top-rated free essay

Stalin

By connorbg May 20, 2013 1063 Words
Connor Gonzalez-Falla

Mr. Sweeney

Western Civ 300

5/9/13
Stalin: Dictator, Killer, Savior?
How does a man, nominated twice for the Nobel peace price, die with such equivocal feelings from his country? Why was he thought of as an advocate of freedom to some, but compared to Hitler by others? All these mixed feelings revolve around Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin ruled Russia from 1924 until his death in 1953. In his reign, he fiercely used tactics of collectivization, purging and deportation. By the time of his death, Russia was transformed into a modernized, protected, and larger land. Although Joseph Stalin was responsible for the deaths of over 20 million people and suppressed many more, his leadership was beneficial to Russia in the early 1900's because he ended Nazism and modernized Russia.

Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili in Gori, Georgia on December 18th, 1878. Georgia was part of Russia at the time of his birth. At that time the Tsar governed Russia. Although the serfs had been liberated by Tsar Nicholas II, they were still bound to the land and the country remained economically backward (“Joseph Stalin”). Stalin’s brilliance shined through as a child, and soon he began attending a seminary school (“Joseph Stalin”). At this school his interest in politics began and he became involved with. He became involved in a revolutionist socialist party, and was expelled from the institution for advocating socialist theory. Stalin joined the Russian central committee in 1912, and slowly rose up the ranks of the movement. Soon he became Lenin’s administrator, playing an important administrative role on the military fronts and in the capital (“Joseph Stalin”). When Lenin passed, ousted his main rival Trotsky. He became dictator in 1929.

One of Stalin’s first moves as dictator was to initiate the “Great Purge”, which removed all opposition to his power in the 1930’s. The KGB hid in all different areas of Russia, and found and killed anyone opposed to his views. Eventually, the Army and KGB itself were purged. No one was safe. Stalin believed that Russia had to be united with him as a leader if it were to prosper. He also believed Russia had 10 years to catch up with the Western world before Germany invaded. He wanted to rapidly industrialize Russia in order to prepare for oncoming wars. Many of these executions in the purges took place in the form of “show trials”. These public executions terrified the Russian people into following Stalin. However, the people’s support of Stalin was crucial as Hitler invaded in 1941. While the Red Army was severely depleted from the purges, Stalin’s troops rallied and led the country to victory. While the human cost may have been enormous, Stalin repelled the Nazis and kept his country from losing the war.

Shortly before, during, and after World War II Stalin conducted a serious of deportations that greatly impacted the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. By deporting the ethnic groups to other parts of the country, Stalin weakened their potential resistance and strengthened his central authority. This movement continued the underlying theme of Stalin’s Dictatorship: Agree or suffer. Separatists were forced to work in Labor camps for almost 24 hours a day without pay. Because of this horrible treatment, Industrialization increased because there was free slave labor.

The agricultural economy was another area in desperate need of reformation.
Stalin also modernized Russia through means of collectivization. The idea was to increase agricultural output through large-scale collective farms. Stalin expected industrial production to increase by 200% and agricultural production by 50%. While these goals were not met, agricultural output increased nonetheless.

