Key Issue 5: Why and How was Stalin able to gain Power and Consolidate it between 1924 and 1941?

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 09-12-13 12:37

Bye Lenin

  • Lenin died on January the 21st 1924 - aged 43, stoke due to bullet in neck
  • Made a testament in the last weeks of 1922 critisted many leading bolsheviks including trotsky and stalin
  • felt stalin had too much power and may become dangerouse as a leader - lenin recomended that he be removed from the party
  • Lenin did not leave a clear succesor 
  • Stalin reportadly had lied to Trotsky over the date of lenins funeral so he missed it, making stalin look like the cheif morner and made trotsky look unremoursful
  • Testement never published - trotsky didnt want to publish it because is slated him but in doing so he lost his chance to get rid of Stalin
1 of 9

Stalin's Background

  • born in georgia
  • went to a seminary - trained to be a preacher
  • expelled due to non attendance
  • didnt attend because he became a strong and loyal marxist, and follower of Lenin
  • was arrested 8 times (stealing ect.) in the name of the bolsheviks, anti gov activities 
  • riots and strikes, raised money for Bol by robbing banks and other crimes
  • Spent the war years in exile in siberia 
2 of 9

Control of the Party

  • Key roles:
    • Peoples Commisar for Nationalities - Incharge of officials in all reigions and republics of the USSR
    • Liasons Officer between Politburo and Orgburo - Monitored party policies and personel 
    • Head of workers' and peasants' inspector - oversee work in all gov departments
    • General secretary of the party - nothing happend that he did not know about
  • Was able to give his supporter key roles within the party so had control due to his friends always voting in his favour
  • Isolated Trotsky - he had red army support but non within the party
3 of 9

Permanent revolution Vs. Socialism in 1 country

Permanent Revolution - Trotsky

  • International revolution by the politariat (working class)
  • Individual countries (Russia) didnt matter
  • Looked irrestonsible 
  • Due to ww1 and civil war there was a strong fear of forign invasion 

Socialism In One Country - Stalin

  • solve agricultural and industrial problems - hand in hand with NEP
  • made the soviet into a moder state that would be cabaple of defending itself 
  • Seemed patriotic

Troskys power base was crumberling (stalin had tight control of the party). He was expelled from the Polituburo and the central committee, loss his role as commissar for war. Kemenev and Zinoviev (fellow lefts) were also dissmissed

4 of 9

Debate against NEP and rid of rights

Lefts Trotsky, Zinoviec, kemenev - Get rid, not Marxist

Rights Stalin, Tomsky, Rykov, Bukharin - Keep it, Solve famine

who was the loyal Bolsheviks?

Stalin used the Ban on factons to get rid of all who disagreed with him

Rid of rights

weak ideological and organisation. Too soft at times. he never wanted to share his power so got rid of them when it was neccesary. Both rights and lefts couldnt get view across due to stalins chums in the party.

5 of 9

Cult of Personality and Propaganda

  • dominated all aspects of soviet life
  • more than a leader - God
  • comunist party indistinquishable from Stalin
  • 30s his photo was everywhere
  • all achievements of USSR credited to him
  • 'Comrade Stalin' 'Red Tsar'
  • Made fictional claims 
  • Alexei Stakhanov - 1934, cliam that he mined14x his quoto of coal - became contempary legend what normal people could do following stalin
  • textbooks in educaion all stalinist propaganda. Young pioneers
  • stalin sqare, avenue...
  • portraits, photos and staues of stail everywhere
  • all aspects of culture monitored by the NKVD and put salin in a good light
6 of 9

Legal System and Gulags

  • NKVD had control of - police, secret police, gulages, border control, security
  • directly answerble to Stalin
  • Purges (see other card)
  • seriouse crimes (against stalin) 

Gulag - Labour Camps

  • forced labor, scraps of food, remote aresa (siberia) cold
  • For murderers, theves, political and religiouse criminals 
  • Built- white baltic sea cannal, balkal amur railway line
  • Man power was used for lumbering
7 of 9


1928 - Stalin accused a number on engineers of sabotage in the donbass mining region without eveidence. 

1) The purge of the party

  • 1934 kirov (leader of bolsheviks in leningrad) murderd. Stalin used in as an excuse to purge the party
  • Show trials of loyal bolsheviks confessing to be traitors and executed (tortured)
  • 500,000 members arrested on anti soviet charges (executed, or gulages)

2) The purge of the army

  • 1937 - red army command charged with treason, wholesale destruction of the red army and navy. weak defence for USSR

3)The purge of the people 

  • help achive goals of 5yp. oppose - purge. confessed trason after tourure or threat to family
  • fear 1936-38
8 of 9

Consequences of Terror

  • communist party now only had horrible people in, all followed Stalin (all that opposed were killed)
  • FEAR EVERYWHERE. couldnt trust anyone

Dimensions of the purges

  • 1934 - million executed
  • 1934 - 1937 - 10 million died in gulags
  • by 1940 - 2 million deported from baltic sea
  • 1947 - 53 - millions more dead
9 of 9


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Russia - 19th and 20th century resources »