This thesis is the first full account of Trotsky’s writings penned between August 1914 and March 1917. The source material used is almost exclusively primary, both published and archival, some of which is examined here for the first time. Each of Trotsky’s concerns as a thinker and publicist is illustrated, and each debate followed to its conclusion.
The main findings of this thesis are as follows. Trotsky’s analysis of the causes of the war and his programmatic response to it were logical and consistent. Second, although he hoped to unite all internationalists around his war programme, differences of opinion with the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks meant that his plans on this issue remained unfulfilled. Third, Trotsky’s major concern of the First World War period was to combat social-patriotism, i.e., socialists who argued that it was the proletariat’s duty to defend its respective homelands.
Finally, several areas for further investigation which arise out of this thesis are suggested.
Last updated: 15.2.2005