was stalin solely responsible for the terror

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Was Stalin solely responsible for terror?
Stalin was not solely responsible for the terror. There were many reasons that
had fuels the terror as it went on. When Stalin first came to power he used
terror effectively to remove any political opponents. But as this went on the
culture he created for power and greed made him paranoid and he began to see
non-existent threats, therefore he is not solely responsible for terror.
Terror was used as a social and political weapon in order to control the vast
nation and violent nature of society. The tsar and Lenin had also used terror as
a control through the okhrana and the cheka, although not to the same extent as
Stalin; no aspect of society escaped under him. Once Stalin had gained power
he used terror to consolidate absolute personal power. Use of Kirov's dramatic
death allowed Stalin to issue the 1st December decree, under the pretext of
rooting out terrorist opposition this allowed him to purge the party and fill
them with his own supporters; he used this decree to remove some influential
Bolsheviks such as Kamenev and Zinoviev. Bolsheviks would not dare to oppose
Stalin for fear of loosing their privileges; opposition from groups such as
Ryutin group is an example of how ineffectual opposition was. He also used the
purges to speed up industrialization by creating a free slave labor force. This
shows that at first Stalin had used terror to consolidate power and strengthen
his support base.
However as he got older and gained more power he became more paranoid,
right up to his death he believed that he was under threat. He purged all
aspect of society, no one was safe. He purged the party replacing them with his
own supporter and like minded beaurocrats that denounced there own
opponents to gain more power similar to the way Stalin had. Stalin was able to
remove his opponents from position of power easily; this made him more
insecure because he felt that he would be a main target as he knew how
unpopular he was. He purged the army, despite the fact that they were at war
with Germany, this severally depleted the numbers in the red army and killed
off many experienced generals, this had damaged Russia severely because the
remaining were inexperienced and did not know how to plan a war. This is
evidence of Stalin's paranoia because he is damaging himself.
Stalin had issued the NKVD killing quotas, which they always over fulfilled to
avoid scrutiny themselves; they were more concerned with numbers than actual
names so many innocents died for no real reason as often crimes were
fabricated. The over fulfilling of these quotas fueled Stalins paranoia even
more because the NKVD killed so many so called terrorists so he set higher
targets; like the Leningrad affair where many innocents were shot. The killing
of many innocents significantly reduced the workforce and this damaged the
economy because the second five year plan was not as successful as the first.
He had also killed off many in the gosplan so the third five year plan was
unfinished; the aim of the 3rd FYP was rearmament. As Stalin grew older he

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He almost killed his own family due to his own paranoia. The doctor's plot was
on of the final purges that Stalin had initialed, which was to kill of many
medical professionals for supposedly trying to kill him. Also during the war
instead of concentrating on the oncoming German invasion he focused on
capturing Trotsky, who was not a threat. This is further evidence that the
great terror gradually became a way of expressing Stalin's paranoia because
the so-called treats made no sense.…read more

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