Rise of Stalin

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Topic: “People can be swept along by events, whilst others use events to their advantage” How accurate is this statement in relation to the rise of power of either Joseph Stalin or Benito Mussolini?

Joseph Stalin’s rise to power in relation to the statement “People can be swept along by events, whilst others use events to their advantage” is that of the latter when taking a look at how he was able to rise to the position of dictator of the Soviet Union. Stalin meticulously plotted his way into power using influential events, such as the occurrence of his promotion to General Secretary in which he displayed political skills to manipulate political situations, and also the influential post of liaising between Lenin and the Politburo with great success. Though his ascent to the leadership of the Soviet Union was neither easy nor inevitable, Stalin’s success was not an accident. He had tactics in place to gain the position, and Lenin’s death was the most major of all events that Stalin used to his advantage to take power.

Relative to the statement, Stalin climbed the political ranks by being a loyal supporter and member to the Bolshevik party. Stalin, born in Georgia, and educated at Tiflis Theological College until he was expelled in 1899 for his revolutionary ideas, had joined Lenin's party as early as 1903 and thus was one of the Old Guard among Bolsheviks. To begin with, Stalin was one of Lenin’s favourites, and in 1912, Lenin, appointed him to serve on the first Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party. (SparkNotes, 27/2/13) Stalin worked his way up the political ranks of the communist Bolshevik Party, gaining respect for doing many of the dirty jobs that no-one else wanted such as robbing banks to fund the Bolshevik Party . Between 1917 and 1922, Lenin gave Stalin three key jobs, People’s Commissar for Nationalities, Head of Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate, and Liaison Officer which gave him a position of some importance amongst the...
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