Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin were both powerful, ambitious leaders that worked their way into positions of power. Stalin took over after Lenin died to lead the USSR after the Russian Revolution. Hitler became leader of the Nazi Party and gained the people’s support with promises of a strong leader that resisted western powers. On their rise to power, both Stalin and Hitler became leaders of political parties, eliminated opposing parties, and promised a better future for the people and country, but Stalin used the people’s support as leverage in his power struggle with Trotsky while Hitler used his passion and the economic situation in Germany to become leader of the Nazi party and gain support over the socialists. Both Hitler and Stalin started their journey towards power by joining political parties.
For Lenin, the party was to be a group prepared to seize power as soon as possible yet on the other hand, for Martov, the main purpose of the party was to spread propaganda and raise the level of consciousness of the proletariat. This was because he did not believe that Russia was ready for a Marxist revolution for many years. Lenin believed that is the Mensheviks had their way, it would take years to start the revolution; they would just waste time on useless discussion and argument. Martov, replied that the revolution would fail if it did not have the support of the whole working class. The social democratic party remained spilt on the issue.
The death of the creator of the Soviet Communist Party and founder of the USSR, Vladimir Lenin, left the young Soviet Union craving the leadership from a man of the same stature. At first, the brilliant leader of the Red Army and also the appointed candidate by Lenin, Trotsky, seemed to be the one to take control of the USSR. Instead, Joseph Stalin took control of the Soviet Union, using many vindictive political moves and his position as General Secretary. As the leader of the Soviet Union, Stalin strengthened and stabilized the structure of the nation to become a world superpower and industrial colossus. In many ways, Stalin transformed himself to replicate Lenin by adopting his ideas and goals, although the way in which he met these goals are highly controversial by historians.
How important was Stalin’s use of the Lenin legacy in gaining power? Stalin’s use of the Lenin Legacy helped him gain support during the years 1924-1929, eventually resulting in him winning the power struggle and gaining power in Russia. Even though in Lenin’s final testament he made it clear that Stalin was trouble and he should be got rid of, Stalin’s political cunning and his use of the Lenin legacy meant that he was able to gain people’s support and become leader of the Communist party. One of the most noticeable was at Lenin’s funeral. Firstly, Stalin had told Trotsky (who was a major rival to Stalin at this time) the wrong date for Lenin’s funeral.
Finally the failures of the Provisional Government made them vulnerable which coincidentally worked to advantage the Bolsheviks. Personally, I believe that the vulnerable position of the Provisional Government, timing of the governments mistakes, discontent of the soldiers as well as the workers and the occasional guidance from other Bolshevik leaders, was exploited by Lenin, alongside his popular policies and leadership skills he catalyzed the revolution that was inevitable, planning it in such a way that it would benefit long term and not short-term as it had done in 1905 and February 1917. In disagreement, the failures of the provisional government to make the correct decisions led to the Bolsheviks’ success because the Bolsheviks were efficient in using this time to take control of the vulnerability of the Provisional Government which had caused this upon itself. The first mistake was allowing Lenin return from Germany in April as a part of democracy terms, since Lenin, despite being
It would push Russia further onwards in terms of a state free from private trade and ownership. However ideology is often seen as Stalin’s weak point however, since he is often thought of as frequently changing policies to further his political aspirations. The leadership challenge of 1925 – 1928 showed how Stalin changed his policies to decimate both the left and right wing of the party and strengthen his position over the party, by varying his beliefs in order to outmanoeuvre his political opponents. On the other hand, some historians (such as Viola) argue that the NEP was causing extensive discontent within the party, and that rather than being as capricious as is often presumed, he can be seen as a pragmatist in the face of the will of the party. His “Great Turn” can be seen as a realistic and attractive policy, suited to the rank and file of the party, that he did not adopt earlier in the 20’s since it was not a fitting policy at the time.
Lenin’s contribution to the Bolshevik Party was an essential factor in their consolidation of power during 1917-1924, however; Lenin’s role was not the only factor contributing to their success. The Bolsheviks were regarded as a “minor feature of Russian political life” and it was not until Lenin’s return to Russia that the party became a key player. It can be seen that Lenin played a pivotal role in the consolidation of power due to his background which allowed Lenin to be influenced by a revolutionary upbringing. Through his upbringing, Lenin was able to develop a strong leadership, political insight and determination allowing the Bolsheviks to be lead into power. Whilst the Bolsheviks were in power, Lenin’s role in dealing with uprisings and anti-communist groups was significant as it allowed the Bolsheviks to remain in power.
For some people of Eastern Europe, the Communist brought hope. The Soviet Union had achieved amazing industrial growth before WWII. Communism also offered them stable government and security because they were backed by one of the worlds superpowers. Many people hoped for great things from Communism. The reality of Soviet control of EU was very different from what people expected.
The White Armies had outnumbered the Red Armies but the Red Army still managed to win the Civil war. How did that happen? The Bolsheviks had some advantages which led them to their success while the Whites who had some disadvantages had led them to their fall. One of the advantages of the Bolsheviks from the Whites is that they are united and disciplined by Lenin and Trotsky. Trotsky, who was in control of the Bolsheviks by that time, had magnificently handled them.
This was an attempt to lay the foundation for future industrial development such as the mass production of raw materials and allowing peasants to gain the skills necessary to work in more sophisticated industries. Additionally, heavy industry would lay the foundation for rearmament in case of war. While Stalin was not intending to create a war economy during the First Five-Year Plan, he was undoubtedly concerned that Russia should be ready to defend itself in the event of war. Focus on heavy industry was one of the aims in all three Plans; however, the Second Five-Year Plan was concerned with consolidating the gains made under the First Five-Year Plan rather than continuing its slow pace. Moreover, planners also tried to stimulate the growth of new industries, such as chemical processing and the development of new materials as well as improving Russia’s transport system.