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· Clever
· Lenin's right-hand man during the revolution and
the Civil War
· Leadership skills (Red Army leadership)
· Ruthlessness
· Decision making abilities (October Revolution)
· Respected by Lenin
· Lenin (before he pointed out negative stuff)
thought that Trotsky would have been ideal
· Strong view on Communist Russia…read more

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· Arrogance
· Made no attempt to build a base of support (had a difficult
time in the 1920's when confronting party congresses packed
with Stalin's supporters)
· Caused fear among Bolsheviks with his Red Army
· Didn't push himself forward
· Made crucial errors of judgement
· Underestimated Stalin
· Missed important committee meetings
· Ex-Menshevik (people thought he just joined Bolsheviks
because he thought they would win TRAITOR)
· Jew (anti-Jew feelings)
· Missed Lenin's funeral
· Bad at Party politics…read more

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Interpretations of Trotsky
· Trotskyism became a term of abuse in Stalin's USSR.
· A convenient label to stick on anyone whom Stalin's
regime wanted to discredit.
· We don't know how a Trotsky-regime would have
operated because he never got to exercise political
power as leader.
· We can't argue that his regimes would have been
less strict than Lenin's or Stalin's.
· There are lots of interpretations (see sheet)…read more

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Who had the best claim to be leader of
the USSR after Lenin's Death?
Trotsky, Kamenev or Zinoviev?
· Trotsky could have tried harder to gain the position, but he was quite unpopular in
the Party. This would have made it very hard for him to gain enough support to
become a leader.
· Kamenev disagreed too much with Lenin and he had little personal ambition. He
was an uninspiring public speaker and he was known for giving up easily in face of
opposition, so he was no good for the job, despite his strengths.
· Zinoviev had disagreed with Communist seizure of power and his political failings
led many in the Party to express open contempt for him. He didn't have enough
strengths or ambition for the job.
Out of Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev (excluding Stalin), Trotsky would have been, by
far, the better choice. Yes, he had his failures, but he was more advanced in the
party and had a better relationship with the Party and with Lenin. He had Lenin's
trust and important positions within the government, which also allowed him to
practice his speeches etc. He just wasn't quite good enough to been Stalin, as Stalin
was more popular and had more effective qualities to be a leader.…read more


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