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The Bolsheviks, Lenin & Stalin - source based quiestions

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Introduction

Ashleigh Bewick Coursework Unit 2: Russia - The Bolsheviks, Lenin & Stalin 1) Study sources A and B Do these sources give similar or different impressions of Stalin? These sources give some similarities and some differences. They give similar impressions by both showing Stalin with what he has achieved since he has been in power. In both pictures he looks happy with what he has done. In source A he is looking happy with how many people he has killed. In source B he looks happy as he is showing workers what he has built to make Russia better. He seems to be at one with the working class, which probably made this a source of propaganda, showing that Stalin has everyone's interest at heart. However the sources are also very different. Source A is a cartoon, which perhaps makes him look like a less serious person. In source A Stalin is stood with lots of skulls referring to how many people he has killed so it is almost a comic picture. The artist is turning it into a 'joke' as it seems unreal for anyone to be so happy with killing so many people. In source B, however, he is stood in front of a newly hydroelectric power station, which shows the good he has achieved for Russia. This would have been used to make the Russian people think that Stalin was achieving great things. ...read more.

Middle

In the background of the source there is gallows already prepared which shows the trial was pointless as the outcome had already been decided. The accused are all confessing very openly and in a sarcastic manner. "Yes, I�m guilty!" "Sure, I tried to betray my country!" "Of course I�m a traitor!" "There�s no doubt about my guilt!" These statements are that of the accused in the source, they are almost joking about their guilt. This is used to show the absurdity of the confessions; even if the men were guilty they wouldn�t confess so openly or would at least try to defend themselves. The source is trying to show that the men were some how forced into confessing. Source J is a cartoon published in France in the late 1930�s. It show�s the courtroom at a show trial. In the courtroom Stalin is everyone, the judge, the barrister, the court clerk and the whole jury is Stalin. The source is trying to show that the show trials were a joke, Stalin had total control over what was going to happen. There was no point in a trial they were going to be executed no matter what the court may say. The two sources are similar in many ways, they both agree the show trails were a sham, they were completely controlled by Stalin and the outcome was predetermined, source I shows this with the gallows in the background and source J shows this with everyone in he courtroom being Stalin. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source H a speech by Khrushchev. Stalin was very paranoid about his ability as leader, he got rid of any opposition during the "purges" where he carried out executions of his opponents. Stalin was very popular at the time, although he now appears like a monster the Soviet public thought very highly of him. "Everybody is familiar with the clarity of mind, his iron will, his devotion to the party, his ardent faith in the people and love for the people." Source K. The disagreement about Stalin is whether or not he was a good politician and whether he was a monster. It is difficult to know the whole truth about Stalin, the use of censoring and propaganda in the USSR at the time he was in power means the reliability of the sources that came out of the USSR at the time is questionable. Sources that came out of places such as France are also questionable as they are generally written by exiled Russians who will be bitter and produce biased accounts. In conclusion the sources suggest that the disagreement about Stalin is because of the differing accounts of Stalin�s time in power, some portray him as a monster where some show him as the hero of the USSR. Stalin was a very complex character. He did many evil things but also did many very good things for the USSR. He was a good politician and changed the USSR, but was also very paranoid and felt the need to kill anyone who posed a threat to him. ...read more.

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