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Lenin's death marked the beginning of a period of struggle for leadership between the leading Bolsheviks, at the end of which

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Introduction

Lenin's death marked the beginning of a period of struggle for leadership between the leading Bolsheviks, at the end of which Stalin emerged as the undisputed and unchallenged dictator. Divisions in the party over the future of the Revolution enabled Stalin to position himself in a place of power, providing him with opportunities to rid the party of his opponents from the left and the right. The situation that the party found itself in 1924 was better suited to Stalin's personality for a number of reasons. Stalin was very practical minded, even though he was not an intellectual like his rival Trotsky. He was able to adapt to situations to suit his motives, which is clearly seen when he presented himself as Lenin's chief mourner and closest friend at his funeral by reading out the eulogy and carrying Lenin's coffin. He therefore presented himself as the heir to Lenin's legacy. Moreover, Stalin, though not a theorist, was an effective and shrewd administrator, a quality that earned him the nickname 'Comrade Card-Index'. While his comrades underestimated him, Stalin was able to use his administrative skills to build a large bank of information against his opponents, giving him the ability to blackmail people to follow his orders. ...read more.

Middle

Stalin argued that the revolutionary wave that had been hoped for had evidently not happened and so world revolution, as proposed by Trotsky, was unlikely. Stalin contended that that the Soviet Union should be made strong and industrialized before attempting revolution on a world scale. He wanted to make the revolution at home successful so that the capitalistic powers in the West would appeal to it. Clearly this had undertones of patriotism and nationalism, and so Trotsky's attacks on the idea simply portrayed Stalin as the true patriot, defending his idea for the sake of the Soviet Union. Moreover, it enabled Stalin to depict Trotsky as irresponsible and disloyal to the revolution in Russia. This was worsened by the fact that Trotsky had had previous Menshevik connections before the October Revolution, and as the call for Permanent Revolution was similar to that of the Mensheviks, Stalin was effectively able to arouse suspicion over whether Trotsky was a true Bolshevik. Hence, it was Stalin's idea that gained most support. The idea of Socialism in One Country fit in well with Bukharin's right wing views on NEP and thus an alliance formed between them, marking the end of the Triumvirate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bukharin and Tomsky were removed from their positions of power by 1929 and Rykov was removed in 1930. In conclusion, it can be said that Stalin defeated the left, like the right, by manipulating the party structure and organisation and the key tool that enabled him to do this was his immense power as General Secretary. It is doubtful that without this post Stalin would have been able to outmanoeuvre his rivals in such a way, as controlling the votes and securing his support allowed him to assure the majority beforehand to ensure success. Stalin's personality was most suited to organising the down fall of his opponents and though the issues that divided the Bolshevik party were not deeply ideological and irreconcilable, Stalin magnified them so that he was able to remove his rivals in the struggle for power. The personality of his opponents, such as Trotsky, did not suit to winning the struggle, and a mixture of Stalin's strengths and his opponents' weaknesses allowed him to succeed. The result of his efforts was that the coalition formed in 1924 ceased to exist and Stalin stood as a single dictator, free to implement his policies unchallenged. ?? ?? ?? ?? Fahmida Basith 12B Why was Stalin able to defeat the left and the right of the Party by 1929? ...read more.

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