Stalin's Personal Dictatorship

494 Words2 Pages
It can be argued that Stalin established a complete personal dictatorship in the years 1929-39 as he eliminated all those who posed a threat to him to enable him to have complete rule over the USSR. This was done through terror purges, social relativism and the personality of cult. Firstly, through the terror he was able to remove all political opponents through the Moscow show trials. These were carried out between 1934-9 where his political opponents pleaded guilty to impossible charges of treason and then were executed. The key defendants that were removed were Trotsky, Kamenev, Buhkarin, Yagoda and Zinoviev. This was significant in allowing Stalin to establish his personal dictatorship as they removed all of Stalin’s rivals from the 1920’s thus creating fear among the USSR showing that if you did anything that Stalin disliked, your life would be in danger, particularly because these people had been in positions of power therefore people obeyed all of Stalin’s orders. This lead to the wider terror among ordinary people. They were denounces, arrested and sent to Gulags by the NKVD. It is estimated that between 1934-8, 20 million Russians were sent to these gulags. By the time the terror had subsided in 1939, people were living in such fear that they were brought into a state of complete submission to his rule thus he had established a personal dictatorship with the use of terror. Secondly, Socialist realism was used to help Stalin establish his personal dictatorship. This was a form of social control thus played an important role in Stalin’s personal dictatorship because it persuaded the people of Russia that the sacrifices they were making were part of grand vision. Socialist realism implied that all forms of art should display socialist views and be realistic. Pressure was put on writers to write novels about Stalin’s glorious achievements. Artists who refused
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