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

How significant a role did Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin play in the development of the Communist state between October 1917 and 1953?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Jessica Ellis How significant a role did Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin play in the development of the Communist state between October 1917 and 1953? Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were all influential in the development of Russia during this period; in particular Lenin who helped the Bolsheviks take control and it could be said that he was the forefather of Stalinism. However the individuals were not the only factors that changed the face of Russia and the changes implemented cannot be based purely on their personalities. They must be considered in the context of not one war but four ? the Civil War, World War One, World War Two, and the Cold War. Alongside this were economic reasons such as the stagnation at the end of the 1920s and fall back on traditional Russian history which influenced the development of the state. Lenin is often considered almost solely responsible for the October Revolution and consolidation of the Bolshevik rule, however there were other factors at play. These included the will of the people and failure of the Provisional Government ? most significantly perhaps was its attitude to the war. ...read more.


Another similarity between the regimes is the mass mobilisation of workers to carry out their policies ? Lenin did this throughout the Civil War and Stalin used the workers to carry through rapid industrialisation and collectivisation in the early 1930s. There are some historians, however, who disagree with this argument, pointing out the clear breaks between the two leaders. To begin with, Lenin always saw himself as Marxist ? Stalin developed the cult of Leninism and used it as an ideological orthodoxy to justify his actions. Service said ?he [Lenin] would be appalled at the use made of his doctrines by Stalin?.[5] Another huge difference is their individual employment of purges ? Lenin?s were non-violent whereas Stalin?s included the extermination of leading Bolsheviks, something Lenin had never condoned. Stalin?s use of terror was significantly different to Lenin?s; Stalin set mass terror in motion in the 1930s, just one example of his brutal streak, whereas Lenin used terror as a means to an end ? to achieve his vision of a non-violent utopian state. It could be said that the Russia after the death of Lenin was solely down to Stalin?s personality, which was known to be brutal and paranoid. ...read more.


The purges were one of Stalin?s responses to the threat of war in the 1930s, incentivising people to work even harder to industrialise, but there were other reasons for the purges also. Stalin used the purges to keep control of an unstable society, using insecurity to maintain power, and also to remove any opposition to his policies. They were a way of deflecting the blame for the economic difficulties; they strengthened the NKVD and provided slave labour from the gulags. Although these were partly down to Stalin?s personality and he was very much responsible for the terror, Getty says ?We can now see his [Stalin?s] fingermarks all over the archives [of terror]?[10]; there were other factors which influenced the decision to employ that level of violence. Individuals, especially during the consolidation of Bolshevik power and Stalin?s rule, were obviously very important in changing the face of Russia. Had Lenin not returned to Russia the Bolsheviks may not have attained power at all, and had Stalin not replaced Stalin as leader the USSR may not have become the totalitarian dictatorship it was. There were many factors affecting the decisions made by these individuals which meant but ultimately the power to sculpt Russia fell into their hands. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent does Stalin deserve the title of Red Tsar when assessing his ...

    5 star(s)

    used throughout his rule surpass Lenin and Khrushchev and his brutality demonstrates his 'Red Tsar' nature. Stalin's killing of Lenin's ´┐Żlite, his brutal secret police (NKVD) and the rise in fascism led to High Stalinism, where Stalin resorted to "extraordinary measures"28 to control his party and the population.

  2. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    In the course of two meetings, on October 10 and 16, Lenin managed to win over the majority first of the Central Committee (by a vote of 10-2) and then of an extended group which included not only the Central Committee, but also Bolshevik notables from the trade unions, the

  1. Soviet State

    * By Feb. 1930 the Government was claiming that 50 percent of peasants had joined collective farms. An easing of pressure during the springtime sowing led to a temporary decline in numbers. By July collective farms included only 24% of peasant households and commanded 34% of sown area, and 90% and 94% sown area in July 1936.

  2. How significant was Lenin between the years 1902-1918 to the formation of the Bolshevik ...

    that all annexations be renounced in deed and not in word; (c) that a complete break be effected in actual fact with all capitalist interests. In view of the undoubted honesty of those broad sections of the mass believers in revolutionary defencism who accept the war only as a necessity,

  1. The Impact of Stalins Leadership in the USSR, 1924 1941. Extensive notes

    Bolsheviks had maintained a belief in gender equality and soon after the revolution; women were awarded equal rights ï provided they belonged to the right social class. 1. The reality was that leading party members took little interest in the reality of women’s lives.

  2. How significant were the short-term effects of the October Revolution on Russian politics and ...

    Wise noted that ?the centralisation in power coupled with the building of a strong army was largely responsible for the Bolsheviks' success?[4] enforcing the view that centralisation was extremely important. Lenin kept the promise of peace by issuing a decree for peace ordering that Russian soldiers to stop fighting the Germans although the two countries were still formally at war.

  1. How far could the fall of the Tsars be considered the most significant turning ...

    Moscow?[6] and ?rejected workers' control of factories as inefficient?6, so the social modernisation that the end of Tsarist rule brought was short lived. This lack of modernisation can also be seen by the increase of force and terror under Bolshevik rule because after the revolution the Cheka, a more effective

  2. Stalins leadership was the most significant reason for the Soviet victory over Germany in ...

    The social policies employed by Stalin were also key. Though he initially rejected it, Stalin grew to understand the political potential of a personality cult in his name. The Russian population was made up of vast peasant and labourer bodies still used to the memory of the Tsars, leaders thought

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