They used terror slave labour and seizure of goods, and anyone found to be hiding grain was shot. This meant many peasants starved and the lack of money led to rationing increasing government control over the people. This policy was brutal as it caused death, famine and civil war. It allowed the Bolsheviks to maintain power by winning the Civil War, because they could focus on production of military
The purges and show trials aimed to terrorise Soviet society into compliance with Stalin’s regime, and ‘remove potential enemies,’ to allow Stalin to found an almost entirely ‘new’ Communist party, which comprised of ‘more dependable’ members. The Terror fundamentally had the impact of manipulating and destroying social norms, and disarranging the political and military structure which had formed in Russia following the Bolshevik revolution. During the purges and show trials which comprised the Terror, the Communist Party were forced into submission, which essentially impacted the party in an adverse manner. 90 per cent of the once established Bolshevik party members were purged, including Bukharin, Yagoda and Rykov at show trials, and the remaining members were exhausted of any power. The removal of these skilled and able members was detrimental for the Communist party, as it weakened them industrially and economically, and resulted in an endemic lack of experience across the party.
In order to do this Stalin instituted a party purge to silence the opposition of Riutin and his supporters, the assassination of Kirov, executed delegated party congresses, The trial of the twenty-one and general Purges. Between the years 1929-34 Stalin faced opposition from within the communist party A purge was the systematic elimination of opponents by Stalin, The assassination of Kirov allowed Stalin to use it as an excuse to begin the purges. In 1932, Kirov had helped to defeat Stalin on an important issue concerning Mikhail Riutin, who had circulated a document that was highly critical of Stalin. Stalin was furious and demanded Ruitins execution. However the central committee and the politburo refused to order Ruitin’s execution, Stalin viewed this as a betrayal.
At the time, the formation of political parties was illegal but despite this, they still existed. Every sector of society was represented through one of these illegal parties to act as opposition to the Tsarist autocracy. A number of parties set up used violence and terrorist activities to express their views. The Social Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats were set up to create a new society which gave power to the workers and peasants. The Social Revolutionaries were responsible for over 2000 assassinations from 1901-1905 including the Tsars uncle, Grand Duke Sergei in February 1905.
The Socialist Revolutionary Party wanted to completely abolish the Tsar’s power and give the peasants power to advance Russia. They were quite radical as they had terrorist wing who were responsi9ble for a few political assassinations. Another reformist group was the Social Democrat Party. They believed the industrial workers should be given power in order to revolutionise as removes Tsar’s power over the country. The Social Democrats were split into two groups: the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.
Lenin had also ended the war with Germany by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. However, this was a humiliating treaty for Russia as the Germans had been extremely harsh and the treaty took land, industries and people from Russia. After the Reds’ victory in the civil war, Lenin set about creating the world’s first communist state. He introduced war communism whereby the people saw the rapid nationalization of all industries as well as the requisitioning of all surplus grain from the peasants. Even though this solved all the immediate needs of the communist state, the majority of the peasants were unhappy about the new policies and rebelled against the Bolsheviks.
Some peasants left to work in the cities as the Tsar wanted Russia to be an industrial power, however the living conditions there hardly improved, which matched their dreadful working conditions. This poor treatment is what led to the 1917 strikes that helped force the Tsar to abdicate from the throne. This was an important factor in bringing down the Tsar because with so many people opposing him (over the years, because of food shortages and war failures, they were supported by women and army members, and the number of workers on strike rose to 250 000), he had no choice but to give up. However, I believe there is more causes behind this so I wouldn’t label it the most important factor of the Tsar’s abdication. Russia’s poor performance in WW1 played a very significant role in bringing down the Tsar too.
How far do you agree that Stalin's paranoia was the main cause of The Great Terror? Between the years 1936 and 1938 Russia experienced the Great Terror as a result of Stalin using the secret police to persecute all those he believed to be a threat to his power. The result was more than 10 million deaths in Russia. Many reasons are said to be the cause of The Great Terror. Stalin's paranoia being one of the considered causes Terror as he feared he would fall from power like other key members of Communist Party like Trotsky and Bukharin.
This unhappiness began to manifest itself in violent opposition from large numbers of peasant, particularly in the wealthier agricultural areas, as they had more to lose to the state that the poorer farmers. Rather than allow their property to go to the collective, these farmers would set fire to their land and slaughter their livestock. These oppositions were dealt with by the dekulakisation squads, who were often ruthless in the way that they eliminated peasant and kulak opposition alike . The government quickly eliminated most of the
In 1907, 1,200 government officials were murdered in political terrorist attacks by revolutionaries. Meaning that the revolutionary ideas and parties were still strong and threatening the government position. They tackled this problem by making the trial and punishment system harder and harsher. Stolypin (the Tsar Chief Minister) was the main man responsible for this, he met terror with terror by using field court Martials – these involve the armed forces deciding who’s guilty and what their punishments should be. Due to the stricter and tougher jury system 1,144 death sentences were handed out between October 1906