• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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.

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. How successful were Stalins Economic Policies?

    Although in modern times historians take human cost as an important factor when measuring success, it was obvious Stalin didn't rate the number of lives lost in order to make Russia great as important. However with retrospect, when studying these events it is important to take into account the poor

  2. How did the rule of Stalin affect the Soviet Union?

    rumours were going around that many in the communist party wanted Kirov to replace Stalin as leader of the USSR. Later that year he was assassinated; the murderer wasn't put on trial and Kirov's bodyguard later died. There was strong suspicion that Stalin had arranged for Kirov to be killed because Stalin was threatened that Kirov would be his rival.

  1. 'The Five Year Plans brought glory to Stalin and misery to his people.' How ...

    Absenteeism was defined as more than one day's absence without good reason. 'Show trials' was what workers were put on if they damaged the advanced technology that was given to them. The peasants mainly made mistakes as they were quite unskilled.

  2. “Collectivisation was a political success but an economic failure and a human disaster” discuss.

    In weighing up the good against the bad points, I would have to disagree with the original statement that it was a failure, I would say that in the long run economically it was a success, people are too quick to jump the easy conclusion that because they had a

  1. How Successful Were Stalin's Policies During His Leadership of the Soviet Union?

    He dismissed the widespread discontent as being solely due to the Soviet government's inability to keep pace with supplying machines and tractors to the peasants7. By 1937 collectivisation was largely complete and in the long-term it was able to place the peasantry firmly under state control, ensuring state access to the grain resources of the country.

  2. 'The Five Year Plans brought glory to Stalin and misery to his people' - ...

    rubbish like the American workers did as USA unemployment rocketed to 15 million in 1933. 4. What verdict would you give on the Five Year Plans? 10 marks Unmistakably, an extensive and striving industrialisation curriculum was probably the supreme resolution for Russia's problems.

  1. Stalin and the Cult of the Personality

    His power was cemented by his success as a war leader and his image was literally everywhere.

  2. Stalin was able to strengthen his dictatorship in the 1930s was mainly through a ...

    from textbooks to make people forget about his vital role in the Revolution. Stalin had a new book written called ?A Short History of the USSR? which gave him a more important role in the Revolution which aimed towards glorifying his past.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work