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Is Stalin the Red Tsar?

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Stalin is sometimes referred to as the 'Red Tsar'. Compare and contrast Tsarist Russia with Stalinist Russia. It can be said that Stalin's policies and ideals were similar in some ways to the Tsars of the Russian Dynasty. However, in other areas, they were completely different in the way they operated. It is therefore to some extent that Tsarist Russia was like Stalinist Russia. This essay will plan to compare and contrast between the two societies under the headings of the economic and political decisions that the leader made and the effect the leader had on society and culture. Of particular importance, this essay will focus on the reforms the two leaders implemented, the cultural and economic shift from agrarian to urban, and the political control the two had over Russia during their respective reign. The shift from an economy and society based on agriculture to one based on industrialization happened in both eras, but the way it is implemented was different by each leader. The Tsar and Stalin were both faced with a largely agricultural peasant-based society when they came into power, the Tsar more so than Stalin. The Tsar instrumented industrialization under his finance minister, Witte, who encouraged the growth of Russian industry and tried to attract foreign investors. ...read more.


There is also a large amount of evidence that the political systems that the USSR under Stalin had, that were similar to the way the Tsar ran Russia. Firstly, both maintained their rule in an autocratic manner, with strong centralized power and power held by both leaders. Both relied on a large bureaucracy to support their power, and both were faced by little political debate. In Tsarist Russia, there was an absence of political debate because of the banning of political organizations. In Stalin's Communist Russia, the nonexistence of political debate was due to Stalin's dictatorial rule, and thus not allowing any opposition that would threaten his rule. One final comparison that is pertinent to distinguishing whether Stalin can be called the "Red Tsar" is the political parties beneath the repressive leaders. Under Tsar Nicholas II, the Dumas had little power. They were merely a way to try to dissolve any revolutionary activity, but were also paid little attention by the Tsar. Pre-Stalin, the Communist Party's Central Committee and Congress had mainly held the power of the country in their hands. By the time of Stalin, these groups were largely subservient to Stalin himself. Basically, this gave the two leaders absolute power over the country. ...read more.


Both societies based their rule on harsh censorship. Propaganda was strongly used by both, especially by Stalin in the 1930s Cultural Revolution. The position that the Tsar and Stalin placed themselves in are also quite similar. In Tsarist Russia, the Tsar was worshipped and deified, partly because of his position, but mainly because of the power he gave the Church. Likewise, Stalin used the cult of personality surrounding him, and to a lesser extent Lenin, to justify his rule over the USSR. So despite there being a stark contrast between the two regimes in terms of culture, some similarities can be still be made. In conclusion, the policies and ideals that were used and seen in Tsarist Russia and Stalinist USSR were to some extent similar. In the area of political policy, there were a number of sections that were akin, however a strong difference in the long-term ideology. In terms of economic policy, both wanted to industrialize Russia, but did it in different ways. Finally, in terms of culture in society there are a lot of blatant contrasts between the way the two leaders operated, due to ideological differences, but once more there were some similarities. Therefore, it is to some extent that Stalin is the Red Tsar. Word Count: 1262 ?? ?? ?? ?? Stalin - Is he the Red Tsar? Stuart Hinchliffe Stalin vs Tsar essay Page 1/4 ...read more.

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