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Account for the political defeat of Trotsky

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Introduction

Marcos Akstein The History of the Soviet Union 1917 - 1991 10/03/04 Account for the political defeat of Trotsky Lenin's death on January 21st 1924 triggered what is widely called the struggle for leadership or succession inside the Soviet Union. A political vacuum had been created after Lenin's death and the struggle to fill in this vacuum was fought mainly between two main contestants; on one side of the ring we had Comrade Trotsky; commander and chief of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, brilliant leader, speaker and writer, too name a few qualities among many. On the other side; regarded by most historians, at first, as the underdog of this battle for succession- Comrade Stalin; 'a man who did not match Trotsky's brilliance'1 and a grey blur, a man without no personal distinction.2 All the bets were therefore being placed on Trotsky, the most able man in the current leadership and, to some extent, the most obvious choice. To corroborate with previous statement, historian Chris Ward, in his book Stalin's Russia, point's out that many foreign observers believed that it was Trotsky who was the obvious successor to Lenin. However, in some ways quite similar to a boxing match, when the final bell rang on the 12th round it was Comrade Stalin who was declared victorious. ...read more.

Middle

That basically meant that the Testament wouldn't affect the struggle by any means (This blatantly pictures Trotsky's absence of political infighting as he could have used Lenin's testament to throw Stalin out of the competition) Trotsky, on the other hand, was viewed in a slightly more favorable way. Although Lenin still accentuated Comrade's Trotsky's deficiencies, the other leading players believed that Trotsky was the main threat among them and must be dealt with. Lenin goes on to describe Trotsky as 'arrogant and incapable of getting along with people'.6 This is evident at the time of Lenin's death. Instead of rushing at once to Moscow, as Stalin did, he idled away his time at a southern spa where he had gone in order to cure an indisposition'.7 This clearly exposes the lack of political timing on Trotsky's behalf and accentuates the determination of the Stalin to associate himself as close as possible to Lenin when he stood at the funeral posing as Lenin's true heir. The characteristic's displayed above play great influence in determining the fate of the power vacuum left by Lenin, as observed in several situations. The first situation explored by Stalin and completely ignored by Trotsky was the formation of the famous triumvirate (Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoviev). ...read more.

Conclusion

never reached Soviet leadership because sooner or later he would have been thrown out of the competition and would have been brought down by a democratic process. Unfortunately for Trotsky this was not the case and Stalin walked calmly in the direction of future heir. Also, because Trotsky was such a firm believer of the party, it would have been considered a heresy if Trotsky verbally expressed his dissent against the party's structure. Therefore, in a sense, it is plausible that Trotsky's complaint's and allegation's against Comrade Stalin was severely restricted due to this fact. 1 Von Laue, T. Why Lenin? Why Stalin? A Reappraisal of the Russian Revolution, 1900-1930 J.B. Lippincott Company 1971 pg. 187 2 Fitzpatrick, S. The Russian Revolution Oxford University Press 1982 pg. 99 3 Ulam, A. A History of the Soviet Union New York Praeger 1976 pg. 61 4 Fitzpatrick, S. The Russian Revolution Oxford University Press 1982 pg. 99 5 Ibid 6 Kenez, P. A History of the Soviet Union from Beginning to End Cambridge University Press 1999 pg. 76 7 Von Laue, T. Why Lenin? Why Stalin? A Reappraisal of the Russian Revolution, 1900-1930 J.B. Lippincott Company 1971 pg. 189 8 McCauley, M. The Soviet Union since 1917 Longman 1981 pg. 55 9 Ibid 10 Ibid 11 Fitzpatrick, S. The Russian Revolution Oxford University Press 1982 pg. 99 1 ...read more.

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