Analyse the Rise to Power of Joseph Stalin.

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Analyse the rise to power of either Hitler, Stalin or Mao. [20]

Joseph Stalin became the leader of the USSR after it’s first leader Vladimir Lenin died. Stalin’s rise to power was violent and ruthless, however the result was just what he wanted to achieve. In this essay I will analyse the rise to power of Joseph Stalin as well as look at the steps, which he took towards becoming a totalitarian leader of the USSR.

Joseph Stalin was studying to be a priest but he was expelled for his revolutionary activity. Stalin has attracted Lenin’s attention because of this revolutionary activity and Lenin was helping Stalin to rise in party leadership. This can be considered Stalin’s first step towards becoming a dictator. This clearly shows that his way up in the party leadership began from being promoted by Lenin.

After Lenin’s death, there were five main people struggling to achieve the position of a leader of USSR. These were: Trotsky, Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinoviev and Stalin. Stalin wanted to become the leader of USSR. His main rival was Leon Trotsky because he had the support of the Soviet people. Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev joined together to oppose the continuation of the New Economic Policy (a new and more capitalized economic policy, which was supposed to revive the Soviet economy that was ruined after the Civil War. NEP allowed farmers to earn extra money). Their wishes appeared to go against Lenin’s.

Trotsky had a policy called ‘Permanent Revolution’. He wanted to spread communism to the neighboring countries. Stalin had a different point of view – he believed that at first it was important to establish and strengthen communism in the USSR. Stalin was able to appoint his supporters on key positions in the communist party. He was able to do that mainly due to the fact that Trotsky was busy gaining the support of the people because he wanted to convince them about the benefit of ‘Permanent Revolution’ and also he believed that it is important to have...
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