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

`How important was Stalin compared to Lenin in creating the Soviet Union

Extracts from this document...


`How important was Stalin compared to Lenin in creating the Soviet Union In this essay, I will investigate who was most important in creating the Soviet Union, Stalin or Lenin? The first factor to consider is the Economic policy. Lenin introduced the system of war communism with two main aims, to put communist theories into place (i.e. redistribution of wealth), and to win the civil war. War communism achieved its aim of winning the war, but in doing so caused terrible hardships for the Russian people, some estimate that 7 million people starved to death under it. This had huge implications on the country, people refused to work, there was public uprising. Russia's agrarian economy was dependent on crops, and War Communism had stifled it, production fell to levels not seen since the beginning of the 20th century. Lenin soon abandoned War Communism in favour of what he called "New Economic Policy", he recognized that he would have to abandon his purely communist principles, speaking at the Party Congress, 1921 he said "we must try and satisfy the demands of the peasants who are dissatisfied... there must be a certain amount of freedom to trade, freedom for the small private owner". ...read more.


One of Lenin's first moves after taking power was to negotiate Russia's withdrawal from the war. The Brest-Litovsk Treaty did this, but on highly embarrassing terms (e.g. Russia lost ~90% of its coal mines), Lenin gambled on Germany losing so that he could reclaim the land, a shrewd political manoeuvre and one that paid off, but remember it was in fact Trotsky who negotiated the treaty. Lenin also showed his political strength in early 1918, elections had been held, and when the Constituent Assembly opened, the Socialist Revolutionaries were the biggest party, so Lenin promptly sent I the Red Army to shut it down, this move showed people that he and he alone was firmly in control, without this kind of control, the USSR would have crumbled. Stalin was very intelligent, he took on many boring, but important political offices within the party so that he could place his supporters into important positions, and transfer opponents to less important posts where they could do little harm. He took on his opponents one by one. He once took Bukharin's side in an argument to get rid of Trotsky, then argued the same points Trotsky had to get rid of Bukharin. ...read more.


The Kronstadt sailors stated in their official statement that they 'hoped for freedom' and that 'the result has been greater slavery', they wanted to 'free the workers and the Soviets from the Communists'. This meant that Lenin had to abandon the policy of War Communism and put in place a new economic policy. On the other hand, War Communism was extremely crucial in creating the Soviet Union. Had Lenin, not led the country into winning the war, he would have kept the policies of 'War Communism' and many more people and supporters would have died (turning a lot of people against him). Also, there would have been a possibility that Russia would have been taken over by other Countries, as 'War Communism' led the people to be venerable (as many of them were starving). Also, without War Communism and a lot of people dead because of it, Lenin would not have thought about creating a new economic policy (which caused many people to believe that Lenin betrayed the communist belief) that would benefit his people. Furthermore, the Kronstadt would have made 'a third revolution' and freed the 'Soviets from the Communists'. Without War Communism, Lenin would not have saved his peoples' belief in him. ...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. How did the rule of Stalin affect the Soviet Union?

    Marx an atheist called religion the 'opium of the people' because he felt that priests taught people to except the miseries of life and to look forward to the after-life. In the civil war religious groups faced persecution, priests were killed and religious buildings were destroyed.

  2. How effectively did the Soviet Union control Eastern Europe from 1945 to 1968?

    mini Stalin - through mass demonstrations, which later turned into street fighting. Oddly, Khrushchev introduces Nagy as the new leader of Hungary, instead of sending in the Red army. Was it now that he realised that the Red army did not have so much of an effect that it used to?

  1. How Successful Were Stalin's Policies During His Leadership of the Soviet Union?

    Collective farmers were now dependent on the government for mechanized equipment and tied to the land through draconian measures such as system of internal passports which restricted movement8. A major aim had also been accomplished in that the working class had been broken down as a collective force and underwent

  2. Was terror the main reason why Stalin kept power in the Soviet Union?

    The people were suppressed so much that they could not do anything. Many people saw what had happened to others and were frightened of it happening to them so they just put up with it. Persuasion was only used by Stalin to make it seem as though he was being kind to the people.

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

    Trotsky soon followed the list by getting executed by Stalin's agents in Mexico. However, Stalin did not stop there he continued this Great Purge by removing 25,000 officers and many university lecturers and teachers, miners and engineers, factory managers and ordinary workers also disappeared.

  2. How important was Stalin compared to Lenin in creating the Soviet Union?

    Stalin had a much different approach towards territory within the USSR. Following the second 'great' war of the 20th century, The USSR, under Stalin, greatly expanded. The creation of Comniform enabled Stalin to co-ordinate communist parties that could also keep an eye upon them.

  1. How important was Lenin compared to Stalin in creating the Soviet Union?

    The new economic policy was introduced as Lenin realised changes were necessary after thousands of people died during the famine. The NEP brought back capitalism for some sections of Russian society as: peasants were allowed to sell surplus grain for profit and would pay tax on what they produced rather than giving some it up for the government.

  2. Stalin Man or Monster

    his devotion to the party, his ardent faith in the people, and love for the people. The source is clearly blinded by propaganda as it was published in 1947. It sees Stalin as the people of Russia saw Stalin, not aware of what his real acts were.

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