- Context of Terror
- We must not forget that these were extraordinary times in Russia, with great economic and social changes taking place.
- There is no defending the scale of terror, but it needs to be put into the context of the time.
- Recent work suggests we should not view the terror as a whole, carefully planned series of events, but as a series of unconnected events, as responses to specific problems as they arouse.
- It shows not the strength of Stalin's government but it's weakness, i.e. its inability to control its own followers its own party members: it's inability to carry them with it and the need to resort to force to ger its way.
- Was the Terror the result of Stalin's fevered imagination, his paranoid personality, seeing opposition behind every move?
- There is no doubt that Stalin, along with all Bolsheviks, wanted to use every means in his power to turn Russia into a strong industrial power. This was seen as essential to the survival of Socialism in a hostile world.