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

Why was Stalin such a great power in Russia in the 1930's?

Extracts from this document...


Why was Stalin such a great power in Russia in the 1930's? Stalin's power was based on two key things. Firstly he made much of the fact that he was the heir to Lenin, and to this end, many paintings and photos were made or altered in order to show him as Lenin's right hand man. As heir to Lenin, he portrayed himself as protector of the revolution, and that the great act of freedom of the Revolution, overthrowing Tsarist corruption and tyranny had to be defended. He used the modernisation Russia through collectivisation and industrialisation to ensure his remaining in power. He claimed that this modernisation was the only possible way to safeguard communism and prevent being overrun and defeated by the West. This stance as Protector was incredibly powerful. By using it he could simply claim that any dissent or opposition was not personal opposition to him, but was instead opposition to the Revolution, and those opposing him were therefore enemies of the Revolution and enemies of Russia itself. ...read more.


However, many innocent peasants also suffered from these nigh on impossible quotas, and were accused of sabotage as well. Deportation, famine and death followed on a huge scale. At least 10 million died in the famine, and millions more were deported, but by 1937 90% of agriculture had been collectivised, and the peasants had been broken. The political purges on the other hand focused on Stalin's leading opponents: often well known figures. These opponents were often a product of Stalin's own suspicions and paranoia. Other rivals such as Trotsky had already been eliminated, Trotsky for example had been exiled, but others, the right wing Bukharin for example, opposed his ideas: Bukharin wanted NEP to continue hoping that the prosperity it brought would make the regime popular. The Purges started with the murder of Kirov in 1934, a Politburo member whom Stalin himself may have had murdered. However, this was then utilised as an excuse to have other opponents, real or imagined, arrested, put on show trials and eliminated/ Many prominent figures were put on trial and then shot, many of whom were Old Bolsheviks whom Stalin now distrusted. ...read more.


Instead there was an imposed loyalty to the State. Crucial to Stalin's retention of power was propaganda. He made extensive use of every form of communication available. Posters, paintings, photographs, slogans, radio and newspapers were all utilised. Visual propaganda was very important amidst a largely uneducated population with low levels of literacy. Stalin's creation of Lenin's Mausoleum was possibly the most crucial piece of propaganda. This helped Lenin to achieve iconic status among the Russian people, and therefore, with Stalin claiming to continue his work, gave Stalin greater status. There was even a personality cult. Stalin was everywhere. There was hardly a town in Russia, which did not have a statue, or portrait or posters of Stalin featured prominently. Overall, Stalin became such a great power by the removal of anyone and anything that opposed him, and re-structuring the entire country so that control of almost the entire country fell to him, either directly or indirectly. Once this sort of power is held by one man, it is incredibly difficult to remove it, and this accounts for the longevity of Stalin's power. E. Fry 5V ...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. The causes of the show trials and purges of the 1930’s

    The Soviet concept of a purge, as stated in the book The Permanent Purge by Zbigniew Brezezinski, is "an instrument, employed in rational fashion by the Party, for the cleansing of its system of undesirable elements, and a method of democratic control over the totalitarian system."19 However, the need for

  2. Stalins Russia, 1924-53 revision guide

    He accused him of treason and said that it he had done nothing to help Russia. * Stalin claimed that he had had been responsible for the successes in the Civil War in 1918 to 1920. * He wanted to make out that he had Lenin had been very close

  1. Assess the economic, social and political consequences of the collectivisation of Russian agriculture in ...

    and 'party spirit' (Barber 1976 p25). In addition, the policy pursued by Stalin of dekulakisation eliminated many skilled workers from the farms, and thus decreased productivity immensely (Millar 1982p64). Before dekulakisation the kulaks had been responsible for"38% of the country's grain output" (Lewin 1966 p190).

  2. Why Stalin was able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union: ...

    Every worker was required to have a permit in order to change jobs, and was instantly sacked if absent for more than a couple of days. Alternatively they could be briefly sent to prison! Anyone leaving school had no choice of where they worked, and they were simply allocated to jobs where employees were needed.

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    Stalin had long served in the Communist Party since before the revolution and in 1923 had become National Secretary for the party. A primary explanation as to why people chose Trotsky over Stalin because Lenin had supported Trotsky as his successor making the claim that Stalin was too rude to lead the government.

  2. Were the 1930's the Devils Decade or The Dawn of Affluence?

    Despite these improvements however social investigators still criticised Britain's housing crisis. The basic problem was there were too much demand for houses and not enough affordable supply. Naturally this resulted in over crowdedness, 12% of Britain's population were living with 3 or more persons in one room and approximately half

  1. Impact of The Great Famine on Irelands Society, Economy and Politics

    Livestock was also introduced to the land as another dietary option as people quickly realised that depending on the potato for survival was very risky, which was proved when many paid for this dearly as around 1 million perished. In the aftermath of the famine the ownership of land became

  2. To what extent was Stalin responsible for the modernisation of Russia?

    However, whilst Alexander II was in power, production of raw material once again rose with coal increases by about 1200%, nevertheless, at this time it was useless. There were not enough railway tracks to send the materials over Russia, and the surplus of the materials was still unable to cover the debts of Russia.

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