How far do you agree that Stalin’s paranoia was the main cause of the great terror?

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The Great Terror was introduced with the aim to increase the economic production of Russia, however, this did not go to plan and by the end of 1934 millions of people had been killed or sent to labour camps. Stalin’s paranoia played a huge part in causing the Great terror, however, there are several other factors which contributed to the development of the Great Terror including the congress of victors, additional motives of Stalin shown through the purges he introduced, the murder of Kirov and also economic reasons such as slave labour.

Stalin’s paranoia was a main cause of the Great Terror. Stalin’s old opponents such as Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin all held leading positions within the Communist party, however they lost this power and Stalin feared he would be next. In addition to this Stalin feared that there would be opposition towards him from groups who supported these old opponents and this would affect his aim to impose absolute authority within Russia. The Red Army was established by Trotsky and so many soldiers were loyal to him and not to Stalin. In addition to this, Genrikh Yagoda had also sided in 1928. For this reason, Stalin felt that he had many opponents within the Communist Party despite the fact that he was the unchallenged leader of the party and he felt that he needed to act on this threat. He didn’t trust his opponents as he didn’t think they supported his ideas of socialism and he feared that those who had been in the Party since his rise to power knew he didn’t know deserve his position in the party. It is for all of the above reasons that Stalin’s paranoia was a huge cause for the Great Terror as it made Stalin unable to trust everyone around him and so he resulted in using political terror in order to protect his position within the Communist Party. Stalin constantly feared that people had too much power and this threatened him. The Great Terror allowed Stalin to purge the people that threatened his position and allowed him to rid of his paranoia.

However, Stalin’s paranoia was not the only cause of the Great…

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