The October revolution was viewed as a chance for justice and equality to prevail over the old regime of arbitrariness and exploitation. The Bolsheviks hoped that revolution would break out in the more developed countries of Europe, and for a time this looked likely. ‘Civil war and the foundation of the Bolshevik regime’ considers the chain of events that lead to the start of Soviet power and details the extremely troubled years 1918–1922. Overall, the civil war strengthened national identities within Russia yet deepened divisions inside nationalist movements. Gradually, the party was transformed into the backbone of the new state as it acquired more functions and its apparatus proliferated.