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The following are equally important reasons why Stalin was able to hold onto power in the Soviet Union.

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Introduction

The following are 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. * Stalin's economic polices. Explain how far you agree with this sentence. Stalin gained control of the Soviet Union 1929 through deception and propaganda. He has big plans for the USSR, his main aims were: * Modernise industry and agriculture. * Impose communism. * Control the people. Stalin rules by fear to control and manipulate the population into obedience. He was going to achieve his aims of modernising industry and agriculture by collectivising the farms so they were big enough to host machinery such as tractors and better tools. However he was only going to achieve these aims by gaining total control. He does this through purges. The purges were Stalin's way of removing any opposition to himself and his power. Different historians have different theories about why Stalin carried out the purges; many agree that he was trying to get rid of the opposition. But some historians believe he was suffering from a persecution complex. This meant he feared everybody was plotting against him. The first purges took place in 1930. He purged anybody who opposed him or his plans for collectivisation and industrialisation. Many of the accused were deported or imprisoned. Some were shot. The first victims were managers and workers accused of wreaking the Five Year Plan, Kulaks accused of opposition to collectivisation and ordinary party members accused of incorrect attitudes. ...read more.

Middle

It became so bad that even artists had to do what the state told them. Stalin was always portrayed as something he wasn't and everyone was told Stalin was a great genius. The propaganda also links in with the cult of personality. This was where Soviet propaganda presented Stalin as a god-like figure. Newspapers, cinema and radio spread propaganda about the heroic workers' struggle and Stalin's great leadership and personality qualities. All criticism about Stalin was banned. History was re-written so that Stalin became a more important part in the Russian Revolution and Civil War than he actually had been. Photographs were altered so Stalin seemed a closer friend to Lenin than he had been and Trotsky was removed from all photographs and history books and articles. The country became blanketed in extreme adoration. Stalin became the dictator of the Soviet Union and he trusted nobody. He changed people's views as much as he could, even to the extent that they began to persecute Christians and Christian Priests were murdered or exiled. Stalin ran everything with the help of his secret police, the NKVD. The NKVD was Stalin's way of controlling everybody. The NKVD were under orders from Stalin to arrest anybody he chose. Sometimes these people were sent to Gulags. The Gulags were labour camps that were run by the NKVD. The prisoners were forced to build roads, railways, canals and more. The people sent to the Gulags included Kulaks and rival political figures that opposed Stalin. ...read more.

Conclusion

As war approached, more resources were put into developing armaments, tanks and weapons. The five-year plans increased electric production by 28%, it increased coal production by 47%, it increased oil production by 61% and it increased steel production by 43%. All of this help Stalin keep control over the country as if anybody stood in the way of the five year plans they would be purged by the NKVD. The plans caused serious problems. These were- new towns, cities were set up with poor quality housing, industrial workers worked long hours for low pay, most of the work was done by people in labour camp, the targets were only to increase propaganda, the government said the targets had been hit but it's hard to tell how much was really achieved and how much was propaganda, the plans caused social and economic problems, the transport systems nearly collapsed as it couldn't cope with the increased loads of goods, rationing was introduced and safety standards began to be ignored. But it did enormously increased production. After studying all of the above reasons for helping Stalin stay in power. I believe all of them were important as one would not have happened without the other, but I believe that the NKVD was the secret to Stalin success in the ruling of Russia. They were the people that helped keep the population in control. They helped enforce the five-year plans. Stalin was a dictator but without him Russia would not be what it is today. He transformed it from a backward agricultural nation into the world's second greatest power. ...read more.

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