Stalin’s Rise to Power
Analyze the methods used and the conditions, which in the rise to power of one ruler of a single party state.
Stalin emerged as the victor in 1929 of a long power struggle that happened within the USSR after the death of Lenin in 1924, which was greatly assisted by the conditions surrounding him and the methods in which he used to ascend within his party. In this power struggle Stalin’s main opposition was Trotsky but Stalin was politically astute therefore giving him an advantage that Trotsky did not possess. Lenin’s legacy also played an important role in Stalin becoming leader because anyone who assumed the mantle of Lenin would establish a formidable claim to power and practically secure his position as party leader. Stalin saw this and worked hard to achieve it. He was a politically silent man and this assisted him in his rise to power as this put him in a position to manipulate those around him into the way he wanted/needed them. All of this, along with his policy ‘Socialism in One Country’ for industrialisation which showed Stalin’s political astuteness and his ability to make decision, were factors in his rise to power over the USSR. Trotsky was Stalin’s main opposition in trying to gain leadership but Trotsky was not politically astute, whereas Stalin was politically astute therefore giving Stalin an opening in which to exploit Trotsky’s weaknesses. There were numerous times in the fight between him and Stalin for power in which Trotsky had opportunities to undermine his opponent. A prime example of this was at Lenin’s funeral. Although Stalin delivered the oration at Lenin’s funeral, the opportunity had first been presented to Trotsky who declined and was not present for the funeral. After Lenin’s death, Trotsky did not appreciate the importance of appearance in order to become successor. By Stalin delivering the oration, he was leading the mourners and seen to have had a continuity between himself and Lenin. It was...
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