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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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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 policies. Explain how far you agree with this statement. Stalin used to methods to hold onto power in the Soviet Union these were fear / coercion and persuasion / consent. If people were not persuaded by Stalin's personality and economic policies they would be scared into supporting him. From the outset Stalin was particularly aware of his image and the importance and power of propaganda. He came to power partly as a result of his creation of a cult of 'Leninism' and by persuading the people that he was ' the best, the staunchest, the comrade in arms, of Lenin'. That awareness of the importance and power and propaganda continued throughout the thirty plus years that he led the Soviet Union. The impression he made on the party, the Soviet people and the rest of the world all affected the way in which he could govern. He carefully nurtured his image allowing him to be portrayed at all times as he wanted to be seen. ...read more.


Trotsky is also a good example of Stalin's use of terror when propaganda alone would not succeed since ultimately unable to silence Trotsky in another way Stalin had him assassinated. In the same way Stalin could not bear any challenges to his authority and intended to keep his powerful position through terror as well as propaganda. Purges and show trials were a major technique Stalin used to scare Russian citizens into supporting him. He began purging the Communist party of people who had opposed him previously or may pose a threat in the future. On March 1936 the first show trial was announced as I have mentioned above and all 18 of the defendants were sentenced to death and executed. These trials continued with both apparently loyal party leaders and over 25,000 officers of the Red Army being removed and either executed of exiled to the Gulags. The organ of the state used to round up Stalin's enemies was the secret police (NKVD). However members of the NKVD who were not efficient enough or who were deemed to posed a threat to Stalin were also killed of deported. In all cases the families of the accused were considered just as guilty of crimes committed against the state and were also deported. ...read more.


By the end of the 1930's the USSR was second only to the USA in industrial production. Huge new hydroelectric power stations were in operation; massive new steel plants had been built and now produced good quality steel for use in other industries. Communications by road, rail and water had been transformed. This was a massive achievement given the state of the country in the 1920's. Despite the sacrifices they had made most industrial workers were justly proud of their country. As I have shown Stalin's economic policies, his use of propaganda and the cult of personality supported by the ruthless application of terror through the secret police and purges and show trials all worked together to keep Stalin in power. It is difficult to single out any one of these as more important then another as in my opinion they are inter related. Ultimately Stalin had to implement his economic policies which were crucial to his ' Socialism in one country' philosophy. However those policies provoked opposition and required an unprecedented degree of ruthlessness to implement. Some of the opposition could be allayed by propaganda but in order to be completely sure of his position Stalin also needed the use of secret police and purges and show trials. ...read more.

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