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Explain how Stalin was able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union.

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Introduction

History Coursework part 2: Explain how Stalin was able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union Stalin was able to hold onto his power as leader of the Soviet Union for a substantial amount of time. There were a number of contributing factors which enabled him to do so, each equally helping Stalin to control the country, A variety of political methods were some of the means available to him and he took full advantage of these in order to stay in control. The purges and show trials was definitely factors that were inaugural in keeping Stalin in power and helping him in keeping his country under control. One of Stalin's aim was to control his people to such an extent that they would be afraid to even think of opposing him. The purges were definitely one way of keeping the country under control. They began in 1934, when Segei Kirov, the leader of the Leningrad and a potential rival was murdered. ...read more.

Middle

In the 1930's, the average citizen would admire Stalin. This continued with education, where schoolchildren would be indoctrinated with Stalinist propaganda. There were statues and portraits everywhere. Stalin used propaganda to censor opposition such as writers and artists whom he deemed as "dangerous." He censored writers' books and articles before they were released. He demanded that artists produced work which glorified his achievements, exaggerating his successes and therefore being blatant propaganda. Propaganda was an important reason in Stalin keeping control because it helped the image of Stalinism. Stalin was being portrayed as an almighty hero and the propaganda was the instigator. The propaganda and the cult of personality also link to collectivisation and the invaluable contribution of the five-year plans. This is because they were all forms of Stalin trying to keep control of his country. The whole principle of the five-year plans was to modernise Russia. For these five-year plans to be success full, Stalin needed to modernise Russia's agriculture, this was vital because the population of the industrial centres were growing rapidly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rationing was introduced and safety standards began to be ignored. However, the plans undoubtedly transformed Russia from the backward agricultural nation it was into modernised state. Collectivisation and the five-year plans coincided to help Stalin stay in power as he had achieved what he set out to do and many people praised him because of it. Overall, I feel that the reasons for why Stalin was able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union are equally important as they all link together and if one did not happen the others would not have taken place. They all played an adamant part in Stalin holding on to power. The purges and show trials were instigated with the secret police and were both vital in helping Stalin remove opposition. The show trials and the police were widely publicised and were part of the huge propaganda campaign which Stalin used to portray himself as a god-like character, exaggerating and glorifying his achievements. Stalin was praised for the work he had achieved and had it not been for the reasons above all playing their part, Stalin may never had stayed in power of the Soviet Union for the amount of time that he did. ...read more.

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