Finally, Stalin biggest success in the modernization of Russia came from industrialization. He adopted a 5-year plan that focused on modernizing Russia’s economy; Again, unrealistic goals were set—a 250% increase in overall industrial development and a 330% expansion in heavy industry alone. Collectivization was part of this industrialization. In spite of early breakdowns and failures, the 5-year plan achieved rapid industrialization starting from a very low economic base. Annual growth rate of the economy rose to about 14%. Stalin’s fierce methods proved successful in rapid industrialization. As World War II crept closer and closer, Stalin tightened his grip around his country. He wanted to avoid European conflict at all costs, so making an alliance with a Western country seemed like a peaceful technique for the red army. In 1939 Molotov carved out a treaty of peace with Germany. This pact prevented any future wars between the Soviets and Nazi’s. Although contrary to Soviet beliefs, the pact was a brilliant move by Stalin. He could now drastically improve his position on the Western border without any conflict from Germany. However, Germany broke that pact, and invaded Russia in 1941. This uncalled invasion put the Red Army in grave danger. Already depleted from purges, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg was no match for the Soviets old methods of war. Worried his country would be overrun, Stalin offered up peace treaties giving massive amounts of land to Hitler. But Hitler would not accept the settlement and continued to push through Soviet Russia. Stalin, desperate to keep his country in his own hands, took supreme command of the Red Army. On a national radio address to the Soviet Union, Stain called for national unity to avoid crisis. The country rallied together. The tides turned when the German’s suffered a terrible defeat in the ruins of Stalingrad, losing 750,000 men. The United States then joined the Soviet Forces and pushed Germany out of Russia. Russia invaded Germany from the west, the Allied powers in the East. Together, they drove in on Germany and closed out Hitler and his Army. Hitler committed suicide on April 31, 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe. If it weren’t for Stalin’s fierce determination and bold leadership, Nazism would have prospered for a much longer period of time. Stalin not only drastically modernized the Soviet Union, but he ended Nazism with a fierce aggression and saved the USSR. Before Stalin, Soviet Russia was a weak, undeveloped country with no unity and a lackluster attitude. After Stalin, Russia was a great power with a strong army, strict leadership, and a much more efficient and industrialized country. While the human costs were incalculable, Russia took a bold step in the right direction under the rule of Joseph Stalin.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Research Paper on Joseph Stalin

    ...Joseph Stalin The Twentieth century was a very important time for the whole world. Empires rose and fell and the modern world was shaped. One of the most influential men of the century, if not the most, was Joseph Stalin. His legacy continues to frighten and inspire even 60 years after his death. Joseph Stalin was born on December 18th, 1879...

    Read More
  • To What Extent Was Stalins Reign Successful?

    ...Throughout the reign of Stalin he was able to establish himself as a successful dictator through totalitarian rule. He became the undisputed leader of the USSR and the factors that enabled him to do so were Industrialisation, his social policies and his ability to defeat Hitler in World War Two. However, through Stalin’s political career he ...

    Read More
  • A Beautiful Friendship: Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin

    ...The 60th anniversary of one of the most fateful events in world history went unremarked this week. On Aug. 23, 1939 Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin agreed to what became known as the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact. With that, Stalin made World War II possible. Assured that he was protected from Soviet counter-aggression in the East, Hitler invaded...

    Read More
  • Joseph Stalin

    ...Joseph Stalin Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhuhashvili or the world knows him, Joseph Stalin, was born on December 18th of the year 1879. He is an important figure in history and made some changes, though I must admit not for the best. He can be classified as one of the most powerful leaders and dictators of the Soviet Union. He was the leader of the...

    Read More
  • Joseph Stalin and Communist Ussr

    ...Stalin’s dictatorship was characterized by Russia’s ideological transformation of Communism under his reign. Widely regarded as a tyrant, Stalin was responsible for massive repression of his people. However Russians remember Stalin for his leadership, advances in technologies, and victory in World War II. His usage of powerful leadership att...

    Read More
  • Tyrant of Steel Joseph Stalin

    ...Joseph Stalin, has been a great leader of the Soviet Union dating back to1929. Born on December 18th, 1879 to the Full name Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili he later shortened it to Joseph Stalin meaning “Man of Steel,” derived form the Russian word “stal.”(Biography, 2011) Although Stalin did not begin ruling Russia at an early age his...

    Read More
  • The Rise of Joseph Stalin

    ...The rise of Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin was the authoritarian leader of the Soviet Union for 31 years between 1922 and his death in 1953. During this time, he revolutionised the Russian economy with a combination of rapid industrialisation and centralised economic collectivism, reforms that in some instances caused massive devastation in rur...

    Read More
  • Hitler vs. Stalin

    ...Hitler Vs. Stalin Did you know that in the early 1930’s two men gained control, and power among their countries? Adolf Hitler admired, and feared Joseph Stalin. Very ironically Stalin admired, and feared Hitler as well. Stalin was a communist, and Hitler was a fascist. Civilians from these countries were about to face disaster. A communist ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.