How significant were the personalities of the contenders to succeed Lenin in accounting for Stalin’s defeat of his opponents in the years 1924-29?

Topics: Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik Pages: 3 (1061 words) Published: October 16, 2014
How significant were the personalities of the contenders to succeed Lenin in accounting for Stalin’s defeat of his opponents in the years 1924-29? Lenin's death on the 21st January 1924 caused huge sadness across the country. After Lenin's death, everyone was eagerly waiting to know who would be the next leader of Russia. In the years after Lenin's death, there was no clear successor to his leadership. However, when Lenin was leader, Trotsky was always there for him, and he played a huge role in the Civil War, therefore everyone thought he would become Lenin's successor. However, as well as Trotsky there were other significant contenders, such as Stalin, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev which created a huge power struggle. I believe that the personalities of the contenders were significant in this struggle. However, other factors such as ideological battles, removal of opponents by Stalin and the consolidated powerbases also had an effect. The personalities of all were all extremely different by a great margin. The most likely to win, Trotsky was intellectually gifted which greatly benefitted him. He was also a great military leader and had good organisational skills. Trotsky has a few strong disadvantages to his personality though. His late arrival to the Bolshevik party could be interpret Trotsky as an unloyal character while his arrogance due to his intelligence made him quite a few different enemies in the Bolshevik party. Trotsky’s arrogance led to his defeat as he vastly underestimated Stalin and the threat he posed, while also decreasing his inner party support. At the time Trotsky would be clear favourite to win but his poor characteristics let him down. The next contender and winner of the battle for power was Joseph Stalin. An underdog and one of the least likely looking people to win, Stalin played his cards well and to his advantage. Being a Bolshevik from the beginning supported the fact that Stalin was a loyal Bolshevik which was a strength of his...
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