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

Why did Stalin win the struggle to power?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why Did Stalin Win The Struggle To Power? When Lenin died, he left no clear successor to lead the Communist Party. Due to the lack of one leader, a group of strong figures emerged known as the "Collective Leadership". This could not remain however and one had to take the position as party leader, therefore resulting in the "struggle to power". By 1929, Stalin had become a dominant force and eventually won the struggle. Stalin's rise to power was by no means inevitable however. He won the struggle due to a number of factors; the most significant of factors perhaps was not to do with his own strength but the weaknesses and fatal errors made by his worthy and perfectly capable opponents. Stalin's first taste of real power in the Communist Party was in April 1922 when he was assigned the role of General Secretary. Traditionally, the ideas of Communism oppose those of bureaucracy. However dealing with the complexities of government forced the party into becoming more centralised. The job description for the General Secreatary was to organise such matters. This position and the growing centralisation of the party put Stalin in a unique position to influence job appointments. ...read more.

Middle

The publication of a letter Trotsky wrote to his friend in 1913 was also a major set back. The letter spoke badly of Lenin as at the time the letter was written, Trotsky and Lenin were in opposing parties. The publication of the letter was published straight after Lenin's death and therefore led readers of the "Pravda" to believe that Trotsky was attacking Lenin when the country were mourning their beloved leader. Trotsky considered Stalin to be a man of only "moderate talents" and it was because of this that he didn't take Stalin's attempts to obtain power seriously. If Trotsky had taken his knowledge of Lenin's views on Stalin to the Central Committee, Stalin would've probably been removed from power. However Trotsky didn't just remain silent on the matter, he also persuaded his supporters to keep Stalin as General Secretary. It was not just Trotsky of the Communist Party that made fatal errors. Kameniev and Zinoviev, two key members were also blind to the forthcoming attack of Stalin. Along with Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kameniev failed to fight for the publication of Lenin's testament: a vital factor in showing the weaknesses of Stalin as a leader. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that the centralised nature of the Communist party that begun under Lenin made it much more easy to control. The combination of new Communist members being poorly educated and easy to control and Stalin's skills of manipulation meant his support base was ever growing, unlike his rivals'. I also think that Stalin's political skills aided his arise but by no means secured his position as leader. In my opinion, it was Trotsky's downfalls that secured Stalin's position of power. Too many fatal mistakes were made by his rivals which seemed to happen at perfect timing. Trotsky was constantly undermining Stalin's attempts to obtain power and never took him seriously. Because of this, he didn't appear to work hard enough in blocking Stalin's attempts or building a loyal support base. Lenin described him as being over confidant, similarly to a number of historians who pointed out that Trotsky simply assumed he would automatically be Lenin's successor. One claimed "Trotsky considered it beneath his dignity to engage actively in a struggle to power." It appears that Trotsky's self assured nature had blinded him to Stalin's consistent plans. This is why I believe that if Trotsky and Stalin's other main rivals had been a little more aware, Stalin would've by no means been able to take position as dictator of Russia. ...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. How did Joseph Stalin rise to power?

    Another instance of the political powers showing weaknesses is the sucking in of Kamenev and Zinoviev by Stalin. They were both very naive. They were misled by Stalin and lied to for his own success. Also one of the main factors which shows that the politicians were weak was the

  2. Why did Stalin win the struggle for power in 1923 – 9?

    Anybody that didn't agree with this would be discluded by Stalin himself. At this point the road is partly clear for Stalin as he is gaining support from all those who will elect the leader to replace Lenin when he dies.

  1. Mussolini(TM)s rise to power up to 1922 owes more to the failures of others ...

    Facta took steps to prevent the Fascist rise to power; he reinforced the military and checked on the loyalty of the troops. He even established that the King would issue a martial law decree so that the threat could be countered by force.

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

    This was very different to Stalin. Stalin did not listen to anyone who opposed his views, while Lenin did. Lenin felt that he was of the same class of the people of his country. He felt that he also suffered because of the tsar and so he did not like

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

    * Almost immediately after the revolution Lenin took Russia out of the First World War. However Lenin had to agree to the Treaty of Brest-Litvosk in 1918. The treaty meant that one-quarter of Russia's population and land, and much of Russia's heavy industry, iron and coal, was lost to Germany.

  2. The two rivals who wanted to lead the communist party were Leon Trotsky and ...

    Yet the triumvirate ignored Lenin's advice and launched a vitriolic campaign against Trotsky, inventing the myth of "Trotskyism". As part of this they created the cult of Lenin. Against Krupskaya's wishes, his body was embalmed and placed on public display in the mausoleum in Red Square.

  1. The struggle

    Began In October when he addressed the Central Committee, stressing the violation of democracy in the party and the failure to develop adequate economic planning.

  2. Describe and analyse why, how and to what degree of success were Lenin and ...

    However, many peasants were Social Revolutionary supporters and they won 300 of the possible 700 seats available as the Communist Party won only 175 seats. As Lenin was not in total control he decided to cancel the assembly and only after one day of business something which proved to be very unpopular.

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