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

Russian Revolution Sources Questions

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Russian Revolution Sources Questions 1. Study source A. What can you learn from Source A about Lenin's opinion of Trotsky and Stalin? Source A is an extract from Lenin's Political Testament written on 25th December 1922. You can learn from Source A that Lenin believes Stalin 'Has concentrated enormous power in his hands and I'm not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient caution. Lenin's opinion of Trotsky is that 'He is the most able man in the party. His defect is self-confidence. He is attracted too much by purely administrative aspect of affairs'. Lenin's testament was basically a critical appraisal of who he felt were the most able candidates to take over the leadership of the communist party after his death. In the testament Lenin weighs up the pros and cons of the most able men, Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Lenin is hinting at the fact Stalin is too power hungry but does not know how to use this party wisely. Whereas it seems clear where Lenin's beliefs lie, with Trotsky. He seems convinced Trotsky is the more able man of the two but has too much self confidence and is more interested in the public and business affairs, however, he has great ability. Lenin is warning against a split in his testament, he is afraid of the choice of his successor and has sent he has seen the warning signs clearly and this is perhaps the purpose of Lenin weighing up the two men's strengths and weaknesses to see which is the more able man. He seems fully aware of the risks of a split and is warning the other members of the politburo to also be aware of this imminent problem and take steps to prevent it. Lenin believes in collective leadership where the members of the party talk and discuss problems and remain loyal of the party and colleagues. ...read more.

Middle

Stalin had most of the support within the party and had had years of putting his supporters in important positions in the party and using them to his advantage. The disagreements over the windmill in source I represents the ongoing disagreement between Trotsky and Stalin over policies for industrialisation. During his argument with Trotsky, Stalin joined forces with the Rightists who wanted to continue with NEP (Lenin's New Economic Policy). This was not because Stalin necessarily agreed with their views but because he hoped they would help him drive Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev from the party. In 'The Animal Farm', Source I, after Trotsky had made a brilliant speech and 'Napoleon stood up and uttered a high pitched whimper of a kind none of the other dogs had ever heard before'. Nine enormous dogs then came bounding into the barn and dashed straight for Snowball and he 'Sprang from his place just in time only to escape the from their snapping jaws'. After this Snowball was seen no more and the animals were very surprised to hear that the windmill was going to be built after all. This represents the time when Stalin had Trotsky expelled from the party with the help of his supporters, being the dogs, to vote him out of the party and expel him. The building of the windmill represents Stalin changing his mind on the Soviet industry plans. In 1928 Stalin argued in favour of now ending NEP and expanding industry as far as possible, the exact theory that Trotsky has supported before he was expelled. The Rightists argued against him but no one would listen as Stalin had the most support. The Right Opposition had no other choice but to resign. We must bear in mind that while Source I is a very useful source, George Orwell, the author, was against Stalin and criticised his actions so his views on the events may have been slightly biased and supportive towards Trotsky. ...read more.

Conclusion

He did not attend Lenin's funeral, was ill at strategic times and did not even take the trouble to cultivate friends and get people on his side. Stalin, on the other hand, was a long-standing member of the Bolshevik party, though not a senior member until 1912. He was General Secretary of the communist party. This gave him a lot of benefit as, although he got the post easily as no one else wanted it, it gave him the power to promote and dismiss people from important jobs within the party and set the agenda for Politburo meetings. He was a peasant, and disguised his ruthless instinct to rule and abuse power and was seen by most as a modest and loyal man. The only down side to his campaign was losing Lenin's support at the end of his life. Stalin's patriotic behaviour concealed this and gave him a lot of support. . Stalin's habit of changing his mind, adjusting his views depending on whom he needed to get rid of only worked because he put his ideas into practise so efficiently and was inclined to action rather than speculation. However, without he other important factors he would not have made it. Trotsky described Stalin as ' The party's most eminent mediocrity' in Source J. Trotsky thought that Stalin's job being high ranking allowed him to make important decisions, but he was ordinary and practical thinking. He was middle degree but all his luck, rational plans and important friends this eventually led him to be distinguished and gain total power by his 50th birthday. Source L, an extract taken from a world history book written by a historian in 1964 out lines the struggle. He described Trotsky as being ' The man of ideas' and Stalin the 'Hard headed practical man. The struggle was between two men of very different backgrounds who had disliked each other for a very long time. Stalin acted fast and efficiently to gain control due to his practical ideas and good luck. Sarah Munnion ...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. Historians such as Pipes and Volkogonov have made the interpretation that Lenin was a ...

    For example in August 1918 Lenin ordered ruthless measures against rich peasants who were resisting the regime and in particular it's requisitioning of food. Therefore the CHEKA can be seen by historians such as Pipes and Volkogonov as a clear evidence of the dictatorship of Lenin.

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

    Firstly, Lenin's father died of a heart attack in 1886. This tragic incident caused Lenin to re-think his religion and he was left to follow the revolutionary movements. The next year, Lenin was prepared to go to university when news came to him, which gave him a huge shock.

  1. Role of Women Under Stalin

    24 Perhaps Stalin only responded this way for fear of upsetting his military leaders and soldiers, the nucleus of support in his position of ruler in Russia. He unmistakably reveals that he views women as less than human, who did not merit compassionate treatment, and sadly, this is not the last time that this attitude is brought up.

  2. The Significance of Lenin in the Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1923)

    The Provisional Government's unpopular decision to continue fighting was leaving the country tired, fed up and in dire economic crisis. The army was starting to mutiny and did not give its full support to the Provisional Government. Not only did Lenin promise peace in ending the war, but he also

  1. 'Without Lenin there would have been no revolution' - David Footman, an academic British ...

    To an extent the interpretation may be correct, as Lenin was responsible for many of the Bolshevik strategies, and the changes in strategies, which the April Thesis showed. Also, during a meeting of the Central Committee on October 10 Lenin made a resolution to seize power.

  2. Identified within this study is the argument that whilst many of Lenin's theories and ...

    Lenin and Stalin, the fact that he highlights this exception makes it a very credible piece of evidence, showing that although Lenin used terror in order to suppress other political parties, Stalin used it within his own party and to a much more extreme degree.

  1. How did Stalin, who was illustrated by Leon Trotsky himself as 'the most eminent ...

    Background Information Stalin, born Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili in 1879 in Georgia, had Slavic, humble beginnings. In 1912 Djugashvili became a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party and changed his name to his famous pseudonym, Josef Stalin, meaning 'man of steel.'

  2. The Holocaust was the result of Hitlers long held grand design to pursue a ...

    able to awaken the imagination of the public through appeal to their feelings? in the infamous Mein Kampf. Also, it must be noted that that evening Hitler spoke for hours but devoted only a brief few minutes to the Jews.

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