• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19

UNIT 6: PAPER 6b: THE SOVIET UNION AFTER LENIN

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

UNIT 6: PAPER 6b: THE SOVIET UNION AFTER LENIN 1. Did Stalin preserve or destroy Lenin's legacy? A. Stalin and his struggle for power: the 'left' and 'right' opposition groupings Lenin was virtually incapacitated from 1922 onwards. In 1922 he had dictated his 'Political Testament' in which he discussed the other Bolshevik leaders and their strengths and weaknesses. * Trotsky was guilty of an 'excess of self-confidence'. * Stalin could not be trusted to wield power with 'sufficient caution'. * Kamenev and Zinoviev had opposed revolution in October 1917 because they lacked revolutionary zeal. * Bukharin was regarded as theoretically suspect and thus likely to deviate from the Party line. * In 1923 Lenin added more about Stalin. Stalin was described as 'disloyal, intolerant, discourteous and rude' and called for his dismissal as Party General Secretary. The Bolsheviks were keen not to repeat what they saw as the mistakes of the French Revolution. * The French Revolution had ended up as a military government led by Napoleon. * Trotsky, as leader of the Red Army, was thus regarded with suspicion by most of the other leading Bolsheviks, in case he led a military coup. * An informal group - Stalin, Kamemev and Zinoviev combined to limit the influence of Trotsky. * Trotsky had only joined the Bolsheviks in 1917, having previously been a Menshevik, and was thus viewed with suspicion by many 'Old Bolsheviks' At Lenin's funeral Stalin gave the funeral speech. * This suggested he was in prime position to succeed Lenin as Party leader. It sent a powerful image to the rest of the country. * Trotsky was missing - convalescing at a Black Sea resort. He later claimed Stalin deliberately gave him the wrong day and stopped him returning to Moscow * After the funeral, and against his express wishes, a 'Cult of Lenin' began. The body was preserved and put on display in Red Square. ...read more.

Middle

They would always remain selfish and put their own interests first, so the Communist Party needed to bring them into line. * If the policy of Collectivisation was agreed, it would further undermine some of the opposition to Stalin in the Party - Bukharin, for example was an advocate of slow growth, in effect a continuation of the NEP. The process of collectivisation * In the winter of 1927-28 the peasants did not deliver enough food for the cities. Food Requisitioning was used by the Party to make up the shortfall. This brought the issue of agriculture to the fore. * It had been hoped that collectivisation could occur voluntarily, but this was not working. Party members were sent to the countryside to help with the harvest. * Poor peasants were encouraged to denounce hoarding, and rewarded with 25% of any grain discovered. * After the harvest of 1929 there was a great campaign to collectivise. Peasants were supposed to vote on collectivisation, but in most cases it was forced through by party officials. * Between November 1929 and March 1930 60% of all farms were collectivised. Opponents were labelled Kulaks and were transported to the Gulags or arrested and shot. * Each area was given a target of Kulak families to arrest and deport, again an almost arbitrary terror descended on the villages. * There was huge opposition from the peasants, especially when the Churches were ransacked or turned into barns or meeting places, and personal property was confiscated too in some areas. * Warehouses were often broken open and personal goods restored to their owners. Faced with such widespread opposition the Party had to back down. * Stalin made a speech in early 1930 ('dizzy with success') accusing local party officials of being over-zealous and allowing peasants to leave the collective farms. Many did. * Once the 1930 harvest had been safely collected collectivisation began again. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Marxism was, after all the future for all mankind. Lenin set up the strong centralised Party to impose its will on the working class. He tolerated no opposition outside the Party, but did tolerate discussion, debate and dissension within the Party. He even forgave mistakes or errors in thought. * There was a distrust of elections, a feeling that the people needed to be led for their own good. Terror was justified; fulfilling the policy was important, not questioning it. The only way forward was a one-party state, involving terror and elimination of opponents if that was necessary. All these ideas were carried forward into Stalin's time. Discontinuities: * Stalin had no real wish to see the 'withering away' of the State, he regarded the development of a strong state as an end in itself. He, perhaps to hide his own insecurities or initial lack of support, found it necessary to elevate the idea of leader as someone above the Party. * Lenin could be, and often was, outvoted or kept in check by the 'Old Bolsheviks'. Stalin was a dictator much more than Lenin, who would not tolerate opposition, or potential opposition either within or outside the Party. * Lenin dominated the Party by force of personality, Stalin by brute force. His state made much greater use of terror to secure support. His own distrust of individuals led to frequent changes of personnel. Conclusion: * Without Lenin there could have been no Stalin. * Lenin set up a system that allowed Stalin (a) to become leader and (b) develop that system into what we call Stalinism. It wasn't inevitable that Stalin should follow Lenin, or indeed that Stalin's regime should develop the way it did. * The best way to think of Stalin, as he sometimes did himself, is as a Tsar - Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible. He was a strong leader doing what was necessary to make Russia, rather than the Soviet Union, strong and able to maintain its true place in the world, as a Superpower. ?? ?? ?? ?? 5 1 ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    The Iron Curtain collapsed in 1989 and 1990, when the countries off the east threw off Soviet control, but for forty-five years it dominated Europe and divided Germany. How was Germany governed after the war? * When the Allies met at Potsdam to decide how to govern Germany at the

  2. How far were White weaknesses responsible for Red success in Russian Civil War?

    to arm and manoeuvre their armies, an advantage that the Whites could not enjoy. The central areas they controlled contained the highest concentration of war industries, with 46.3% in Moscow and Petrograd, 38% in the White controlled Urals and Ukraine and 25% in Poland and this meant they could carry

  1. Why did Mao Zedong introduce a second five year plan in 1958 and to ...

    Deng promised that everyone should have at least a primary school education, he recognised that there were to many illiterate people. Socially, Deng wanted China to remain communist, but he also wanted China to change its view of other countries and how they saw China.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    policymakers to open up Eastern Europe for trade and investment. Within such a frame of reference, it was the capitalist economic system-not Soviet commitment to world revolution-that made the Cold War unavoidable. Still a third version of the inevitability hypothesis-partly based on the first two-would insist that historical differences between

  1. To what extent was Stalin to blame for the Berlin crisis 1948-9?

    Miscamble focuses on Stalin's intention to pressure the West into rethinking their proposal, inflicting a "political defeat'' upon them he suggests would be a ''risky gambit''10, but one Stalin chose to take by applying pressure on West Berlin. Miscamble's argument implies that Stalin had his sight set on stopping Western proposals.

  2. Why did Stalin Emerge as Leader of Russia by 1929?

    Some disliked his arrogance and self confidence, being from a privileged and wealthy background. Also being ethnically Jewish, he was also possibly treated with some suspicion by some, due to the prevalence of anti-Semitism. Furthermore he had not always been a member of the Bolshevik faction in the Russian Social Democratic and Labour Party (RSDLP).

  1. To what extent was the Civil War the main factor in the Bolshevik

    out merciless on the spot executions and people were now fearful of counter-revolutionary actions as they were aware of their fate therefore wiping out remnants of popular movement. "Let me tell you that in one month's time at the most it [red terror] will assume more frightful forms, modelled on the terror of the great French revolutionaries.

  2. What were the causes of the disintegration of the Soviet Union as a socialist ...

    These are theoretical reasons why the Soviet Union could never have succeeded, long term inherent flaws within the system that grew over time and Gorbachevian reforms. Each of these will be examined in turn, and their merits assessed before conclusions are drawn as to which combination of them brought about

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