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History: Russia

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Explain why Stalin and not Trotsky emerged as Lenin's successor There are many reasons why Stalin emerged as Lenin's successor instead of Trotsky and some are more significant than others. Personality wise, Stalin was politically cunning whilst Trotsky was arrogant and uninspiring. At the time of Lenin's death, Stalin was in a very powerful position as General Secretary of the Communist Party. He controlled party membership and appointments to key positions within the communist party. He was also head of Central Commission, which gave him power to expel from Communist Party those who supported Trotsky. Stalin was extremely politically cunning; he played off different groups in the Communist Party against each other. Lenin's funeral is also an example of this. Trotsky was ill on the day of Lenin's funeral, but Stalin told him to rest as the funeral wasn't until later that week. This led people to believe that Trotsky couldn't be bothered to turn up and Stalin made a big speech where he praised Lenin and told everyone he was Lenin's disciple. This was not true. Stalin's policy of "Socialism in One Country" was much more popular than Trotsky's policies, "Permanent Revolution". ...read more.


He could give each group something of what they wanted. The suspicions that Lenin had about Stalin before his death were kept secret. Other leaders of Politburo had also been criticised in the document therefore no one knew of Lenin's opinion of Stalin. Immediately after Lenin's death, Stalin recruited Zinoviev and Kamenev to support him against Trotsky in 1924. Stalin got rid of people he felt a threat. In 1926, Stalin joined with Bukharin to organise Kamenev and Zinoviev's defeat. They lost their position in the Politburo. This shows how politically cunning and ruthless Stalin was. They were both expelled from Communist Part and Stalin filled their spaces with his supporters. He now had good support and power. Trotsky however was quite the opposite. He did not inspire affection in the way Lenin did. He was arrogant and did not have a lot of time for those he considered stupid. He refused to get involved with dirty business of political infighting, making alliances and getting people on his side. He failed to gain the support of Kamenev and Zinoviev even though they had similar views. ...read more.


It also resulted in him missing Lenin's funeral as he believed Stalin, he failed to realise he was a threat to his campaign. He made a tactical mistake when he was unwilling to split the Communist Party by forming an opposition block to Stalin. He failed to exploit the loyalty of the Red Army and failed to seize control before he was defeated in 1924. He later lost his job as Commisar of War and no longer controlled the Red Army, he had know military backing and would lose in the face of a war. He also lost the support in the Communist Party and was expelled from the Politburo in 1924. Trotsky was subsequently expelled from the Communist Party in 1927 and exiled from Russia in 1929 where he had to move to Kazakhstan. Stalin was a great manipulator of situations and of people whilst Trotsky was the one who was manipulated. That, along with Trotsky's extreme views, which split the party, resulted in Stalin being appointed leader in 1929. In the 1920's, Russia needed unity and strength and Stalin was the person to give them it, as Trotsky was willing to give the government's money to other countries rather than concentrate on Russia. Samantha Featherstone GCSE History Mrs Scott 1 ...read more.

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