It is assumed by most from a Western prospective that Stalin was the sole creator of the Great Purges and his regime was held together by the constant and consistent fear he infiltrated through it. Many historians put Stalin forward as an evil tyrant so much so that he can seem superhuman. My investigation’s aim is to explore to what extent was the success of Stalin in retaining power in the USSR through fear. This argument is still relevant today, as results from recent polls included in my investigation demonstrate that although documents proving Stalin’s terror have been released and studied, a large percentage agree with the opinion that he was also great leader rather than just a tyrant. Through a variety of sources such as cultural references like poetry from different critics, as well as other primary items like propaganda exhibiting fear; and historians analysis of the period (i.e. Filippov, Getty), I will determine which of the methods of Stalin allowed him to remain as sole leader of the USSR. However this investigation will not be focusing in detail on Stalin’s methods through industrialisation and collectivisation but instead will consider the effects of his Purges on society and whether fear was his primary method of control.
Word count: 207
Following the death of Lenin in 1924 the Politburo was left in “collective leadership,” however the period of the 1920s proved more of a power struggle between the leaders, which ended in Stalin’s rise as the sole leader of the Soviet Union. The political battles and expulsions he went through in order to place himself in the highest position of power are echoed throughout the rest of his rule.
In order to consolidate his power, Stalin made sure the Politburo was filled with members who idealized him and removed any of the Old Bolshevik party. His view was very much that in order... [continues]
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