Why did Stalin win?
Throughout the summer of 1923 it was apparent that Lenin’s reign was coming to an end and this overshadowed the political struggle however in the Politburo and central committee battle lines were forming. They all thought that they were deserving candidates with so thinking that they were untouchable and were destined to lead USSR . Leon Trotsky seemed to have the stronghold as he had a close relationship with Lenin. However in the background there was opposition growing. Stalin was to be Trotsky’s most fierce competitor, but at that time there were others including Lev Kamenev and G.E.Zinoviev who were close to Lenin during the revolution and had aided him greatly so they too were seen as competitors. These three were to form the, ‘troika’ and when Lenin’s death neared they were to jointly attack Trotsky. In 1921 the implementation of the Ban on Factionalism meant that if anyone was to disobey or not comply with official party policy were to be expelled, and this later would play a part in the power struggle.. On January 21, 1924, Lenin died. He was only fifty-three. Trotsky was away in the Caucasus that month, and Stalin telegraphed him and said that the funeral would be held immediately, so there was no point in undertaking the long trip back to Moscow. Thus Stalin forced Trotsky to be absent for the funeral--he knew how to create and use symbols to his advantage. In his final testament he described Trotsky as the ‘most capable man’ however that he ‘displayed excessive self-assurance’ that he was to be the next leader of the USSR. He also mentioned Stalin and said that he wouldn’t be able to use his authority ‘with sufficient caution’ this clearly showing that Lenin didn’t want Stalin to be in control however this testament never was publicly released, another factor in the power struggle Trotsky’s performance during the power struggle was one that lacked the urgency or necessary incentive to become the leader of the USSR. Trotsky was thought to have had everything in his hands as he was integral to the Bolshevik Revolution and was heroic during the civil war, was a brilliant speaker, writer and the best political thinker. The reason Trotsky lost was due to his arrogance. His arrogant attitude didn’t resonate well through the committee and he often insulted and offended many senior officials which didn’t help his cause. A serious fault in his performance was the fact that he undermined opposition such as Stalin and thought little of them, as though they weren’t really there however this would come back to haunt him as Stalin was building his support Trotsky wasn’t, depicting the lackadaisical side to him. He also belittled Stalin and thought that his appearance didn’t strike as threatening as Stalin was a shabby and inarticulate man and couldn’t be his rival. Furthermore, in addition to his complacency Trotsky was hit by a malaria-like infection and this stopped him from being most active when it was necessary. He was also fooled by Stalin into missing Lenin’s funeral which meant that Stalin had the chance to proclaim a close relationship with Lenin. Stalin’s performance during the power struggle was that of absolute brilliance. Stalin was a very clever politician and used his ability to plan for his rise to leadership. Stalin used many means to show the public that he and Lenin were very close. He would make create photos by implementing himself, and at Lenin’s funeral he was able to make an amazing start in the power struggle. Stalin was able to trick Trotsky who was away in South Russia into thinking that the funeral was being held on the 26th and that there was no time for him to return but the funeral was actually held on the 27th. This gave him the chance to take a public role in the morning of Lenin, increasing the idea that they were close. Furthermore, Stalin took on the boring job of General Secretary of State which gave him the ability to put his backers in the most important positions...
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