Stalin's Rise to Power

Topics: Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, Marxism Pages: 10 (3964 words) Published: June 23, 2013
“Analyze the Rise of Power of a leader of a single-party state”

This essay will analyze Stalin’s rise to power through the study of four main elements, which can be denominated as situation in the USSR, Stalin’s personal strength, the weaknesses of Stalin’s enemies and the role of luck and opportunities. Thanks to all four of them it was possible for Stalin to reach to the power of one leader of a single party. The tradition of autocratic rule gave the advantage of the situation to Stalin, as soviet people were not accustomed to choose their leaders therefore he did not had to gain support of the people to reach power. Moreover, Stalin always adopted the role of accessible, working class party boss, while other leaders were considered as middle class or rich, therefore he used this as a personal strength, as population felt represented by someone of their own society, who could understand them. Furthermore Stalin’s rivals were divided through the period of his rise to power, and he never had to face them all together, therefore, weaknesses of enemies also helped Stalin to reach the position of leader. Finally, regarding luck and opportunities, power to struggle occurred within the CPSU, in this way Stalin did not need to make great speeches, only careful organization was required for achieving success. Russia had been controlled by tsars since its very existence, where society was based on a feudal system, and there was a huge polarization between the high and lower classes. After world war one Russia was completely devastated, cities were destroyed, and the population had enormous casualties, they a change was needed and under the proposal of Marx’s ideas, Russian civilians opted by the communist option, tired of the autocracy and indifference imposed by the tsars. In 1917 revolution started, and the autocracy which Russians lived for years was changed by a democracy, were people could choose their leaders. When Lenin was in power, he suffered several strokes from 1922-1923 which removed him from politics until he finally died on the 24th of January in 1924. There were many Communist leaders who wanted to seize power, but only Stalin was able to achieve this. Before the Bolsheviks took power in 1917, the situation in Russia was chaotic. The country was ruled by Nicholas II, an autocrat who did not allow democracy and therefore most of the peasants, which were the majority of the population (85%), were against him. The situation in Russia got worse when Russia joined the First World War, and this was the key factor for the February Revolution in 1917. An important factor that helped Stalin, as named above was the situation in USSR as destruction of world war one and civil war allowed Stalin to appeal strong desires for peace and consolidation from soviet people. Approximately two million, men woman and children died in the First World War and ten million during civil war (1917-1921), by 1923 Russia’s population was thirty million less than what was expected. Moreover the redouble had collapsed and workers were paid in goods, not money; this went to such a point that barter became the only means of exchange. The civil war came close to wiping out all the gains made since 1861, and even worse the civil war affected the proletariat more than any other group. Workers were only 2% of the population before 1914, but Moscow los half of them and Petrograd two thirds. It is estimated that around fifty percent of workers were lost, either by dying fighting for the red army or returning to their villages. The soviet regime depended on the workers to carry outs it’s programme and this were looking forward to Stalin as a great man. Therefore situation in USSR helped Stalin reach power, as he knew how to take advantage of this opportunity of chaos were nationalistic and patriotic ideas were presented by him knowing that people would follow the best and idealistic idea after hard times. Also Stalin, with his idea of “socialism in...
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