• 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. Marked by a teacher

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

    5 star(s)

    The repressive methods of Stalin's regime such as show trials, secret police and labour camps can seem out of character in context of this 100 year period, but these methods were used during the rule of the Tsars and were used under both Lenin and Khrushchev.

  2. Evaluate historical comparisons of Hitler and Stalin and their regimes

    Bullock argues that they relied on both being extreme in order gain power throughout Europe. Bullock masterfully intertwines both of their lives throughout the book by focussing on every aspect, ranging from their childhood, early political careers, rise to power, war and terror, economy, popular support, art and culture and more importantly their regimes.

  1. How important was Lenin to the success of the October 1917 Revolution?

    He managed to lead the Reds to victory by uniting them in their cause and being a good leader. An example of this leadership would be the introduction of war communism, which ensured the army got enough food and almost eliminated money from the society as inflation was allowed to get so high that money became almost valueless.

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

    One difference was his style of government. Stalin made is position into a dictator, and controlled the USSR much differently. Stalin had control of everyone in Russia. Similar of what Hitler had done with Germany, when he developed Germany into a Totalitarian state. The following show that Stalin kept power by using terror and controlling the ideas of many: ?

  2. During his lifetime, Lenin made many important decisions and policies which affected every citizen ...

    again and factories can re-open and continue their business, their employees would also be able to return from the war front and come back to their jobs. The distribution of land amongst the peasants meant that they would have more land to farm on and they could use more modern techniques to grow food.

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

    This could be because Khrushchev promoted peace which may have been viewed by the Russians as weakness. This is certainly the view of his son, Sergei, who ?believes that Americans have a better attitude toward his father than Russians?[15] because ?he is more understandable to them?15.

  2. 'Stalin's leadership was the most significant reason for Soviet victory over Germany in the ...

    Also during the Battle of Stalingrad, they introduced a regime which put new measures in place that meant stricter censorship. The NKVD was led by Beria, a ruthless man which made sure tasks were carried out. He was given extraordinary power by Stalin and could literally do whatever he wanted.

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