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.
His ideological dispute with Trotsky, another major contender to lead Russia was a key factor in his uprising as Trotsky was the leader of the ‘left-wing opposition’. Trotsky was the leader of the red-army and had excellent leadership but was very arrogant and had a lack of judgement. Stalin made sure that he exploited these characteristics of Trotsky and made it aware to the other Bolshevik members. Stalin took advantage of this and started to manoeuvre devious tactics such as giving
A position, thrust upon him by committee, and meant he was in control of the ‘party machine’ and therefore able to choose who was allowed into the Bolsheviks ranks, thus ensuring he has political backing and therefore could always ‘deliver the votes,’ as people were aware of the privileges he had given them. However, both sources have some similarities towards Stalin. They both make reference to Stalin’s inability to trust others and his intensity. However, Source A suggests that these are unsuitable qualities for someone in the position of general secretary, whereas source B makes them seem as though these are qualities to be admired, as Stalin once stated ‘a reasonable amount of distrust is a good basis for working together.’ This suggests that Stalin thought that you can never be too trusting, which as evidently shown through the power struggle and his rise to the top, where he manipulated the
Stalin was able to see that he could gain credibility by using Lenin’s Legacy, since Lenin was the leader of the Communist Party and was the reason to all the great ideas and change that was brought to Russia. This meant that if Stalin was associated with Lenin he could win votes and support from members of the party, earning him his win. At Lenin’s funeral, Stalin claimed falsely that he was Lenin’s disciple and was to continue his work. Lenin’s wife disagreed as she knew the truth to what Lenin thought of Stalin, however, none of the members of the Communist Party did and fell into the trap of Stalin’s word. Not only this but Stalin used Lenin’s Legacy when he once again falsely claimed he was there at the beginning of the original Russian Revolution, when he was actually in exile.
This particular political skill would become one of the key factors in his rise to power. The others include the political weakness and errors of his rivals, issues brought up within the politburo such as the N.E.P, and the fact that more often than not he had luck on his side. Stalin’s main rival, Trotsky, was the early choice to gain the position of leader of the party, having been Lenin’s personal favourite. However, Trotsky lost himself a large amount of support when he criticised the N.E.P, and Lenin. He was also tricked by Stalin into not attending Lenin’s funeral.
Lenin’s contribution to the Bolshevik Party was an essential factor in their consolidation of power during 1917-1924, however; Lenin’s role was not the only factor contributing to their success. The Bolsheviks were regarded as a “minor feature of Russian political life” and it was not until Lenin’s return to Russia that the party became a key player. It can be seen that Lenin played a pivotal role in the consolidation of power due to his background which allowed Lenin to be influenced by a revolutionary upbringing. Through his upbringing, Lenin was able to develop a strong leadership, political insight and determination allowing the Bolsheviks to be lead into power. Whilst the Bolsheviks were in power, Lenin’s role in dealing with uprisings and anti-communist groups was significant as it allowed the Bolsheviks to remain in power.
The success of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War was due to Lenin, Trotsky and their combined political, social and military capabilities as they were experts. They introduced various political and military policies that enabled them to raise support in Russia and create a dominant and successful military force. Both leaders showed immense dedication to the socialist cause and in doing so provided ruthless and brilliant leadership that ensured Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War. Peasant support for the Bolsheviks was a result of the Whites political and social faults. Firstly, the Whites treated the peasant class harshly, they did not see the advantage of gaining the support of the larger lower class as about 82% and they did not take full advantage of that.
Thus began a battle of political subterfuge, manoeuvrability and betrayal, things that Joseph Stalin, eventual leader of the USSR, excelled at. Many things influenced and aided Stalin in his rise to power. Luck was a key factor, but so was his ability to take advantage of every situation he found himself in, the lack of competence in his political opponents, and his own political skill and ability. While all these helped in securing Stalin his position of unquestioned leader of the Soviet Union, one factor rises above the rest in it importance, the question is however, which one? As said above, luck was definitely a vital part in Stalin’s victory.
After Lenin’s death, there was a dispute over the succession between Bukharin, Trotsky, Kamenev and Stalin. Trotsky could end the dispute and took power as the head of the Bolsheviks with Lenin's Testament, which criticized the oppositions Trotsky. However, he did not do it, and Stalin, using his position in the Bolshevik Party was able to get his men in high positions and policies through a swing, a union with his opposition to displace others, was able to take power in 1923 and the elimination of his violent Trotsky opposition, using a "ban on faction’’. In some cases, single-party leaders use a combination of legal and illegal methods to come to power. For Stalin, what he did was entirely legal.
By October 1905 the most united opposition in Romanov history faced the Tsar. Concession was unavoidable, but by giving ground the government intended to divide the opposition forces, which confronted it. As well as this other factors helped to contribute to the survival of Tsarism. These include the army and elite staying loyal to Tsar Nicholas II and the nature of the revolution, One of the main attributes one could argue to the survival of Nicholas the second is the unorganised nature of the opposition to the tsar. This is shown by one main foe to the tsar the social democrats being split between the Bolsheviks led by the Lenin and the Mensheviks.