Stalin 1924 - 1953 Revision Guide (Edexcel AS-Level History)

Stalin's Russia 1924 - 53 revision guide for Edexcel AS History. It is in note form!

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Stalin's Russia 1924 - 1953
Struggle for Power
Issue over the NEP split the party into right and left.
Trotsky wanted the NEP gone because it created Kulaks and led to a lack of
government control in the countryside.
Bukharin wanted to keep it because it created alliances between workers and peasants
Stalin didn't get involved so could keep supporters of both Trotsky and Bukharin.
Trotsky vs. Stalin
Trotsky thought the party was becoming too bureaucratic, with a hierarchy. He
wanted permanent world revolution
Stalin wanted a government totally dominated by communist party and socialism in one
The Triumvirate
Stalin, Kinoviev and Zinoviev. They promoted the Cult of Lenin and criticised Trotsky
The Duumvirate
Kaminev and Zinoviev realised the threat of Stalin and left the Trimvirate to join
Trotsky, but were then disgraced as traitors to the communist party!
Stalin then formed duumvirate with Bukharin.
But Stalin became increasingly critical of the NEP in 1927 and blamed it for the grain
procurement crisis, so dropped the NEP in favour of collectivisation, agriculture and
rapid growth in industry.
Early Stages in Stalin's Rise
Role of personalities
Trotsky ­ had many enemies. He was described as arrogant by Lenin and had become
isolated after his death. He was ill and had a lack of ambition to lead, as seen when he
was offered a government position and rejected it. He underestimated Stalin!
Kaminev and Zinoviev ­ were politically naïve. They were too intellectual and engrossed
in political debate, causing them to fail to see Stalin building up support.

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Bukharin ­ described as the "party sweetheart" as he was so nice. He was loyal to
Stalin and during Stalin's left turn he just gave up and resigned.
Stalin ­ cunning, manipulative, ruthless, underestimated. This is seen in his exploitation
of positions, such as GENSEK. He tapped phones, abused the ban on factions and
contolled who sat I meetings, building himself support.
USSR was 50-`100 years behind and had to catch up in 10 years or be crushed.…read more

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Collectivisation of Agriculture
Grain procurement crisis 1928 ­ food shortages so people hoarded it! Secret Police and
soldiers requisitioned grain
People had to give up their land, homes and animals and get moved to collectives
Private ownership abolished
Consequences of Collectivisation
People began to destroy things like animals and grain, rather than hand it over to the
Stalin blamed local officials!
Many left collective farms
Stalin's left turn
Stalin re-introduced Collectivisation and by 1934, 70% if all farms were collectives
1930 Dizzy with Success…read more

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The Rural population fell
Stalin was arguably more interested in removing political enemies (kulaks)
Neo NEP as a result of peasant opposition = compromise with capitalism
Social results
Food Production disrupted, so was initially less grain
Peasants could benefit from kitchen plots
State procurement of grain increased, regardless of the harvest
Contributed to rural famine
Economic Results
More efficient farming, arguably
Extra farmers involved in the city
Urban population doubled
But many agricultural workers still unskilled and using backward methods
Shortage of peasant produce such…read more

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Shortage of grain which was needed for industrialisation (food and exports)
NEP unpopular with left due to ideology and trying to achieve socialism in one coutry
Stalins personal ambition ­ left turn ­ outmanoeuvre Bukharin and end the triumvirate
Political reasons as would strengthen the communist party as they wold control all of
Need to develop industry before agriculture ­ machinery for modern farming
The Plans
The First Five Year Plan 1928-1932
Created and administrated by Gosplan
Concentrated on steel, iron, machines, tools, electricity…read more

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Diverted into amunitions
3rd Five-year plan: (1938-1941)
Different priorities as war with Germany was increasingly likely
More consumer goods such as radios and cars
Produced things to help the war- aircrafts, taks weapons and by 1940 1 third of the
budget on military
Output grew little due to purges which imprisoned or executed many workers
Had a stable workforce ­ internal passports ­ prevent SOME flitting
Successes of the Plans
Created new industries from scratch focusing on coal iron and steel
Created MAGNITOGORSK in the…read more

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Machines often broke down and people weren't trained
Inefficiency ­ duplication and waste
Poor planning by people who didn't understand the economy
"Flitting" occuered where workers went from job to job to find better conditions. This
was illegal!
Shortage of nails and bricks after collectivisation disrupted the peasant's lives
Emphasis on show!
Still largely relied on man power
Terror and Purges
The First Purges, 1930­33
Including anybody who opposed industrialisation, and the kulaks who opposed
collectivisation.…read more

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Ryutin challenged Stalin, and called for a `fresh start' calling Stalin the "gravedigger
of the revolution". Stalin called for his immediate execution- the party successfully
argued against him and he was instead imprisoned for 10 years. He was eventually
executed, but the Ryutin affair showed that Stalin didn't have full control- maybe
explaining why earlier purges concentrated on the party itself.
Kirov (leader of Lennigrad Communist Party) was murdered, probably on prders of
Stalin cause he got more votes.…read more

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Hundreds of thousands of party officials, army officers, and ordinary citizens were
arrested, imprisoned, or shot
Leading counter revolutionaries were publically tried in show trials
All old Bolsheviks were removed
The Purges ­ Results
Climate of fear created in the Soviet Union
People lived in constant fear of being denounced
Disruption to industry and economy
Red Army greatly weakened
Stalins grip on soviet state stronger than ever
The Show Trials
Show trials Occurrences
First Trial 1936 ­ first trial (Trial of the Sixteen) was of…read more

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Act as a warning to others to not oppose Stalin
Create a climate of fear so people obey Stalin
Justify the NKVD terror
Provide scapegoats for failiures in industry
Confirm Stalins role as saviour for uncovering plots ­ cult of personality
Results of the Show Trials
Confirmed Stalin's leadership and his Policies ­ removing Old Bolsheviks
Stalin was surrounded by "yes men"
Rival authorities eg NKVD bosses, were controlled, strengthening Stalin's hold over
party and state
Contributed to a climate of fear in which people…read more


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