Stalin was able to eliminate all effective opposition through a series of purges. The Show Trials, which began in 1936, were designed to create an atmosphere of intimidation and paranoia. As the purges swept through the party, many highly prominent Bolsheviks were put on trial and accused of being part of a Trotsky counter-revolutionary bloc. During the first Show Trial, of 1936, Stalin eliminated Kamenev and Zinoviev, who forcibly confessed to being part of Trotsky’s conspiracy and were consequently executed. In 1937 Stalin began the purge of the military, accusing them of spying for Nazi Germany.
On top of that, Russia’s Provisional Government was overthrown by a minority party (the Bolsheviks) during the November Revolution of 1917 who in turn formed the world’s first ever Communist government. Consequently, violence was triggered across the country and the country spiralled into a long and bloody Civil War. Although there is not one person that we can wholly identify as the main transformer of Russia between 1917 and 1924, there are definitely a few prominent figures that we can identify as the most important people. Generally, historians seem to agree on three people: Vladimir Illich Ulyanov (or Lenin), Leon Trotsky and Alexander Kerensky. All revolutionaries in their own respect, each of these people played a massive role in at least one of the 1917 Revolutions, the civil and the initial redevelopment of Russia after the Civil War.
This resulted in risings such as the Spartacist rising where communists fuelled by the success of the Russian revolution almost occupied nearly every major city in Germany. However, the Reichstag led by the SPD had stepped into a power that was left by the Kaiser, and as a result of this it had no real option but to accept the Versailles Treaty. The most irritating part for the German people was the to pay reparations to Britain and France. Germany's failure to pay her debt led to the invasion of the Ruhr, resulted in very little success for France but did succeed in the complete collapse of the German economy. This led to the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 Hitler aided by General Lundendorff and a few hundred supporters marched on the Munich town hall as a pretext to a national revolution, unfortunately for Hitler this attempt failed and he was sent to prison.
The Tsar was desperate to get Russia back in control so in December the Tsar’s loyal army was used to demolish what was left of the working class strikers. This sent many of the revolutionaries in to exile. This restored order once again in the cities. What was a general
Also his methods of massacring anyone he felt was a threat seemed to be effective in dealing with opposition. By 1939 majority of bishops were killed in Russia and there were only 12 left also 400,000 party members were purged due to his Stalin paranoia of them scheming against him. However to suggest that Stalin was the more effective in dealing with opposition in the period 1855-1964 compared to the other rulers would be wrong. In order to assess this argument we must compare the success of Stalin against opposition to the success of the other against their opposition. By comparing the key events in terms of opposition like the Assassination of Alexander II in 1881, Blood Sunday and the October manifesto in 1905, the February and October revolution in 1917, and how effectively they were dealt with, then we can come to a judgment on the argument.
Reading Task 6 – How far was Stolypin able to stabilize Russia? Repression: * What actions did Stolypin take to restore order after 1905? Stolypin joined the council of ministers in 1906 and quickly became its chairman, equivalent to a prime minister which meant he was in a perfect position to re-establish political authority. Although the 1905 revolution had been crushed there was peasant unrest throughout 1906 and 1907, in 1907 1200 government officials were murdered in terrorist attacks by revolutionaries. * Stolypin met the terror with terror, 1144 death sentences were handed out in the period between October 1906 and May 1907.
In addition to this, troops within the far-East wanted deployment as they disagreed with the rules after the Manifesto. Despite this, reforms brought the army back onto the Tsar’s side on the 6th of December. This enabled order to be maintained until the revolution. Lastly, the social revolutionists had a major role in influencing an important part of Russian population. This was urban workers, railway workers and students.
Student Number: 27048382 Modern History Essay ‘With reference to the quote and your own knowledge, assess the impact of the Terror on Soviet society in the late 1930’s. In the late 1930’s, the purges and show trials which comprised the Terror, had a significant impact on Soviet society. The Communist party was coerced in powerlessness, the working class suffered considerably, both physically and psychologically, and copious members of the intelligentsia were exiled or killed as a direct result of the Terror. Furthermore the military was damaged, as many of the leaders of the Party’s formerly powerful Red Army were purged. 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.
Political and social unrest increased however, with the revolutionary Bolsheviks gaining widespread support. During the July Offensive, the Russian Army was soundly defeated by the German and Austro-Hungarians, leading to the collapse of the Eastern Front. The Russian Army was on the verge of mutiny and most soldiers had deserted the front lines. Kerensky's government was overthrown in October 1917, and the Bolsheviks assumed power. The Russian Civil War began in the wake of the collapse of the provisional government.
In many respects, there is no doubt that Alexander III was the most effective Tsar in such the short reign that he had. He was referred to as a reactionary, unlike his father Alexander II who was known as a reformer. He managed to please the people with his Russian figure and attitude, he changed their attitude and he made tsarism look all the better, all in a short period of time. Despite their different policies, they had the same ambitions inside their head in the long run, and that was to strengthen autocracy in the Russian empire but Alexander III did this by reversing what his father had done as he felt he knew better ways of dealing with the situation and strengthening the Tsarist position. The first thing that Alexander III did when he came into power to contradict his fathers’ reforms was to recall the decision of creating the constitution.