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The following were equally important reasons why Stalin was able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union, The purges and show trials, The secret police, Propaganda and the cult of personality, Stalin's economic policies - discuss.

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Introduction

Peter Chesworth History Coursework The following were equally important reasons why Stalin was able to hold on to 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. After Lenin's death, the leaders of the Communist Party strongly disagreed with each other on several issues. By the late 1920s Stalin had got rid of Trotsky and his other rivals, but he was still suspicious of potentially disloyal members of the party. Since the Communist Party came to power, it periodically "purged" its membership, getting rid of disloyal members. Now Stalin began to plan a purge of the top levels of the party, to deal with his rivals. He started with technical experts who were blamed for the failure of the first five year plan. ...read more.

Middle

The prisoners were used as slave labour and many did not survive the harsh conditions. By 1938 the terror was beginning to have severe effects on the economy. The numbers of business managers and workers that disappeared meant that many organisations were struggling. Stalin decided to end the Great Terror. Before he did this, he turned on the secret police and had many of the leading officers shot. In the Soviet Union under Stalin, people were not allowed to think for themselves, they were told by the state. Pupils were taught the communist version of history and various communist theories. Propaganda influenced almost every aspect of life, through radio, films and newspapers. Posters and messages issued by the state could be found everywhere, in the streets, workplaces and schools. One of the most important propaganda messages was that Stalin was a superior being. The Soviet people were taught to believe that Stalin was all-powerful and all-knowing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Better education, housing, medical treatment was available, along with some social security benefits. There were disadvantages though, including a seven day working week, absence from work was a crime, pay was not always good and the secret police forced people to work. Industry was modernised through a series of Five Year Plans. The state set unrealistic targets, forcing workers to work as hard as they could. Even though this was tough on the workers, within a decade the Soviet Union had become a major industrial power. It is impossible to be sure of the Soviet Union's achievements during the Five Year Plans. Statistics released by the Soviet government were unreliable because of propaganda. I think all of these factors helped Stalin hold on to power in the Soviet Union, but the most important was his economic policies. He turned the Soviet Union into a highly developed industrial power by forcing people to work hard. Propaganda was also very important because it made people believe that all the slave labourers wanted to work in such harsh conditions because of their loyalty to Stalin. This helped him gain more respect. ...read more.

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