he moved to St. Petersburg and became an active revolutionary. In those days, St. Petersburg was Russia's capital.
Between April and September 1895, Lenin traveled to France, Germany, and Switzerland to contact other Marxists. In December, Lenin was arrested in St. Petersburg by the Tsar's police while preparing a revolutionary newspaper, The Workers' Cause. After being held for questioning for more than a year, Lenin was exiled to Siberia in 1897. On July 22, 1898, while in exile, Lenin married Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, another revolutionary.
In 1898, while Lenin was in exile, a number of secret Marxist groups in Russia joined and formed the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. After Lenin's exile ended in January 1900, he got permission from the government to leave Russia. He went to Germany to help found the party newspaper, Iskra ("Spark"). Iskra was an illegal paper that had to be smuggled into Russia. The editors of Iskra also published Zarya ("Dawn"), which dealt with Marxist theory. It was in Zarya in 1901 that Vladimir Ulyanov began using the name Lenin. Many revolutionaries changed their names to confuse the police.
In 1903, the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party split into two groups over disputes about tactics. Lenin became the leader of the Bolsheviks, the majority group. The other, more moderate, group became known as the Mensheviks ("minority")
Revolution and rule
In February, 1917, Lenin and the Bolsheviks joined a number of other political opposition groups in ousting Tsar Nicholas II from power. A provisional government was set up consisting of Monarchists, "Cadets" (capitalists), moderate socialists, and the Bolsheviks. All the other groups attempted to remove the Bolsheviks from the government, but this plan only backfired. In November, 1917 (October according to the Russian calendar at that time), the Bolsheviks rose up and overthrew the provisional government, forming the government the Soviet Union and making Lenin its head.
Lenin led the Soviet Union for seven years. He couldn't finalize his decision of whether Leon Trotsky or Joseph Stalin was to lead once he'd gone, he died of a stroke. (The doctors at the time identified Lenin's condition as "excessive intellectualization.") Lenin's body was preserved and buried in the Kremlin. Lenin's ideas on Marxism became the basis of modern-day communism throughout the world.
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