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

How did Stalin Rather Than His Rivals Manage To Secure Power In 1929?

Extracts from this document...


How did Stalin Rather Than His Rivals Manage To Secure Power In 1929? In 1924, Russia was in a great state of confusion with the eventual demise of Lenin. A sudden sense of void was felt at the time, a vast following was then swiftly formed straight after, and Lenin was now presented as a "cult hero". This iconic status was actually created partly by Stalin himself. He was able to build this fantastic atmosphere around Lenin's death, using Lenin's name to move forward in the party. Stalin was already ranked with potential of becoming a powerful politician. Stalin was part of the collective leadership, the Triumvirate that consisted of Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin himself. The Triumvirate had its differences between them, but were united with their hostility towards Trotsky. "On the face of it Trotsky was in a strong position. One of his supporters said to him that, having Lenin's explicit support, he was now sure to have a preponderant role. Trotsky answered that, on the contrary, it would unite all his rivals against him". (Stalin breaker of nations, Robert Conquest) ...read more.


Just as Stalin tried to portray himself as the heir to Lenin as leader, he similarly tried to elevate himself as the only orthodox Leninist when it came to political debates. When Lenin introduced the NEP in 1922, it was never to last. Lenin however was very unclear about an actual date it would all end. Proposed as a financial incentive to try boosting the economy in Russia, it was only temporary as it was an aspect of capitalism. It was never a policy to be retained. "Lenin had uttered contradictorily remarks about the NEP, not making it clear whether it was only meant to provide breathing space or whether it would continue for a long time. In any case the NEP became both impractical and politically unacceptable." (Stalin, Harold Shukman) The fact no date was mentioned, it added incredibly to the ambiguity of the situation where Stalin took full advantage. The NEP, created a huge conflict between the Left and Right. Bukharin (Right) believed the NEP should remain, as it was a runaway success, as it created jobs, and economic stability. Trotsky who represented the Left wanted it to end as soon as possible, he was not against the policy as it already had been a success it should now end. ...read more.


This is where Stalin's working class background helped Stalin gain almost absolute support from the party. "Most of them came like Stalin himself, from very humble back grounds and have received little formal education. Mistrusting intellectuals such as Trotsky, they preferred to place their trust in Stalin's wisdom... when it came to matters of ideology."(Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy, The Russian Revolution 1891 -1924) Stalin succeeded in the Ideological debate, this could be seen as both Stalin's strength as a politician or even challenge the whole ideal of Permanent revolution. Stalin won the ideological debate claiming he believed in the concept of "Socialism in one country" beyond doubt. Fitzpatrick confirms this as she states "Stalin, by contrast, took the position that was simultaneously patriotic and practical: the Soviet Union had no desire to beg favours from the Capitalist West." The historian Brezezinski however contradicts this view, he is not concerned about the figures involved, he believes it was the whole outlook of permanent revolution which was flawed from the very beginning, "Trotsky offended the instinct for self-preservation of the newly entrenched party bureaucrats, who were not prepared to risk all on the altar of a premature world revolution." ...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. Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the Soviet Union ...

    therefore his loyalty and Leninist ideologies could be questioned as he was viewed with suspicion by fellow Bolsheviks. Despite this setback Trotsky as he did not actively seek support and allowed Stalin to erode his existing powerbase leaving him isolated.

  2. Leni Riefenstahl The Propagandist or Artist? A Historiographical Debate.

    * For the rest of the war she devoted herself to the production of Tiļæ½fland (Lowlands) which she directed and then played the leading role. * While filming on location at a mountain site, she met Peter Jacob, a First Lieutenant in the mountain infantry, whom she later married.

  1. How did Stalin manage to secure power in Russia by 1929?

    This made Stalin " by far the cleverer politician... He had out-manoeuvred his arch-rival on every possible front, not least through his skilful manipulation of the 'cult' of Leninism, which was established immediately after the Bolshevik leader's death." (Alan Wood). This contrasts Stalin's implicit skill, with Trotsky's lack of judgement.

  2. .Compare the Characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin. Lenin and Stalin had many ...

    As a 'Revolutionary Leader or Figure', Lenin is second to none and in this context clearly surpasses Joseph Stalin. It is important to bear in mind that Lenin was Head of State for only six years, compared to Stalin's reign of almost thirty years.

  1. How far did Stalin manage to modernize Russia by 1938?

    However, the kulaks were the most entrepreneurial farmers who had managed to make something more for themselves out of agriculture. In search for a scapegoat, therefore, the government had chosen to purge the only class that had the ability to bring them out of this predicament.

  2. Is it right to say "Stalin gained power in the years 1924-1929 only because ...

    Stalin also knew that he was in a very strong position within the party. He had control over party membership and he used this to his advantage. He got rid of anyone who may support Trotsky and, as noted earlier, he would eventually oust Trotsky himself.

  1. How far does Stalins position as General Secretary explain his success in defeating his ...

    This suited Stalin because of his belief in the policy of 'socialism in one country' and because he saw the NEP as weak and unnecessary (this was his chance to rid of it). By temporarily boosting the popularity of the NEP before breaking away from Bukharin later on, it led

  2. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    In one Guberniia, it is possible to see how far these massagers of revolutionary ideas had progressed by looking at the map: cantons near the railroad line went for the Bolsheviks and those further away for the S.R.'s, simply because the soldiers had worked the villages near the stations but had not penetrated into the interior.

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