• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why Stalin, and not Trotsky, emerged as Lenin's successor.

Extracts from this document...


Explain why Stalin, and not Trotsky, emerged as Lenin's successor. Leon Trotsky had been Lenin's second in command throughout the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War. He had proven himself as a strong and ruthless leader, an intelligent man, powerful writer, and one of the best political thinkers the party had. He was a significant factor of the Bolshevik success in November 1917. So when Lenin died on January 21st 1924 from a stroke, after an assassination attempt, many people assumed Trotsky would be the one to lead the Bolsheviks to further victory. However, due to certain factors, the role was allocated to a man named Joseph Stalin, who had been seen by many as a minor compared to other powerful members in the Bolshevik party, like Trotsky. Leon Trotsky came from a respectable Jewish family, with both his parents being Jews. This was unfortunate for him, as Russia had a hatred of the Jews. Nonetheless, Trotsky had proved himself a great, and intelligent force during the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War, so this was not a major factor to him not becoming the ruler of the Bolsheviks after Lenin died. ...read more.


Trotsky, on the other hand, did very little to gain support. Although he was a brilliant man, he also misjudged the situation he was in, as he did not see Stalin as a serious opposition. Stalin, himself, knew that Trotsky had been an influential force in the Revolution, and knew he would have to fight to become Lenin's successor over Trotsky. Stalin was also able to use Lenin's death very much to his advantage. Stalin was, in a way, lucky that at the time of Lenin's death, Trotsky had been ill, and sent to the south of Russia. Stalin tricked Trotsky into thinking that Lenin's funeral was a day after the real date, so that Trotsky did not appear to pay his respects. The Russian people did not know that Trotsky had been ill and it was seen as though he could not be bothered to come. This made people question his loyalty to Lenin, and the Bolshevik party. At the funeral Stalin also made a great speech, and appeared to be the Lenin's closest ally. Although this was far from the truth, Stalin made the most of any opportunity to appear close to Lenin, as Lenin was seen as a great leader, and Stalin used this as a tactic to help him become the next Bolshevik leader. ...read more.


Lenin was much more complimentary of Trotsky, saying that he is distinguished by his "outstanding ability", and is "the most capable man in the present Central Committee". Stalin knew that if the Testament were ever published it would have damaged all he had worked hard for, and support Trotsky's bid for leadership. So, with the help of two other Bolshevik members Kamenev and Zinoviev, who hated Trotsky, Stalin stopped the testament from ever being published in any newspapers, or books. With both Kamenev and Zinoviev in high positions in the Bolshevik party, Stalin had gained two very helpful supporters. All this meant Stalin had not only stopped his campaign from having criticism, but had also eliminated a key supporter of Trotsky's. In conclusion, as a result of Trotsky's arrogance, Stalin's skills and abilities were put aside, and he was not considered a threat until it was far too late. Stalin's deviance and ruthlessness helped him to eliminate the opposition, such as his clever funeral trick, and his views on Russian policies won over the Russian people. It is because of these factors, that Stalin emerged as Lenin's successor, and not Trotsky. Gemma Weber Page 3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    On the other hand, these institutions had been established in all but two of the 78 Guberniia capitals (up from 52 of the 78 capitals in July),largely as a result of outside agitation by S.R.'s and Bolsheviks. The fact that there is a higher ratio of present soviets at the

  2. Stalin Vs. Trotsky.

    but his oratorical and practical gifts did win him broad popularity among the urban workers and soldiers in late 1917 and during the Civil War. having failed as foreign commissar to put into effect his dialectical but quixotic policy of "no war, no peace," he had become war commissar, and

  1. Stalin and Trotsky

    However, one could argue that both sources are not exactly doing this. Stalin was appointed to give a speech to the people who were interested in his judgments and views on Lenin's death. Instead, Joseph Stalin decided to take this time as an opportunity to refer to his goals in government parties.

  2. How Did Trotsky Contribute To

    Unfortunately, these negotiations stalled and eventually failed and Germany and Austria advanced further through Russia. As a result he had to surrender many territories: Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Caucasus and the Baltic provinces. He then tried to stop them from entering Russian land as it was vital to him and the

  1. Explain why Stalin not Trotsky emerged as Lenin's successor

    have probably would have given them the high job, so that they could persuade other people to vote for him.

  2. Explain why Stalin, and not Trotsky, emerged as Lenin's successor.

    He therefore failed to use his popularity within the army to help his cause, and become Lenin's successor. In contrast with this, Stalin was able to use his position to his great advantage. Whilst General Secretary of the Communist party wasn't an exceptionally powerful title, he was able to use

  1. Explain why Stalin and not Trotsky emerged as Lenin's successor

    They feared and disliked Trotsky and allied with Stalin to prevent him becoming leader. Stalin's major advantage, on the other hand, was his position inside the Bolshevik party. Although General Secretary was not thought of as a powerful position at the time Stalin was able to make it a position of great importance.

  2. Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin.

    Agriculture was still backwars. Most farms were small, because of the way land had been shared out after the Revolution. The idea was that they worked together and share everything, including what the farm produced. Some of the produce would be sold to the state at a lowprice and ,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work