How did Stalin establish control over the Soviet Union.

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  • How did Stalin establish control over the Soviet Union?
    • Totalitarianism
      • Historians talk about Stalin's Russia being a totalitarian state, where the Party set out to control every aspect of life.
      • There is increasing evidence that however much it might have liked to give the impression of being totalitarian, that Stalin's government did not quite succeed.
      • People did hold counter opinions, even if they largely kept them to themselves or grumbled in a crowd where it was hard to be picked out.
    • First of all, Stalin had to establish control over the Party. He did this by a combination of Terror and delivering what party members wanted.
    • Much the same can be said about Stalin's control over the country: control over dissenters  was mostly force, but propaganda and the cult of the individual played a key part in sustaining Stalin's popularity in the country.
    • Even prisioners in the Gulags were reported to cry when Stalin's death was announced.
    • It is important to note that some recent historians question just how much control Stalin had over the country.
    • They argue he was certainly at the centre of events, but that often the Centre was trying desperately to get local parties and members to follow the Party line.
    • Perphaps Totalitarianism isn't an appropriate term to describe Stalin's Russia after all.




You've not really focused on the key element of your mind map, 'How did Stalin establish control over the Soviet Union?'. You've mentioned it, but for the most part have digressed from the topic. A better termed focus would work, such as 'How far do you agree with the view that Stalin held total control over Russia in the years ? to ?'. This would allow you to argue the different sides, which is what you have done already.

I would recommend also developing your points. For example, you've mentioned that prisoners cried upon hearing of Stalin's death, but you've not explained why, which is something you really need to do.

Good work, though.

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