Why Did Stalin Emerge as Leader of the Soviet Union? Essay

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Why did Stalin emerge as leader of the Soviet Union? A power struggle for control of the Bolshevik party began after Lenin’s death in 1924. Among the contenders for the role, two of the most powerful names in this struggle were Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Ultimately, Stalin was able to secure power and vote out Trotsky by being politically skilful and cunning however most importantly he was lucky. There are many factors to consider in terms of why stalin emerged as leader of the soviet union. These factors could be certain events, the failure of the opposition to eliminate stalin and also the tactics in which stalin used to manipulate his way to become leader of the soviet union. The way stalin was perceived as the ‘quiet’ individual may well have been the opening window for his tactical approaches. The most important reason as to why Stalin emerged as leader was because he held key positions within the significant institutions within the Russian government, the Politburo the main organ of power, and arguably most importantly General secretary which meant he was able to appoint his own supporters to key positions within the party congress who elected the central committee which in turn elected the Politburo. By controlling the membership within the party congress Stalin also had the power to expel pro-Trotsky supporters, and therefore establish a system which gained him huge amounts of support to outvote the other contenders. By having such a system in his favour Stalin was able to manipulate those in the government to see forth with his ideas, suggestions and plans. Trotsky, one of Stalin's main rivals encompassed authority as Head of the Army and consequently had limited power within the party. Stalin's control of appointments and the membership made him a useful ally as other contenders wanted him on their side as he could deliver votes in the

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