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

Explain why Stalin and not Trotsky emerged as Lenin's successor

Extracts from this document...


Explain why Stalin and not Trotsky emerged as Lenin's successor. Throughout the Russian revolution, Trotsky always appeared as Lenin's right-hand-man. However, after Lenin's untimely death in 1921 it was Stalin, and not Trotsky who emerged as Lenin's successor. In this essay I am going to investigate why it was Stalin that emerged as Lenin's successor and not Trotsky. I am going to investigate the personalities between the two, their support in the communist party, their policies and their power-bases and to see how these differences would have helped or hindered either Trotsky or Stalin to succeed Lenin. On the 21st of January 1924, when Lenin had died it was Stalin that led the mourning and then made a series of speeches declaring his loyalty to Lenin's ideas. It was Stalin that had Lenin's body embalmed and put on display in Red Square, Moscow. Trotsky was not present at Lenin's funeral because he was on sick leave in the south of the USSR. This was Stalin's first step in succeeding Lenin. Publicly, it appeared that it was Stalin who truly respected and revered Lenin and it was Stalin who had showed the most consideration towards Lenin's efforts in securing the Russian Revolution. ...read more.


While Zinoviev and Kamenev agreed with Trotsky's economical views, they disliked him as a person. Whilst Trotsky was popular among the army and the ordinary members of the Communist party, he was disliked within the Politburo for his vanity and arrogance. Trotsky's personality was also judged by Lenin in his testament published in 1922. Lenin wrote that, "Trotsky...is personally perhaps the most capable man in the present central committee but has displayed excessive self assurance". Trotsky's unpopularity within the Politburo was, I believe, the main cause for Trotsky's failure to succeed Lenin. The dislike the members of the Politburo held for Trotsky, motivated Kamenev, Zinoviev and Stalin to combine to prevent Trotsky from succeeding Lenin. However, Lenin also commented on Stalin's personality in his testament, writing, "Stalin...has unlimited authority in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution." Lenin later added more criticisms: "Stalin is too rude and this defect is intolerable...I suggest removing Stalin from his post" Lenin suggested replacing Stalin with someone "more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more considerate". ...read more.


Stalin joined the Rightists in an attempt to drive Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev out of the Politburo. Stalin's position was strengthened when the Party congress elected three of Stalin's close friends and supporters into the Politburo. With their support Stain was able to force Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev from the Politburo in 1925 and later in 1927 Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the Communist Party. His power base helped him to secure leadership of Russia because he was able to eliminate any political opponents and had a large and loyal support base which would support and allow Stalin to do what he wished. In 1928 Stalin became leader of Russia. Stalin public performances contributed to his popularity and his personality did not make him any opponents within the Politburo but these would have not sufficed to succeed Lenin. Therefore, in conclusion I believe that Stalin was able to succeed Lenin primarily because he established a power base within the Communist party that he used to eliminate political opponents and to support any of his decisions through majority votes. A constant throughout Stalin's power struggle was his ruthless drive to become ruler of Russia. Stalin slithered through the communist party, misusing his power to corrupt the integrity of the party so that he may become leader 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 GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 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 GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. Stalin Man or Monster

    The conditions in the prison camps were inhospitable, prisoners were forced to work in all weather conditions, they were not supplied with a satisfying amount of food and the camp guards used violence against them. Several millions of the prisoners had died because of the remorseless conditions.

  2. Stalin man or monster

    In this essay I will discuss the agreements and disagreements of the two sources and analyse to what extent these two sources agree about Stalin's "show trials." Both sources are very similar with the views they are presenting about the show trials.

  1. Stalin and Lenin

    Stalin believed that the country should only be run by ne government and that everything must be owned by the government and all distributed evenly, he even started collectivization which he believed would help farmers grow more food, he setup the Secret police in order to secretly eliminate his opponents

  2. The blance sheet for russia.

    The Russian bourgeoisie had entered onto the stage of history too late. It had failed to carry out any of the tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, that had been solved in Britain and France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

  1. In this essay I am going to asses the impact that Stalin had on ...

    Stalin used class hatred to whip up hysteria. The district authorities told local Soviets how many Kulaks they had to find and lists of names were drawn up. Peasants denounced others as Kulaks for revenge and children were encourages to inform on anybody, even their own parents.

  2. Russia 1905-1945 Stalin - man or monster - source based questions

    tell us how was Stalin in real life, however, we can construct in our minds an imige of what would Stalin do, in order to obtain what he wanted, this Source lacks of objetivity therefore can be classified as being biased.

  1. Explain why Stalin and not Trotsky emerged as Lenin(TM)s Successor

    Lenin said about Stalin that he had "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands" and suggested that "comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post." Stalin was the General Secretary of the Party. Lenin also said that he "is too rude and this defect".

  2. Why did Stalin, not Trotsky, emerge as Lenins successor?

    It stated that he didn?t think that Stalin would use his power with sufficient caution?, as well as,? Stalin is too rude...Remove Stalin from the post....?. However the leading Communists who included Zinoviev and Kamenev had decided not to make the will public for it not only contained criticism of Stalin, but of all of them as well.

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