• 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...

Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. Evaluate historical comparisons of Hitler and Stalin and their regimes

    Even so this topic is sensitive and resulted in historians shying away from the subject to avoid controversy. Also the issue of comparing the death toll is seen as unjustified because Stalin's death toll does not deduct from the monstrous acts Hitler committed.

  2. Historians such as Pipes and Volkogonov have made the interpretation that Lenin was a ...

    Thus the actions taken by the Politburo were not Lenin's responsibility, they were the responsibility of Bolshevik party itself. Therefore Lenin cannot be seen as a dictator. Historians have interpreted Lenin as a dictator due his use of Red Terror.

  1. Assess the Impact Lenin Had On Russia and Its People Lenin was a great ...

    Both the Reds and the Whites knew that getting the peasants on their sides would help them to win the civil war. This was because nearly 80% of the population consisted of peasants, so the majority would be with them.

  2. How far do you agree Communist ideology influenced Stalin's decision to implement Collectivisation in ...

    nation with only a 20 % urban population, the Bolshevik party would have to create more Proletariat, and remain in dictatorial control until a majority of the people were urban workers and able to govern themselves in accordance with Communist ideology.

  1. Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin Both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph ...

    These are the main points of Lenin' speech: ? There should be no co-operation with the Provisional government ? The war should be ended immediately ? The land should be given to the peasants ? The Soviets should take power Russia and the USSR - Fiehn Once Lenin had been made Leader he setup Sovnarkom which was a different government.

  2. How did the Communist Party maintain power between 1917 and 1921?

    maintained their power, the economic and social issues continued to wreak havoc on the political sphere. The induction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in March 1921 adopted a state of capitalism. It was introduced to revitalize the country's economy by liberalising trade and production in agriculture and industry, while ensuring the consolidation of Bolshevik power was being pursued.

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

    Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Stalin was taken away by the NKVD (the new secret police). Most were shot or sent to Labour Camps. People who wanted to avoid arrest did so by providing information about others-even if it was false.

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

    Alternatively, the Tsars also aided the advancement of Russia. The 1861 Emancipation of the Serfs could be viewed as a significant turning point in the development of modern Russia as before this event, the peasantry (about 85% of the population)

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