During his rule as General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Stalin was able to create a highly totalitarian regime. This was achieved by the dictator’s notorious use of terror, by controlling information and mass media and Stalin’s prominent cult of personality. However, the extent of the totalitarian rule didn’t achieve similar levels throughout the whole state. Stalin’s use of terror as a method of eliminating opposition was a key factor in the establishment of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union. In the early 1930’s Stalin felt threatened by his growing opposition and was determined to bring the party under his total control.
General Buck Turgidson is the head of the SAC Commander and a rabid anti-communist. He is the individual who consulted the president on how to deal with the Russians and nuclear war. He is a realist; nuclear war to him is a game and he does not view it as something that will lead to world destruction. General Jack D. Ripper, also a realist, is an ultra paranoid nationalist. He believed that the fluoridation of drinking water was a communist conspiracy that it needed to be destroyed to stop the communist advance in America.
There were many voiced disagreements, such as arguments about the details of the boundaries between the 4 zones, and the amount of reparations Russia wanted from Germany. Also, Truman was upset that Stalin had arrested the non-communist leaders of Poland, which was against the government of national unity that they’d previously agreed on. Another concern was when Truman dropped the atomic bomb in the US. Truman did this so that
It was here that historian Robert Service argued where the course of rapid industrialization and collectivization had been set. Stalin was determined to alter the USSR’s structures and practices and between the years 1928 - 1939, the USSR under Stalin’s rule had been pointed decisively in the direction of an industrial urban society, and thus therefore should one view the characteristic's of Stalin’s totalitarian state in a Utilitarianism paradox? Since one may consider Stalin’s motivation behind rapid industrialization was the need for national survival, and if soviet life improved under Stalin’s repression, then the minorities were the main losers in the modernization of the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1939. Approaches to Stalinism have altered somewhat since the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, and by the end of the twentieth century the typical ‘top down’ view of history began to be challenged by socialist historians who considered the effects of collectivization and the Great Terror on the mass of society as opposed to the minorities such as the ‘Kulaks’ and the purges of the party and the army. Historian Peter Gattrell is an example of a ‘Stalinist Historian’.
On February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy launched his crusade against "communism" as he saw it. The speech delivered in Wheeling, WV was infamous for its reference to members of Congress who McCarthy accused of being members of the Communist Party. The insinuation was that these men were silent enemies working in favor of the Soviet Union for the downfall of the American government and way of life. In the Wheeling speech, McCarthy played on the Cold War and Red Scare fears (fear of a communist takeover) by asserting that the communist world, particularly the Soviet Union, was in a showdown with the democratic nations led by the United States. He charged that there were 205 communist spies in the state department who were selling out the United States.
While he was careful to protect the spirit of Lenin, Khrushchev attacked the crimes committed by Stalin and his closest associates. Throughout the four hours, Khrushchev accused Stalin of creating a regime based on "suspicion, fear, and terror." Khrushchev added that he wanted to break the cult of Stalin, who had died three years before. He condemned the mass repressions that took place between 1936 and 1938, lashed out at Stalin's foreign policy during World War II, and accused him of nationalism and anti-Semitism (rferl.org). In the speech Khrushchev denounced Stalin and Stalinism, and stated the Stalin was wrong.
The main effect was to crystallise Truman's desire to take a very hard line, anti-communism approach to the Soviet Union and for Stalin it symbolised an increase in opposition to the USSR. The speech effectively signalled the end of the alliance between America and the Soviet Union and described the establishment of a Soviet sphere of influence. The impact of this was initially negative because during WW2 American propaganda showed the Soviet Union as a faithful ally working alongside America to defeat the Nazi regime so the speech was met with hostility from American citizens. Writing in the book The Cold War, John Gaddis comments that “most Americans had had enough of war and were not in the mood to maintain their armed forces”. This shows a reluctance to fight another war – a reluctance that would have undoubtedly been heightened by Churchill’s speech which looked to provoke hostilities.
1953 saw the death of Soviet Russia’s greatest leader, in a never-ending atmosphere of anxiety, betrayal and paranoia. Stalin had become the state, not through the path of diplomacy, but through tumultuous bloodshed and trickery. He held absolute power and anyone foolish enough to protest against him and his path to the ultimate communist Utopia would find them selves dead or in a forced labor camp. The roots of this ultimate power lie in the years 1929-39, where Stalin employed the ‘Great Terror’, with the purges to secure political and economic control over the Soviet state. This essay will deduce how effective the ‘terror’ was employed to secure these corner stones.
Soviet and US relations changed dramatically between 1945 and 1947, there were many reasons to explain why and how this happened. Firstly, one reason was the end of WW2. During the Second World War, America and the USSR were members of the Grand Alliance in order to oppose Hitler, but when this war finished there was nothing to bring the Communists and Capitalists together. Therefore, the two countries went from allies to progressing enemies after Germany was defeated. This developed until a confrontation, from Western and Eastern Europe, in a nuclear arms race.