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

How did Stalin conrtol the USSR?

Extracts from this document...


How did Stalin control the USSR? During the `930s Stalin consolidated his position as the supreme dictator of the Soviet Union. Stalin's USSR developed into a brutal totalitarian state, like Hitler's Germany. A totalitarian state is one in which those in power have total control of the people. Every aspect of peoples lives in controlled and monitored. Stalin's totalitarian state of the 1930s had the following characteristics; it was a one party state, controlled through the use of terror, a secret police force (the NKVD), the gulag (forced labour camps), a cult of the leader, propaganda and censorship, control of education, control of the arts and sciences. In other words, Stalin maintained his dictatorship in the USSR by two main methods. To control by using force and terror and to control by persuasion and ideas. The 'great purges' lasted from 1934 to 1938. The meaning of the term purge is a 'drastic clear out'. The purges were the major method of control used by Stalin against anyone he believed was a threat to his dictatorship. The secret police (NKVD) were used as a means of carrying out the purges. During this period of millions of Russians were arrested and either sent to the Gulag or shot. Figures are constantly being revised in the light of new evidence. ...read more.


Many have claimed Stalin had ordered the assassination which was committed by Leonid Nikolayev. It was ordered by the suggest because Stalin feared the growing popularity of kirov and would go to any lengths to maintain his position. Stalin always denied the claim that he was responsible but whatever the truth of the matter; Stalin certainly used it as a pretext to launch the purges. The Kirov murder provided Stalin with the perfect excuse to destroy the opposition that was growing against him. Stalin claimed that the Kirov murder proved that there was a conspiracy against him and to destroy the party. Using the atmosphere of fear created by the murder, he ordered the arrests and justified it by Kirov murder. In 1936, Stalin set about purging the communist party to get rid of all those who might oppose or threaten his position, particularly whose who had been close to Lenin in the past who were not as loyal to Stalin. The first to go were Kanenev and Zinoviev. They were arrested along with 14 others and were accused or organizing the murder of Kirov and plotting to assassinate Stalin. They were put on trial in full view of the world in the famous show trials of the 1930s. Such trials were an important part of the purges and were broadcast on radio. ...read more.


But by forcing the accused to deliver humiliating public confessions while on public trial - they were broadcast both inside the USSR and to the outside west. This gave Stalin many advantages. They served to justify the present and future terror. Stalin's claim that there was a widespread conspiracy to overthrow the state now seemed real and therefore the confessions justified the killings and Stalin was seen as a hero rather than a mass murderer. The confessions justified the continuation of the terror in other words it gave Stalin the go ahead to eliminate further opposition and secure his position even more. The confessions also gave names of others. Not only did the accused admit their own guilt but they also gave the names of others - denunciations - that were guilty of 'counter revolution'. This ensured that the terror continued and made it easier to punish other opponents of Stalin. As well as serving as a justification for the terror purges to the soviet people it also served as a justification to the west who Stalin was trying to gain support off in an attempt to form an anti Nazi alliance. So to conclude, Stalin became the powerful dictator he was by using force and terror on the people of Russia so they wouldn't have the physical or mental power to overthrow Stalin. Stalin created an atmosphere of fear, and it paid off as not only did he become the supreme dictator but he also transformed Russia into a super power. ...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. 'The Five Year Plans brought glory to Stalin and misery to his people.' How ...

    In 1928 there was famine in the cities in which workers were not receiving enough food. Consequently, Stalin ordered that police squads were to make raids on the farms and made sure that the food in the cities was severely shared.

  2. Why Did Stalin Use Terror and Purges in Such a Comprehensive Way during the ...

    In 1936 he shifted his position and backed the radicals. This was probably encouraged by concerns that the Stakhanovite movement was being obstructed by industrial managers and the demands of radicals that the secret police should be let loose on these 'wreckers'.

  1. 'The Five Year Plans brought glory to Stalin and misery to his people' - ...

    In conclusion, personally, I believe that the idea of Stalin's glorification is not the only important reason why he decided to embark on his industrialisation programme, the issues discussed above were all linked and contributed significantly to bring about rapid industrialisation - Stalin's main aim as the leader of the USSR.

  2. How did Stalin transform the economy of the USSR in the 1930s?

    The NEP and the Peasants... * Although grain supply had increased enormously under the NEP and the fear of famine had receded, the peasants were not producing the quantities of grain the government needed for its industrialisation plans. * In 1913, Russia exported twelve million tons of grain; in the

  1. The blance sheet for russia.

    Within a generation or so the material basis for socialism would be laid. Over time, the tremendous growth of production would eliminate all material inequality and provide for a superabundance of things that would universally raise the quality of life to unheard-of levels.

  2. Did Stalin pervert the message of the "real communists?"

    a classless society where, after a brief period of dictatorship, true equality would reign as life would be based upon the notion of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs." Stalin realised the extent to which Russia had fallen behind in industrial production.

  1. Source related questions on Joseph Stalin

    People would have to live off scraps and lived in poor housing. To add to that, the air around them was heavily polluted and there was no coal or wood to start fired.

  2. Stalin was able to obtain total power in the USSR by the end of ...

    At this time, Stalin, although not a political philosopher, saw a popular policy which opposed Permanent Revolution and grabbed the chance and put forward his theory of Socialism in One Country, which gained him much popularity. His cunning here was not about the fact that he thought of the theory

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