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IB, Paper 1: USSR under Stalin, 1924-1941. Analysis of sources.

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Introduction

Beatrice Ferro Paper 1: The USSR under Stalin, 1924 to 1941 1. a) According to source A, Stalin's advantages over his rivals gave him the power of patronage. He had the right to choose any individual to take an important position in the party and government. He also could place his own supporters in key positions. Stalin was always able to out-vote his enemies in various committees. He also had the privilege to fire those who did not support him. b) The message that is being communicated in source D is that of Stalin being a great supporter for Lenin. His position shows how he is assisting Lenin and backing him up. This protection that Stalin is showing in source D also wants to convey the fact the he wishes to be as close to Lenin as possible. 2. In Sources A and C, we can find some of Stalin's methods to weaken his oppositions. Both sources talk about Stalin wanting to isolate his rivals. We can see this in source A where it says: ?individuals who opposed him...he could always out-vote them?. Source C also says that ?the Trotskyites and the right opportunists were politically isolated?. ...read more.

Middle

Another limitation is that the conversation was recorded about 60-70 years later, Joffe might have been very young at the time, hence not remembering well what really happened. Also, she could have been affected by knowledge of later events and new interpretations. The origin of source E is from a book on the general history of Russia in the twentieth century, written by Robert Service, a British historian. The purpose of this source is to inform people about what really happened in Russia. This source can be considered valuable as Service is a historian can provide an accessible overview to a topic, by writing objectively. Since this book was published in 1997, there has been enough time to access enough information to then analyze the subject. The limitations are that because this was published in London, the source might be biased and therefore supporting certain kinds of ideas, groups and politicians. Source E is also limited because it's information may lack of important aspects of events, details may not be included. This is because it's a book which covers the whole twentieth century, and not just a short period of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stalin's use of political methods were also very important for his rise to power. As source C states, the ?Party was able to awaken and organise the working masses?. This shows how the Party was working together to isolate political oppositions. Although, not only being in control of the Party was important, he also used very smart tactics: he stayed neutral. Stalin was neither left or right wing, this enabled him to switch to whatever policy gained the most votes. This also meant that he could gain allies from both sides of the party. It happened because he never interfered with arguments and always remained in the background, making him seem like a 'peaceful' person; an advantage for Stalin. In conclusion, we can say that not only Stalin's control of the Party lead to his rise to power in 1929, but also for number of other reasons. Luck stopped Lenin's testimonial being published, Dzerzinhsky's death meant he could get control of the Cheka and his political methods were very effective as remaining neutral made him have more supporters. Although, being the General Secretary of the Party meant he could remove opposition and also add more supporters to the Party. ...read more.

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