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

    The fact that such a pattern did not emerge raises two issues, at least from an American perspective. The first is whether different leaders or advisors might have achieved different foreign policy results. Some historians believe that Roosevelt, with his subtlety and skill, would have found a way to promote

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

    about the atomic bomb, which he knew that the USA had developed. * This was the beginning of the 'Cold War'. In the next year Stalin set up the Iron Curtain What was the Iron Curtain? * The Iron Curtain was the name given to the border between east and

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

    The actions of Stalin and the "high stakes''11 Edwards suggests he played for had a significant impact in causing the Berlin crisis. Miscamble's argument focuses on the Soviet regime who also "vehemently opposed''10 the creation of a new state. Soviets aimed to block the initial step to introduce the Deutschmark,

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

    It may be argued that, initially, in 1919, the Whites experienced success, as they surrounded the Reds in Petrograd and Moscow in October and had more convinced foreign support and encouragement, especially from the Czechoslovak Legion which occupied towns along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

  1. Gorbachev(TM)s reforms and policies, which were intended originally to strengthen the Soviet system, eventually ...

    Each of them had their own self-vested interest and fought for their rights and privileges to be protected, thus resulting in the widespread upsurge of communal conflicts. This happened in Azerbaijan where the Armenian people resented being ruled by the Muslims and asked to become part of the republic of Armenia, but the Gorbachev government refused.

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

    get more contact with the outside world and benefit from foreign industry. One of these zones was set up next to the colony of Hong Kong, this was to bring China and the colony closer together. These zones and the growing private sector is another example of how China was changing and getting rid of the old Maoist China.

  1. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    These would run industry in their own area. This, it was hoped, would ensure greater commitment on the part of workers and managers. You would have a greater say over what you now did and this would increase your pride in your work and so production levels would be increased.

  2. In the context of the period 1905-2005, how far do you agree that Khrushchev ...

    was derived from the exportation of grain and with state farms operating at a loss, an alternative was ?necessary.?[15] Yet the economic system was so entrenched in collectivisation, that no other alternative was deemed possible. Decentralisation and democratisation were proposed alternatives by Khrushchev.

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