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Stalin: political figure or tyrannical monster?

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Introduction

G.C.S.E HISTORY COURSEWORK-ASIGNMENT B STALIN: political figure or tyrannical monster? 7. There has always been different views held by people towards Stalin, and since his death in 1953 these views have escalated. The reason there are many different views is because no one knows the real truth about Stalin and the regime that he ran. For example he had censorship agencies set up that only allowed articles praising him to be published, he literally had history re-written and he also used 'the cult of Stalin' to build himself up more. Due to these things being set up no one knows what really happened and the real truth about Stalin, and so they are now inclined to make up a lot of things, and guess a lot about him as well. Source 'D' is an example of one of the things Stalin had re-written. We know the things he says are untrue but it is due to things like these that people are uncertain about Stalin because they do not know what to believe about him. This source may be used to support the idea that Stalin did not help Russia because he is denying the Russian people the truth about their country's history. However it certainly does support how clever and devious Stalin was as a leader, doing anything he could to gain popularity and support. ...read more.

Middle

However source 'H' was written so long after Stalin rule that the writer would not really have known what it was like at the time in Russia or the mood of the people towards Stalin. Also if historians were to look at sources such as 'I' and 'J', which have reference to the 'show trials', they would again question whether Stalin helped Russia. Source 'I' gives the impression that Stalin himself was very unfair and the 'show trails' were not fair and were a mockery, simply people being 'puppets' (as source 'J' puts it) who would admit to anything because of the pressure they were put under. Many historians believe these sorts of things out weigh the good things Stalin did for Russia. However many historians believe things such as the five year plans out-weigh the bad things he did for Russia. Sources such as source 'B' support this idea that under Stalin, Russia, in such a short period of time, was turned around industrially and was able to build such a huge industrial empire, mainly due to Stalin himself. This source shows what is probably the Dneiper Dam in the background, one of Russia's most significant achievements that they were very willing to show off. It also shows Stalin with the workers, which gives the impression that Stalin genuinely cared about the Russian workers and was a man of the people. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was during this time, the late 1930's, that many historians believe Stalin was not particularly helpful to Russia. Sources like 'F' support this. Source 'F' was written in 1936 and tells us how Stalin was 'a devil' and reminds us how Stalin was not concerned to kill anybody that he thought was a threat to him; 'if someone speaks better than he does, that man is for it!'. However the reliability of this source can be questioned as it was written by Bukharin, one of Stalin's enemies who tried to gain power after Lenin's death. It is sources like this one that encouraged historians to later write sources similar after Stalin's death. Sources such as 'L', which was written in 1974 and is similar to source 'F' in the way that it criticises Stalin's leadership; 'absolute power turned a ruthless politician into a monstrous tyrant'. However like source 'F' this source is probably referring to his mid years in charge when the Purges were on. It is very unlikely that this historian could write the same thing with reference to his leadership during World War II, as it was him who helped to guide Russia through it. Although Stalin may have been a nice person, due to the regime that he ran and also that he did not let anybody get close to him during his life, historians now speculate that he was a very evil, even criminal man simply because of how he ran Russia. Olly Sargent 11Y PJD ...read more.

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