Foreign Policy - Stalin

  • Created by: 13gpascoe
  • Created on: 14-01-20 14:04

Foreign relations


  • Lenin wanted to est a relationship with GB as a pragmatist until EU comm revs became a reality
  • Comintern damages Anglo-Soviet relationship during 1920's - Curzon Ultimatum of 1923 (Soviets agreed to halt actions of Soviet agents in Persia, Afghan and India or GB would stop A-S trade agreement) Zinoviez letter in 1924
  • General Strike in 1926 further strained relations, TUC sent financial support from Soviets, althought they sent it back !
  • 1927 - Arcos raid on Russian trade mission in London (accused of being spies) led to breakdown in dip relations between USSR & GB 
  • Relations not restored until after 1929
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  • 1920's - natural allies, both outcast: Ger-WW1 USSR-Comm & refusal to support West in WW1. 1922 - Treaty of Rapallo, signed as basically Russia nor Ger have any friends so it's mutually beneficial. Central to Soviet Union security! Re-established dip relations, promised econ co-operation, ENDS ISOLATION !! Following years = sig military & econ collaboration. But some tensions re Comintern - 1921&1923 - involved in Comm risings in Ger, 1922 Com spent 47 mill marks preparing for rev in Ger! After 1923 chance of comm rising in Ger faded, removing tension. From 1925 Ger has better relations (LofN) with W.EU. Hitler ends it in 1933. 
  • 1926 - Stalin wants further treaty-worries West & Ger could turn on them/isolate them-Ger joined Lof Nations (1926 & Locarno Treaties (1925 - guaranteed existing frontiers of W.Eu ) all=Cap democracies - Treaty of Berlin - USSR & Ger pledge neutrality in event of attack, reaffirmed TofR terms, Ger would abstain for LofN trade or financial boycott of USSR. This is a SAFEGUARDING Treaty. Miltary & economic ties strengthen. Positives re TofB: DIPLOMATIC: Neither outcasts anymore, USSR avoided prospect of Cap.countries combining against them, Ger = better bargaining position with GB & Fr. MILITARY: Gers trained RA in tank warfare, Ger Army could train & experiment with weapons forbidden in TofVersailles e.g tanks, gas. ECONOMICALLY: Ger gave sig long term loans to USSR - imp for NEP & 1st 5YP. USSR supplied markets for Ger heavy ind (1932 - 47% of Rus imports = from Ger.)
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  • 3 Comintern Congresses after Lenin's death - Stalin far more concerned with SoC so doesn't adress these congresses. 1924-28 - Comintern had low priority for Stalin, concerned with internal affairs - winnning power, developing SoC, focus on 'Stalin's revolution from above' - ind, collect, war against the kulaks etc - Shift also seen in Stalin's more agressive ambitions abroad.
  • Dissmisses the potential of foreign Comms achievening a Rev - causing splits in the party, Trotsky argued under Stalin foreign Comm parties effectively became 'pacifist frontier guards' of Soviet Russia
  • Stalin changed focus of Comintern from promoting world rev to protecting Soviet interests.
  • CHANGES HIS POSITION: 6th Comintern Congress - June 1928 - Stalin says world situ is changing, world capitalism was facing a crisis and that the time was right for an all out attack on anti comm SD parties in EU, called them 'social facists.' Pushed for Comintern to purge 'weak elements' and prepare to fight to spread rev across the world...

Results: Soviet control over Comintern tightened, he put loyal yes men in charge to run it for him, discipline imposed on Comm parties in Germany & Italy, Soviet agents infiltrated forgien comm parties - reported back to Moscow. Foreign comm leaders encouraged to come to USSR to 'join in drive to sharpen comm idelogy' - reality, wanted them there to control them. Comintern = a tool of Stalin's 'top down' foreign policy.

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Why make this change, Stalin?

  • Diff to know why he pushed more agressive policies in 1928. Trotsky & supporters condemn him for being hypocritical ! 
  • From 1917-1919 Stalin had had genuine rev instincts, he may have been reverting to this idea once the need for SoC had passed. Could also have been to pick a political fight with his strongest political opponent - Bukarhin.

Then ... Another CHANGE IN DIRECTION !! Italy 1925 - Mussolini comes to power, 1931-33 -an expansionist Japan takes over Manchuria. Jan 1933 - Hitler comes to power, facist therefore ANTI-COMM, Stalin = arch enemy, wants to destroy Comm. Realtions come to an end, ends TofRapallo by signing non-agression pact with Poland BUT 1933 - USA recognise USSR - no Western Capatalist front against the USSR.  

