Stalin - to power, collectivisation, 5year plans

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Stalins Russia

How did stalin get into power?

The personalities-

  • Stalin- He was the grey blur meaning there was nothing controversial or outstanding about him. He had played a minor role in the October revolution and civil war. Because of his peasant upbringing, the knew how ordinary people thought and acted. He had a reputation for loyalty to lenin but when lenin became ill, stalin began to disobey his orders. Lenin's testament criticised Stalin and said Stalin should be sacked from his position in the party. <-but the party members kept this secret.

  • Trotsky- Most heroic member. He planned the october revolution with Lenin and was commander of the red army. He was glamorous, a gifted theorist and orator, who inspired his troops. He had radical ideas for the future of Russia, which appealed to the young of the party, Lenin's testament praised Trotsky as being the most outstanding member. However he was also viewed as being too arrogant and western by other communists. They also didn’t trust him because he only joined the bolsheviks in 1917.

  • Bukharin – He was the youngest and also a thinker and orator. However, he lacked Trotskys arrogance, and so Lenin described him as the favourite. He became the leading advocate of the NEP. Some older communists thought he was too young to lead and others were suspicious of the NEP. Lenin also said he was not fully marxist.

  • Zionev and Kamenev were Lenin's closest friends and they were among the first members of the Communist party. However, they had a long history of disloyalty and cowardice and they also criticised Lenin's plans for the October revolution. They avoided the Civil war by staying in a swanky hotel.

Power Base

  • In order to become leader of the party, a contender needed the support of the majority of the Politburo. The Party Congress was key to success as it elected the Central Committee, which in turn elected the Politburo.

  • Stalin was General Secretary. This meant he controlled the Politburo agenda. Selected delegates for the Party congress. Controlled promotions and appointments within the party – This meant he could influence what was discussed at Politburo meetings, he could fill the party congress with his supporters and he had the power to reward those who were loyal to him.

  • Stalin was also Head of Rabkrin. This meant he controlled Party Discipline. This gave him and advantage because he could sack anyone from the party that opposed him.

  • In 1923, Stalin appointed 30% of delegates to the Party Congress.

  • Trotsky was seen as a threat because he might use the army to seize power.


  • Trotsky supported the Left (dictatorship of industry) but the other supported the Right (NEP). Trotskys arguments in favour of rapid industrialisation looked foolhardy. The NEP was helping the Russia economy and Bukarins ideas were untested. This undermined Trotskys bid for leadership.

  • In 1925, Kamenev and Zionev abandoned the NEP in an attempt to win support of the Left side of the Party,


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