"Did Lenin Lead to Stalin?" Examine the Elements of Change and Continuity Within Soviet Russia 1917-1941.

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The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was the seizure of power by the radical Marxists led by Vladimir Lenin and was one of the pivotal moments of the 20th Century. The ramifications of the event, and the subsequent establishment of the world's first Communist regime were immediately obvious, but also had continuing repercussions for decades. This essay will argue that although Lenin and Stalin seemed to have conflicting views, in reality they shared very similar policies; Stalin just took these policies to an extreme.

There was a rather significant continuity between Lenin and Stalin’s policies on Political Control. When the Bolsheviks first came in to power Lenin banned Liberal parties who where seen as a threat and later banned all parties including the Social Revolutionaries’ (SR’s) who shared similar views to the Communist party. After the SR’s had beaten them in the elections for the constituency assembly Lenin dismissed these elections and closed down the seemly as well as banning the political parties. USSR was now a one party state with secret police (CHEKA) to eliminate any opposition. Stalin simply kept it this way. Stalin also had secret police (NKVD), Before 1924 Lenin and his ’Red terror’ had been successful in eliminating all opposition outside of the communist party and faced none within the party. However, due to Stalin’s controversial takeover he faced heavy opposition. To keep this opposition repressed Stalin carried out a series of purges. To purge the Party meant, expelling members who, in one way or another, were unreliable. The purge of the Party spread, it came to involve more than just the Party. In 1937 it spread to the arm forces and then quickly came to effect the ordinary people. By 1938 virtually the entire population was living in a state of terror. Stalin’s Great terror led to no opposition and USSR was complete in Stalin’s control. This is where Lenin and Stalin differ because under Lenin there had been free fierce and passionate...
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