Foreign CommisarsChicherin - 1918-1930, ex-Mens, Lenin thought he was intelligent. Favoured close relations with Ger - helped to get TofRap, anti-british, believed USSR was most secure when cap powers disunited (Lenin believed this too) thought USSR allying with them would make this more likely to happen so pursued policy of peaceful coexistence. Litvinov - 1930-1939, ex-Mens, British wife, believed preventing all wars was in USSR interest, favoured disarmament - signed Kellogg Pact to outlaw war. Pro GB, suspcious of Ger. 

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Stalin changing the focus of Comintern:

Intially sidelines it, pursuing SoC during leadership struggle, doens't believe foreign Comms have to potential to achieve rev. Criticised by Trot (LW, wants to spread Rev.)

  • China: Chinese Communist Party (CCP) formed in 1921, wanted a Comm rev throught China, expected support from Stalin & Comintern. Thought they would be natural allies. BUT Stalin backs Chiang Kai-Shek (Anti-Comm) leader of revolutionary-nationalistic movement, Guomindang (GMD) who he thought would bring stability to key strategic area on Russia's E.border. 
  • Stalin = suspicious of interp of Marxism by CCP therefore pushes CCP to join forces with GMD in an 'alliance from within' DOESN'T HAPPEN - BITTER CONFLICT. 
  • March 1926 - GMD massacred striking workers in Canton, est military dict. April 1927 - GMD supress comm-led workers revolt in Shanghai, 1000's workers killed. DIRECT COMM ATTACK
  • 1927 - GMD massacred striking workers in Wuhan, 1927 around 30,000 workers killed by GMD
  • Stalin response: concerned for stability in Russia, doesn't want to spread comm rev. Stalin believed GMD were the stronger force - gave Kai-Shek £ & military help, pressured Comintern into accepting GMD as a member. (Allowing a NATIONALIST party who have ATTACKED comm to join this group of Comms abroad!!??) Stalin's eyes - anything that went wrong in China was the fault of the Comms who focused on supporting peasants not workers. 
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China cont

  • Links between CCP & Soviet Union became weaker. 
  • Stalin was worried about instability in China, therefore willing to support a group more likely to bring warlords under control - IDEOLOGY was not his most imp motive here. 
  • Stalin's 'betrayal of the CCP' bitterly criticised by Trot & Left Opp, BUT Stalins' SoC had wide support in party, and Trot influence declining...
  • Communist Party Congress Dec 1927 - a lot of criticism over Stalin's actions in China BUT Trotsky also expelled from Party @ this same congress...  (NB at this stage Stalin is still supporting NEP as well!)
  • GMD - RW nationalist movement that claimed to be revolutionary. GMD fought a long political battle with Chinese Comms from 1926, until defeat in 1949 by Comm revolution!!
  • Beg of 20th cent - dynasty in China overthrown, run by warlords - caused CHAOS. Nationalists and Comms trying to overthrow warlords. (Diff ends of spectrum, but Stalin wants them to work together?)
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Stalin changing the focus of Comintern again:

  • 1928 - takes Comintern in a left direction, fitted with his move from NEP to rapid ind. Foreign Comm Parties told to denounce social democratic parties as 'social fascists' because they co-operate with bourgeoisie parties & govs. BIG MISTAKE IN GER.
  • USSR in control of Comintern therefore have the auth to tell these foreign comms what to do as a Soviet State. 
  • GER - KPD (Comm party) ordered to attack SDP (Social Dems) - this divided the left at a time when the NAZI's and FACISM was growing stronger!! KDP couldn't work with SDP (who had a lot of support, them uniting would have made sense.) But Stalin rejects pleas for joint action by the left against Nazis > contributes to Hitler's rise !! 
  • Hitler comes to power
  • FP moves towards collective security.. 1935 - Comintern line of attacking SD & Labour parties as 'social fascists' completely overturned. Needed these parties help in creating 'popular fronts' (anti-facist solidarity, put aside divisions & rivalry) aimed to contain facism. 
  • Soviet policy - support Govs pursuing an anti-ger pro-ussr line

Comintern under stalin - intially doesn't use it, then uses it pragmatically, allowing a nationalist group to join, then moves back to the left - demanding denouncing of social facists - then aims to contain facism through uniting the left. USED PRAGMATICALLY.

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