Stalin's Russia

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To what extent was a totalitarian state established in the USSR in the 1930's?
From the start of Stalins self-imposed reign of control he always had the makings as a leader to create a totalitarian government, for example his ideology. Stalin wanted 'his' people to believe that he cared for them. It's interesting to say 'his' because it refers to the sense that Stalin himself believed he owned the Russian people which completely contradicts a lot of what he did and the reasons for which he did it. For example Stalin always told the people that he was doing things for 'the greater good of the Russian people'. This contradiction could alter the disposition of things when considering the totalitarianism in the USSR in the 1930s.

The term 'totalitarianism' means that a state would hold complete control over everything in it, which is largely what happened in the USSR. Collectivisation is a great example of this total control that Stalin held over Russia, the fact he could take all of the farms and merge them together into one big farm to create more produce which was then sold or traded showed significance in comparison to totalitarianism because it showed that there was complete control over what happened all over Russia. As well as collectivisation Stalin also used terror to create a totalitarian state. The great Terror from 1936-38 is a great example of how a totalitarian state was achieved. The Moscow show trials which were essential in justifying a communist government. The main reason for and main success of the show trials were that it showed that the communist was the only party that was trustworthy, although this wasn't true. The fall of Yagoda let Stalin re-establish a once slacking NKVD as a more brutal force, new, less retrained agents were recruited to help speed up and extend the great terror. The mass murder created by the Politburo's Order No. 00447 enabled the NKVD to produce a list of over 250,000 people that were associated with...
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