Trotsky underestimated Stalin and what he was capable of (creating a triumvirate with Zinoviev and Kamenev, using this alliance to defeat him). He lost respect by not turning up to Lenin’s funeral, allowing Stalin to act as though he was closest to Lenin. Yet, the biggest mistake which Trotsky made was when he agreed not to publish Lenin’s
Nicholas II attempted to rule Russia as an autocrat as he believed that autocracy was the only was to save Russia from anarchy. As historian Orland Figes noted, “instead of embracing reform, [Nicholas] adhered rigidly to his own archaic vision of autocracy.” He had ascended to the throne in 1894 after his father Alexander III died suddenly. He had not been prepared for life as a ruler as his father had not briefed him in matters of the state, believing Nicholas to be unintelligent and weak. And Alexander was probably right. Nicholas turned out to be inflexible in his views and politically naive.
•How significant were the personalities of the contenders to succeed Lenin in accounting for Stalin’s defeat of his opponents 1924-29? After Lenin’s death, a leadership struggle for leadership took place in which the main contenders (Stalin, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev) each fought to take control of the communist government. Ultimately Joseph Stalin managed to defeat his opponents and take control. I believe that the personalities of opponents were a reason for the defeat of opponents such as Trotsky seen as being very arrogant and Bukharin being untrusting. However I think more important factors such as luck for Stalin like how Lenin’s death came at the right time, Stalin’s ideologies and how he support the right policies at the right time and in my judgement the most important factor was Stalin’s devious malicious and devious tactics against his opponents such as fooling Trotsky when Lenin’s funeral was and making him look aloof and his constant side swapping to suit his popularity.
This increased year upon year allowing Stalin to have increasing control over the important discussions. Party members failed to recognise the extent of his control until it was too late. Even though Trotsky had the position of the Head of the Red Army, this position held little power because many of the members of the army were not members of the party and therefore could not attend Party Congress to support Trotsky. This position, also, made party members feel threatened. Bukharin’s position in the media allowed him to shape opinions and Zinoviev’s and Kamenev’s positions gave them support from the largest sections of the communist party.
Having this powerful position in the party made people scared of him and that he sack them so they stayed very loyal to him. On the other hand his rivals, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev had little power in the Party. Trotsky did have a lot of power in the Red Army but none within the Party. This shows how important Stalin’s Party position was in him emerging as leader of Soviet Russia in 1929. Another very important reason in why Stalin emerged as leader was Tactical maneuvering of Stalin and his making and breaking of alliances.
Why did Stalin emerge as leader of Soviet Russia? Observing Stalin’s background and other personal factors, Stalin was indeed a weak contender for the leader of Soviet Russia and lacked a strong, powerful past that people such as Trotsky had. However from 1924 to 1929, Stalin with the use of manipulation, determination and tactical strategies managed to emerge as leader of Soviet Russia. The reason as to why he created such an outcome is quite clearly impressive, but what really worked for him? An important factor as to why Stalin was able to emerge as leader was due to the advantages that he had as a result of his position within the communist party.
Whilst in exile the Bolshevik party struggled and did not push for an uprising with the same vigour. Lenin also did not care for the temporary leader allowing his members to join the P.G, but with his return he started planning an armed uprising once again and his personal presence in Petrograd, along with his reputation, allowed him to sway the opinion of other Bolsheviks that were not too confident to join the uprising, and to put an end to the Bolshevik support for the P.G. What this highlights is Lenin's ability to force others to see things his way, and without him the other leaders may not have chosen this course and the whole aim of the party may have been unsuccessful. However Lenin was not the only reason for the success of the party as there were other factors such as the war with the Austro-German allies. As Russia was having economical pressure extended unto it by France and Briton to continue its war effort the P.G was put in a paradoxical situation where to survive it had to continue fighting, but it could not survive if it stayed in the war.
According to Historian Malone, the Tsar “believed totally in the tsarist system and argued that a democracy and elections would result in political collapse.'' His reluctance to alter the system of authority and introduce representatives reinforces his lack of ability in knowing 'the business of ruling'. However, in response to pressure from the discontented Proletariat group, Nicholas II implemented an Imperial Council, Cabinet of Ministers, a Senate and the Okhrana. These parties however, were merely a tokenistic response, as Nicholas II still retained ultimate power. He ensured that he had the right to choose half the members of the council, declare
How important was Stalin’s use of the Lenin legacy in gaining power? Stalin’s use of the Lenin Legacy helped him gain support during the years 1924-1929, eventually resulting in him winning the power struggle and gaining power in Russia. Even though in Lenin’s final testament he made it clear that Stalin was trouble and he should be got rid of, Stalin’s political cunning and his use of the Lenin legacy meant that he was able to gain people’s support and become leader of the Communist party. One of the most noticeable was at Lenin’s funeral. Firstly, Stalin had told Trotsky (who was a major rival to Stalin at this time) the wrong date for Lenin’s funeral.
This was made possible by him controlling the majority of the dumas funding meaning he could deny a new law by limiting their financial strength. Not only did he offer too little reform but in the case of the working class, he offered none at all. By doing this he sent a message of deception to his people which therefore lowered the support towards him. Another way in which he personally created problems for himself and Russia was his choice to leave Petrograd and appoint himself as commander in chief of the army. He did this to show his strength and bravado yet by doing this he allowed himself to become personally responsible for any and all military