There are many factors to consider in terms of why stalin emerged as leader of the soviet union. These factors could be certain events, the failure of the opposition to eliminate stalin and also the tactics in which stalin used to manipulate his way to become leader of the soviet union. The way stalin was perceived as the ‘quiet’ individual may well have been the opening window for his tactical approaches. The most important reason as to why Stalin emerged as leader was because he held key positions within the significant institutions within the Russian government, the Politburo the main organ of power, and arguably most importantly General secretary which meant he was able to appoint his own supporters to key positions within the party congress who elected the central committee which in turn elected the Politburo. By controlling the membership within the party congress Stalin also had the power to expel pro-Trotsky supporters, and therefore establish a system which gained him huge amounts of support to outvote the other contenders.
The main reason that Stalin was able to rise to power was his ingenious defeats of both the left and right wings of the Party. The key figure Stalin had to take down from the left wing was Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was important because in effect, it was his leadership of the Red Army during the Civil War that had won the war for the Reds. If it hadn’t been for Trotsky, the Bolsheviks may not have been in the position they were by 1924. The first step Stalin took towards removing the threat of Trotsky was to lie to him about the date of Lenin’s funeral.
After Tsarism fell, and Lenin took power, he too made a Secret Police, called the Cheka. They were a lot more ruthless than the Secret Police of Tsarist autocracy, and terrorized the public to make sure that Lenin remained in power, well away from his political enemies. However, when Stalin came to power after Lenin’s death in 1924, he was not satisfied with how they were being utilized, and indeed in 1934 he created his own Secret Police, the infamous NKVD. These were of a new ilk and variety. Openly malevolent, they were renowned for the oppressing manner in which they bullied and manipulated Stalin’s people.
This is because through the key events, his devious and scheming personality shone through, eventually gaining him the top position of authority. This is shown as soon as Lenin dies as it is said Stalin tells Trotsky the wrong date of Lenin’s funeral (his greatest opposition at the time.) Trotsky doesn’t show up, leaving Stalin to step up and show his loyalty whilst at the same time showing the people of Russia that he is a strong, caring contender, able to take Lenin’s position of leader of Russia. Moreover, Stalin’s position of a moderate ‘peace maker’ as the left side of the party tore themselves apart showed a personality of calm moderation which appealed to others within the party as the fight for leadership became bitter and often ruthless. This made Stalin’s personality shine through amongst the bitter personalities of others such as Trotsky, Zinoviev and
How far do you agree that the most important result of the oppression was the strengthening of Stalin’s political dominance? The Great Terror had a profound effect upon the Communist Party and on Soviet society as a whole and it was most famous aspect of Stalin’s Russia. This terror grew from his paranoia and desire to be the absolute leader, and was enforced by the NKVD as well as his public show-trials. It developed into a terrifying system of labour camps (or gulags) and purges. Stalin’s oppression had many results including, but not limited to, the strengthening of his political dominance.
Also, the totalitarian state supports extreme nationalism. Stalin used propaganda, censorship, and terror to force his will on the Soviet people. Government newspapers glorified work and Stalin himself. Secret police spied on citizens, and anyone who refused to praise Stalin and the state faced severe punishment, even death. Thus we can see that by the end of the 1920s, Stalin had definitely created a totalitarian state, but to what extent?
How similar were Stalin and Hitler? Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler were two men with fairly simlar backgrounds. They both managed to become dictators of two of the most powerful countries in the world.However, at first, they were two infamous dictators with opposing political views – Stalin was a communist and Hitler was a fascist. They both struggled to rise to power and once in power, they changed the lives of the people living the Soviet Union and Germany. Eventually, they both went to war with each other during World War Two.
Finally the essay will look at the effectiveness of the use of terror but also the international repercussions for Stalin and communism. Main Argument • How Stalin moved away from Leninism and Communism. • The movement from the use of terror as an enforcer of economic policies for the good of USSR to the only purpose of coercion for his own political agenda. The use of terror was the most important and most effective way for Stalin to maintain power. He started off by using terror as a means to fulfill ambitious economic goals but then used as a means to control his own paranoia from a threat from within and his own political means.
Stalin greatly feared older members of the party too as they knew the truth of Stalin’s rise to power and what Lenin’s testament contained which would have ruined Stalin’s career. Under Yagoda’s influence of suggesting communists questioned Stalin, his paranoia further developed and caused the emergence of the great terror. Undoubtedly Stalin felt he had to perform the mass purges because of his paranoia that he would be removed from power. As Stalin was in control this must be the main cause of the great terror as his desire to remain in power was the drive for allowing the great terror to happen. The Congress of victors was a short term cause of the great terror and only added to the main cause of Stalin’s paranoia.
Nazis: Torturers or Victims? "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them," quoted Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being … it is after all only because of the way things worked out that they were the executioners and we weren’t." The experiments on obedience to authority conducted by Yale university psychologist Stanley Milgram confirmed the thoughts of Solzhenitsyn by proving, sadly, that at least 65% of everyday human beings could be initiated into behaving in ways that might lead to killing innocent victims. In fact, we all feel contempt before acts of inhumanity like the Holocaust, and it is convenient to attribute horrors