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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.

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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.

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