Stalin's Russia

Topics: Great Purge, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin Pages: 13 (3633 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Stalin’s Russia, 1924-53

The leadership struggle
* Russia wasn’t a democracy
* Struggle wasn’t about winning popularity with the people * Influence was very important
* Lenin was leader as party respected him could count on the loyalty of most party members

The contenders:
Leon Trotsky
* Most obvious contender
* Heroism during revolution and Civil War
* Organised October Revolution and commanded Red Army
* 1917-22 Lenin’s right-hand man
* Radicalism, strong personality, history made him attractive to students and young members * Had respect of Red Army
* Not universally supported, only joined party in mid 1917, not proper communist * Many feared radical ideas, Pragmatists thought he would lead to further war Zinoviev and Kamenev
* Lenin’s closest friends
* Lots of respect as long standing communists
* Moderate had support of pragmatists
* Trotsky said they were too cautious
* Prior Oct Rev they criticised Lenin for planning to overthrow PG * Trotsky said at crucial moment been cowards and disloyal to Lenin * Criticised during Civil War stayed well away from fighting and lived in luxury Bukharin

* Bought bravely in revolutionary period in 1917
* Managed press and organised propaganda during Civil War * Friendly and honest personality made him very popular
* Lenin publicly showed faith in him by making him party theorist * Well known he disagreed with Lenin on theoretical issues in 1916, showed not true Leninist * Too young?
* Supported NEP vigorously, made him unpopular with radicals as NEP betrayal communism Stalin
* Least likely candidate
* Fulfilled important administrative function during Civil War, less public and less glamorous. * Not outstanding speaker or intellectual, couldn’t compete with Trotsky or Bukharin here * See as safe candidate, was a centrist, sensible and practical politician

The issues
* RW committed to NEP, Bukharin argued it was leading to economic growth * Solved problem of famine and by 1926 industry was recovering * Bukharin argued Lenin was committed to NEP and wanted Russia to maintain policy * LW, Trotsky argued NEP was a short term policy

* Dangerous as it allowed peasants and traders to get rich while others remained poor * Trotsky’s alternative, similar to War Communism, gov should organise economy and use wealth to invest in industry * Encouraged farms to join together in collective farms, rapid industrialisation * LW policies unpopular, risked starting another CW

* Peasants (80% of pop) hated WC and supported NEP
Russia and the world
* LW argued communism couldn’t happen if world was capitalist, defeatist * Trotsky advocated ‘permanent revolution’ gov would send aid to foreign communist parties * RW advocated ‘socialism in one country’, very attractive as Russia had special status * Permanent revolution implied more conflict with other countries

Institutional factors
* Stalin had enormous power, 1922 appointed General Secretary, responsible for appointing people to key positions * He was head of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate and the Central Control Commission * Had power to sack party members

* Won Stalin loyalty of junior ranks who wanted promotion * As General Secretary, he decided who attend Party Congresses * As time went by, an increasing no of delegates were appointed by Stalin * Gave him influential power over composition of Central Committee * Responsible for recruitment, in 1921 25% of members were serving in Red Army and loyal to Trotsky * Lenin Enrolment in 1923-25 enabled Stalin to increase size party, reduce Trotsky’s influence * Opponents had little institutional power, Trotsky couldn’t do anything without sanction of Politburo, Zinoviev and Kamenev’s power conc in local parties

Lenin’s legacy
* Stalin used Lenin’s death to show himself as a true...
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