Why Did Stalin Rather Then Trotsky Emerge as Leader of the Ussr

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Why did Stalin, rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the USSR? (12 marks) A power struggle for control of the Bolsheviks party began after Lenin’s death in 1924. Among the several contenders, the two main rivals to take his place as leader were Stalin and Trotsky. Trotsky was Lenin’s right hand man in the October Rebellion and it seemed that Trotsky was the natural replacement; however it was Stalin who ultimately was able to secure power. There were many reasons why Stalin rather than Trotsky emerged as the leader of the USSR in 1929. First of all, Stalin’s personal characteristics and qualities helped him become the leader of the USSR. Stalin was a very loyal Bolshevik party member who was one of the few leaders with proletarian roots. It seemed he would not cause splits in the party as his ideas were not too extreme. Stalin also made full use of Lenin’s funeral to advance his position. It was an advantaged to Stalin that Trotsky was not present at the funeral, although some have said that he managed to trick Trotsky into not turning up, this seriously damaged Trotsky political prestige as people thought he was not respecting Lenin. Stalin gave the speech at Lenin’s funeral and promised to carry on the mantle of Leninism to transfer Lenin’s prestige to himself. Stalin was less-high minded, more down to earth and practical then the other leading Bolsheviks. Stalin was ideally suited to managing the bureaucratic and centralised party that had developed. Stalin was perceived as dull and mediocre- the ‘grey blur’. He was tough and ruthless and determined to protect his power base and make sure that he was not ousted, however no one saw him as a threat until it was too late. This showed that it was not only Stalin’s characteristic that helped him gain power it was also weaknesses of his opponents especially Trotsky In addition, Trotsky himself was responsible for his own downfall. He had weaknesses that made him unfit for the power struggle....
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