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

I am going to explain the variety of important reasons why, and how, Stalin was able to hold onto his power in the Soviet Union until his death in 1953. These methods include: purges, show trials, propaganda and economic policies.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The following were equally important reasons why Stalin was able to hold onto power in the Soviet Union o The Purges and Show Trials o The Secret Police o Propaganda and the cult of personality o Stalin's economic policies Explain how far you agree with this statement In this essay I am going to explain the variety of important reasons why, and how, Stalin was able to hold onto his power in the Soviet Union until his death in 1953. These methods include: purges, show trials, propaganda and economic policies. The purges were used as a reason to dispose of Stalin's potential enemies, or 'independent thinkers'. These people were put on trial and then shot, therefore this period became known as the 'Great Terror' because of the millions of people imprisoned and the thousands that were tortured or killed. This helped Stalin hold onto his power because the Russian people became very afraid of saying the wrong thing about Stalin. He was very paranoid about the things people may, or may not, be plotting about him. The purges were a way of ridding Russia of anyone Stalin felt threatened by. As a consequence, people disappeared. ...read more.

Middle

The propaganda in the cities motivated the workers to work towards targets and what they thought was a greet nation. Propaganda also told the people how they should think and act - this brainwashed the country into thinking that Stalin was a God. The cult of personality included statues and huge posters on the sides of buildings of Stalin's face. People couldn't go anywhere without seeing images of the man they worshiped. This helped Stalin hold onto power because not a bad word was said against him and people looked up to him as a great man. Countries on the outside wouldn't worry about Russia being controlled by a dictator because the propaganda and censored media wouldn't be able to let them know. It created loyalty to Stalin and they thought that with Stalin as their leader, Russia would become a great power. Education was changed and only communist views and theories were allowed to be taught. Pages containing anti-communist views, or pictures and tributes to people Stalin saw as traitors were ripped out of books and these things were never seen again. Stalin, in effect, re-wrote the whole of Russia's history books to reflect him as a great man and leader. ...read more.

Conclusion

Without the secret police, Stalin would have had difficulty making the other methods work. Propaganda and the cult of personality are interconnected because the propaganda creates a Stalinist regime and promotes him as a God. Fear was also a big aspect of helping Stalin keep power as no-one dared to step out of line. The secret police, purges and the show trials allowed this to happen. Everything relied on the other methods to keep the Soviet Union under Stalin's control. Overall, I agree with the statement - the following were equally important reasons why Stalin was able to hold onto power in the Soviet Union; the purges and show trials; the secret police; propaganda and the cult of personality and Stalin's economic policies - to the extent that I think everything was needed to help Stalin keep his control in the Soviet Union. However, I think that the most important method was using the secret police. I think that without this secret army, Stalin would have become too paranoid to appear in public; the people of Russia wouldn't know who he was and anti-Stalinist propaganda would have been produced to encourage his opponents. But on the other hand, all of the methods relied on each other to happen, and without the economic policies (for example) Stalin's power wouldn't have lasted through the Second World War. Jacqui Mellows ...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 successful were Stalins Economic Policies?

    It also destroyed communist opposition - the only people who were against collectivisation were the people who stood to lose from it i.e. the richest. Dekulakisation meant that their possessions were forcibly seized, and they were shot or taken to labour camps.

  2. Stalin Man or Monster

    Source M focuses on Stalin's personality and not his actions, it explains that Stalin was corrupted by power and wouldn't not have been an evil man had he not had that power. Using his power as a dictator Stalin was corrupted by power in a lot of cases, an example of one would be the purges.

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

    This forced the regime to divert resources into the countryside that it had not planned for. The policy was unable to transform Russian agriculture and agricultural and grain production dropped resulting in an inflation of food prices.

  2. Was Stalin a Disaster For the Soviet Union?

    of bread and cabbage soup, or should I say cabbage leafs soaked in diseased water. Only a small percentage of the people who were sent to the labour camps left them again and torture and rape were common at these camps.

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

    For example, if the League of Nations stepped in Stalin could say he was giving fair trials and would not let them inspect the country. The show trials were also important because many people confessed to the supposed crimes in a hope to get a shorter sentence.

  2. Why was Stalin able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union?

    Despite being promised their lives if they confessed, when they confessed they were shot. This trail in August 1936 marked the start of the 'Great Terror'. For two years the people of the Soviet Union had a state of terror in which the secret police hunted Stalin's enemies, real and imagined, in all sectors of the Soviet society.

  1. Stalin man or monster

    It not only ensured that the communists where portrayed in good light but that they also played an integral part in helping the people. It could also be used to show unity and solidarity between the communist nations to the allies.

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

    The aim of the plan was to transform Russia into an industrial giant and increase exports of goods. The Plan concerned every branch of Soviet economic life. It was a blueprint for the development of industry, agriculture, railways, canals, trade, energy, housing, education, and all the public services.

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