Stalin's Russia 1924-1953

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Stalin's Russia 1924-53
Structure of the Soviet State
October Revolution passed state power to Russia's soviets
Each town or region was administered by local soviet that was
elected by the people
Each soviet elected representatives to the `All-Russia Congress of
In theory Russia's supreme law making body
All-Russia Congress met infrequently so delegated authority to
executive committee (Council of People's Commissars or Sovnarkom)
Ran day-to-day business of government
Chairman of the Sovnarkom was Head of Government & Head of
Structure of the Communist Party
Organised into local cells, each cell electing members to Party
Party Congress elected the Central Committee
Central Committee meet infrequently
To solve this established Politburo (5 men meeting on average 2 times
a week) ­ made important decisions
Secretariat created to administer the business of the party
Personalities and powerbases
Revolutionary record:
Established himself in 1905 revolution
Leading figure in Petrograd Soviet
Leader behind Communist seizure of power with red army
Relationship with Lenin:
When party split in 1903 he sided with the Mensheviks
1917 began working closely with Lenin (`principal lieutenant)
Lenin called him `most able in the party'
However `too self-confident' and basically arrogant
Appeal within the party:
Revolutionary heroism made him popular with the younger members
Loyalty of the red army
Many were jealous of him and therefore disliked him
Government positions:
Involved in Sovnarkom
Head of the red army (respected by the younger members but others
were jealous)
Offered position of deputy to Lenin on Sovnarkom, but turned it down

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Revolutionary record:
Committee member
Carried out orders from others
Present on many senior committees
Relationship with Lenin:
Relied upon Stalin's admin skills
Before Lenin's death backed him
However when he became ill he started to oppose him
Highly critical of him in last testament after argument with wife, said
they should remove him from the party
However still one of the `most able'
Appeal within the party:
Power to advance people careers as he knew about opportunities
Voice of calm and moderation
Party positions:…read more

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Most able force amongst young'
Doubted his ability as a theorist
Appeal within the party:
`The favourite of the whole party'
Party positions:
Unofficial role of party theist
Head of 2 main communist newspapers (enabling him to influence party
ideas and stop others getting in the media
Government positions:
Revolutionary record:
During revolution stayed in hotel and did not get involved
Relationship with Lenin:
Very close, published work together
However disagreed with him on 2 issues:
1.…read more

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Party positions:
Became Chairman of the Central Committee on Lenin's death
Head of the Moscow branch of the party, allowed them to gain support.…read more

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The left wing ­ `permanent revolution'
Trotsky, Russia did not have resources or technology to complete
transition to socialism alone
Trotsky wanted a revolution in western Europe so they could provide
Russia with resources
The right wing ­ `socialism in one country'
Stalin & Bukharin, `socialism in one country'
Claimed this was the view Lenin held
Believed Russian Revolution could be successful due to alliance between
workers and peasants
This would make Russia self-sufficient
Future of the revolution
Lenin was unclear on this
Last writings…read more

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Destroy influence by questioning ideology, loyalty to Lenin and
activities after the revolution
Denying Trotsky power
Last testament called for Stalin to be sacked which would destroy
Triumvirates majority
Argued Testament undermined authority of government and should
therefore be kept secret ­ it was.…read more

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­ Zinoviev, Kamenev & Trotsky expelled from
Stalin versus Bukharin & the right opposition
1928 ­ Stalin rejected NEP, ending alliance with Bukharin
Bukharin appeared in the stronger position (party theorist, controlled
media, favourite of the party.…read more

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What was collectivisation?
Process to reform Russian agriculture
Merge small forms into larger `collective farms ­ making them more
State would provide machinery to make more efficient
Reasons for Collectivisation
Economic reasons for Collectivisation
Grain harvests were decreasing towards end of 1920's
Russia government once sold grain surplus abroad to gain foreign
currency to buy resources
More efficient would mean less workers wasted
Ideological Reasons for Collectivisation
To make peasants embrace socialism
Political Reasons for Collectivisation
To help remove Bukharin and right wing as…read more

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Gave poorer peasants (minority) power to lead the farms
However majority of peasants rebelled against, destroying crops rather
than surrender them (18 million horses, 100 million sheep)
Kulaks destroyed remaining machinery
The Twenty-five-thousanders
To stop people refusing to implement collectivisation issued a decree
sending '25,000 socially conscious' industrial workers into the
Educated to offer technical help to peasants
Reality used to enforce dekulakisation (find grain hoards and
`Dizzy with Success'
Resistance to collectivisation resulted in destroying of resources
Also created hostility towards government…read more

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Blamed `kulak spirit' for these failures
However did play a part in urbanisation (1922-40 number of people in
cities 22million to 63 million
Political consequences
All this chaos united party behind Stalin (blamed Kulaks and peasants
for problems
Left wing viewed it as heroic return to traditions of civil war
More grain was produced
Russia was urbanized
Stalin's authority reached new heights
Organised chaos ­ the First Five-Year Plan
Reasons for the Five-Year
Revolutionise Russia
Collectivisation would achieve this in agriculture
Industry would be…read more


Roudha Mansoori

thanx this helped me a lot

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