Vladimir Lenin

DEFINITION of 'Vladimir Lenin'

The architect of Russia's 1917 Bolshevik revolution and the first leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. A prominent Marxist, Lenin was born in 1870 inRussia with the last name Ulianov. He picked up his radical beliefs during college, where he earned a law degree. After college, he became a professional revolutionary and his activities got him exiled to Siberia for three years, from 1897 to 1900. Afterward, he moved to Europe, where he was a revolutionary journalist, before returning to Russia for the Revolution of 1905 then leaving for Europe again during World War I.

BREAKING DOWN 'Vladimir Lenin'

As communist radical of Russia, Lenin expropriated and redistributed land and nationalized banks and industry. In 1921, he fought for his New Economic Policy, which combined elements of capitalism with socialism, in an attempt to revive the struggling Russian economy. After an attempted assassination in 1918 and a stroke in 1922, Lenin died in 1924.