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Using the sources in this paper and your knowledge of Stalin explain whether or not you think he was a monster.

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Introduction

Using the sources in this paper and your knowledge of Stalin explain whether or not you think he was a monster. (15) Since Stalin was appointed in 1927 he made a lot of changes to the face of the USSR. After the Tsar in 1917 Russia was undeveloped and behind the west in its economy, agriculture and standard of living, Lenin had made a futile attempt at changing this but little had been achieved. Stalin enforced new policies to change and improve the USSR. Stalin made great changes in the Russian economy, he introduced Five year plans to do this. His main reasons for wanting change in the economy was so that the USSR relied less on the west and to produce arms to defend the USSR. The first 5 year plan was to improve heavy industry (coal, steel oil, power), the second was to improve heavy industry, rail and chemicals and the third was to improve luxury goods but was interrupted by WW2 and factories used to make arms. Stalin had modernised Russia through his five year plans, this is backed up by source B, the sources shows the results of this modernised Russia a new hydroelectric power station and it shows how the Soviets wanted you to see Stalin as somebody who jokes with workers. ...read more.

Middle

He used a lot of propaganda and censorship to achieve this but mainly he used fear. The public was afraid to speak out against Stalin because they would be sent to labour camps, many of the people didn't know what was actually going on and therefore continued to support him (they only saw one side). Source F tells us how he had too much power and this caused him to become such a monstrous tyrant, with all the power he had he could get away with murder (absolute power, corrupts absolute). Source H tells us how he used this power, one way of this was to put people on trial that he suspected of crimes but have him as the "judge, jury and executioner" so the suspects had no chance of winning there case. Source C tells us of a writer who has been totally taken in by Stalin's propaganda, he can be described as being a typical civilian of Russia in the way he views Stalin, it is almost worship. Source A show the USSR's pyramids of skulls, these represent the dead from the purges (labour camps, show trials, mass arrests) ...read more.

Conclusion

The peasants resisted burnt crops, animals and started riots (this made Stalin ease off a bit), food shortages got worse and food was even sold to other countries and slowly the peasants accepted collectivisation and the state collective farms were up an running by the mid 1930s. Stalin was not a monster, he was just a ruthless politician with too much power and he couldn't control this power a lot of the time. This is shown in how the purges had to be stopped because they were getting out of control and how the peasants rebelling made him cool off his policy of collectivisation for a while because the situation was becoming worse not better. Also Stalin was a very ambitious politician who didn't quite realise the human costs of his policies. Stalin didn't realise that people would die because of the massive targets he set in his 5 year plans he just wanted to improve Russian the best he could economically. Also when trying to introduce collectivisation Stalin didn't realise that the peasants would rebel and would have to be killed to put down the revolt. Stalin was a man with too much power and a man who didn't realise the consequences of his power and policies, he was not a monster. ...read more.

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