Great Political Leaders of the Twentieth Century

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The history of the 20th century can be defined by the biographies of six men: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, and Josef Stalin. Each of these men had a lasting significant involvement in world affairs. This essay will focus on the significance each individual had on the ideologies of Democracy and Totalitarianism. Four of the six individuals were leaders of a totalitarianistic state, and three of these led a communist country. Also four of the six leaders were in power during the Second World War. The profiles of these six men formed the world that we live in today.

Vladimir Illich Lenin was the first individual to put Marxist ideologies to work. In April 1917 Lenin returned to Russia from his exile in Switzerland to give his ‘April Theses.' It was here that Lenin outlined how his revolution was to take place, the Bolshevik Revolution began on November 6 1917. Within a week the Bolsheviks were in control of most of European Russia, and immediately Lenin ordered that the Russians abandon the war against Germany. After abandoning her allies in World War One the Russians were hurled into a civil war. It is here that we first see the ideologies of Totalitarianism and Democracy clash. The democracies of Britain, France, and the United States all sent troops to Russia in the support of the ‘Whites,' or enemies of the Bolsheviks. Lenin took the poor country of Russia and turned it into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or U.S.S.R. Through his policies of War Communism and its replacement the NEP Lenin was able to stand the newly formed U.S.S.R. on its own two feet. One of Lenin's ideas was ‘International Socialism,' it was under this idea that he set up the Comintern with the purpose of spreading communism throughout the world. His successor, Josef Stalin took a different approach in his ideas of ‘Socialism in one country."

Josef Stalin led the U.S.S.R. from the death of Lenin to his...
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