Stalin was, by opportunism able to gain control of the party machine and use it to his own advantage, and use his own political skills to out maneuver his opponents, while they often displayed lackluster tactics in a vain attempt to win support of a party loyal to Stalin. After the 1917 revolution, Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik political faction and the Russian Nation. Whenever possible, Stalin would present himself as Lenin’s right hand man, and following Lenin’s death in 1924, he defended Lenin’s legacy. Ironically, shortly after Lenin died, he told the colleagues that it would be disastrous if Stalin inherited the reins of the government. During the 1920s, Stalin appointed key people to Communist Party posts.
HOW IMPORTANT WAS STALIN’S USE OF THE LENIN LEGACY IN EXPLANING HIS VICTORY IN THE POWER STRUGGLE IN THE YEARS 1924 – 1929? After Lenin died in 1924, a power struggle arose when he hadn’t elected a member of the party to continue in his footsteps as leader of Russia, this caused the heated climb that Stalin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev and Bukharin had to face to have power. It was Stalin who won, much to everyone’s surprise, and there are many factors as to why he won. One of them was the Lenin Legacy, which he manipulated to his advantage. 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.
In 1924 Lenin dies leaving the role as leader of the communist open. Lenin did not want Stalin, but Trotsky to take over his position. But as Lenin’s strokes got worse, he lost the ability to participate in the CC (Central Committee). Lenin had information about Stalin that could have been very damaging if it was released in public. Stalin had many calculated methods to achieve the power of Russia.
Others indicate that their rise to power and the overthrow of the Provisional Government was more influenced by the faults and failures of the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was never in full control of Russia, their power was shared with the Soviets, thus when the Bolsheviks and the Soviets banded together; it shoved the Provisional Government on a rocky road downwards, while the Bolsheviks rose and seized power from them. The Soviets were a great influence in the Bolsheviks surge to power; their leader, Leon Trotsky, and the Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, began working together in 1917 after Lenin was appointed head of the Bolshevik party and together they drew the support away from Kerensky and the Mensheviks, and introduced his ideas of reform to the lower and middle classes. The class system worked to the Bolsheviks advantage because all of the lower classes needed help and Lenin's ideas for revolution all coincided with the peoples wants and needs, which in turn gained Lenin and the Bolsheviks the support of the lower classes. Trotsky worked to obtain the support by going to events and giving speeches, such as the one he gave on the 22nd of October in 1917, in which he
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.
As the sailors were heroes of the 1917 revolution against the PG, their uprising came as a shock to the Bolsheviks, especially to Lenin. Nevertheless, Trotsky ordered the Red Guard to put down the uprising and Marshal Tukhachevshy rounded up the sailors, who shot them without a trial. Lenin realised that the peasants and some measure of economic liberalisation were essential for the regime to survive. Discontent could no longer be suppressed. Lenin said that the Kronstadt revolt was “the flash that lit up reality more than anything else”.
The way in which the Tsarist government operated Russia during 1914-1917 is the major cause of the March Revolution of 1917. The Tsar’s decisions, the steadily declining economy, the negative impact of war on society, the unprepared military and the failures of the government leading up to the revolution are the five major aspects that led to the March Revolution. Russia joined the war with a sense of enthusiasm and excitement, but by 1917, the whole country was against the war and wanted nothing more than to get out of it, start rebuilding the country again and look towards a new brighter future. Once the Tsar was abdicated, the ball had started rolling and would not come to a halt until it was surrounded with a blanket of peace. One major aspect that contributed to the Tsarist governments path towards the March Revolution is the decisions that we made by Tsar Nicholas II during WWI.
How did Stalin's dictatorship develop? Stalin made his way into becoming dictator by a series of manipulative and clever tactics he would use to aid his influence. After Lenin and his party took over the election of the Provisional government which had been elected after the fall of the tsarist regime through a series of well-aimed political hits and armed threats; Stalin ascended the ranks of the government through extensive manipulation and threats as well as gaining the strong loyalty of some socialist idealists. In 1922 Stalin received the majority vote to become the General Secretary of the Communist party; a role that really no one else in the party really wanted as they deemed it unimportant and much like “House-chores”. What the other members of the soviet party such as Trotsky did not realize however; was that Stalin would use the position to gain a mass of followers for his socialist ideals and would use it as a stepping stone to achieve greater political influence and manipulate his way even further in the ranks.
During his rule as General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Stalin was able to create a highly totalitarian regime. This was achieved by the dictator’s notorious use of terror, by controlling information and mass media and Stalin’s prominent cult of personality. However, the extent of the totalitarian rule didn’t achieve similar levels throughout the whole state. Stalin’s use of terror as a method of eliminating opposition was a key factor in the establishment of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union. In the early 1930’s Stalin felt threatened by his growing opposition and was determined to bring the party under his total control.
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.