How Important Was Stalin's Use Of Purges?

718 Words3 Pages
How important was Stalin’s use of purges to his conciliation of power? During the 1930s, Stalin launched a regime of the Great Purges against prominent party members. This was the form of terror used by Stalin and his supporters to remove enemies. The victims of the purges were enemies of the state or people who were accused of crimes they could not have possibly committed. Show trials were held where public enemies of the state were accused and then, in the majority of cases, executed. Other people were either sent to labour camps or shot. Anyone who could be named an “enemy of the people” (victims of the purges) could be taken away by the secret police. During 1935 and 1936 the purges took place on members of the Left Opposition. Party members were advised to be vigilant against opposing members. There were many show trials of leaders of the Left, including Zinoviev and Kamenev in August 1936. They were accused of working with Trotsky to undermine the state. Stalin also used his one party state to consolidate power. Lenin had decided that in order to move from Capitalism to Socialism, there would have to be Dictatorship of the Proletariat – governing on behalf of the workers. This was meant to be a temporary stage, however after Lenin died Stalin extended state control to having the Soviet Union ruled under his own personal dictatorship. Stalin claimed he was continuing Lenin’s work and protecting socialism. The constitution of 1936 gave every citizen the vote and civil rights, including freedom of the press, religion and organisation of the press. However only candidates from the communist party were allowed to stand in elections and a year later the purges began. Throughout the 1930s Stalin increased his control of this one-party state as the politburo met less frequently and Stalin gained more sole control. Stalin also used propaganda to gain
Open Document