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

Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the USSR in 1929?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the USSR in 1929? At the time of Lenin?s death in 1924, Stalin?s political future was hanging by a thread. He was, in the opinion of historian Stephen Lee, ?the least impressive of all the candidates for succession?, and Leon Trotsky was regarded as the most likely emerging leader of the USSR. However, within five years, Stalin had outmanoeuvred a series of political opponents to become the absolute leader of the Soviet State, a feat accomplished by his unscrupulous politics and propagandist actions, his facade of moderateness and temporarily centrist stance on key issues like the NEP and the spread of the Revolution, as well as exploitation of the broad power base built up by Stalin throughout his political career to manipulate majorities. However he could not have succeeded in his quest for leadership without a series of misjudgements on Trotsky?s part, such as his failure to canvas support for himself amongst the Bolshevik elite, and most crucially his underestimation of the often pragmatic but distinctly un-idealistic ?comrade card index?. Despite not playing a key role in the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin had steadily built up his reputation in the Bolshevik ...read more.

Middle

Deutscher. Stalin?s utterly unscrupulous politics extended to his abandonment of both the Triumvirate and left-wing politics to gain the support of Bukharin and the right wing with his promotion of Socialism in One Country, a policy that was too gaining support with the public. Thanks to Stalin?s control of the party built up from his power base and also due to the ban on factionalism implemented by Lenin back in 1921, Stalin was able to successfully oust rivals Zinoviev and Kamenev from power too late for them to realise his lack of principles, with Bukharin correctly stating that ?he changes his theories according to whom he needs to get rid of next?. This dramatic change of policy displayed Stalin?s pragmatic approach of supporting the most popular motion and ability to ?bend like a reed? regarding his policies overwhelming the less flexible ideals of his rivals. One of the most important examples of how Stalin?s political initiative is the role he played immediately after Lenin?s death, orchestrating the funeral into a national event and so highly praising of Lenin that he triggered the former leader?s ascension from man to Soviet god. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be evidenced through Figes? account that ?by the time Lenin came to realise this [underestimation of Stalin] it was...too late? as he had already infiltrated all areas of the Politburo and Orgburo with his supporters and was therefore already on the way to succeeding Lenin before the Bolshevik leader had even died. Trotsky was ?the one man capable of stopping Stalin? according to Figes. However, due to his failure to consolidate his own position within the party and hugely underestimating the potential threat from Stalin thanks to his wide power base, Trotsky left himself vulnerable to being ostracised from the Government and thus essentially paved the way for his opponent to become Lenin?s successor. It was his power base that was the reason Stalin emerged as the new leader of the Bolsheviks; it was his power base that enabled him to exert control over different areas of the party and manipulate party membership so as to guarantee himself majorities against his rivals, most significantly against Trotsky. As for Trotsky himself, ?lacking a power base, he could be no more than a ?prophet in exile?? according to Stephen Lee, powerless to stop Stalin succeeding as the leader of the USSR in 1929. Ciara Lally ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Comparison between Trotsky's and Lenin's role in the establishment of the USSR

    It should then let them sell the rest of their produce at free market price. The idea was simple and it promised to end popular discontent and restore grain transport to the towns. This policy would mean ending War Communism and a partial return to capitalism, a fact that didn't suit many party members.

  2. Lenin's Role in Creation of USSR

    he played a main role in defeating the whites that wanted to seize power over the Bolsheviks. And although it was Trotsky that organised and led the Red Army very efficiently, Lenin's role during the time of civil war was equally if not even more important to the part Trotsky played.

  1. Why was it possible for Stalin to become the leader of the USSR?

    past as he had formidable challenges from both "Leftists" such as Kamenev, Zinoviev and especially Trotsky who is arguably intellectually superior to him and the "Right" led by Nikolai Bukharin. Though faced challenging oppositions, Stalin still claimed his victory. This essay thus is an attempt to uncover the reasons why

  2. The USSR under Lenin

    On top of this, abortion policies were relaxed drastically. Not only did abortion become free of charge but could also be carried out simply because the mother demanded it. This made Russia the first country ever to legalise abortion on demand.

  1. How valid is the claim that in 1914 states went to war due to ...

    under threat and - if a German hegemony was established in Europe - its security might be jeopardised. Britain therefore had no choice but to declare war on Germany Liberal academics, such as G.Lowes Dickinson in 'The International Anarchy (1926)'

  2. Rise of Lenin and Stalin

    Alexander Kerensky and the Provisional Government (PG) failed to solve many of the problems faced by the Russian population e.g. the problem of land reforms. However, the most notable of events that brought down the provisional government was the Kornilov affair.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Alexander III could be seen as the reformer and Alexander II as the reactionary to a limited extent. Nicholas II 1894-1917 Personality and training 1. Did not posses the commanding character of his father or grandfather. Possessed great personal charm but hated conflict.

  2. How successful was Khrushchev as Soviet Leader?

    Censorship laws were eased slightly, allowing great literature like Alexander Solzhenitsyn?s Gulag Archipelago. However this was not the case with all books such as Dr. Zhivago as it became clear in Khrushchev?s Russia that only certain critical literature was permitted to be published; critics of Stalin.

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