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

Why is Joseph Stalin significant in history?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why is Joseph Stalin significant in history? Joseph Stalin was one of key figures in 20th century history. He transformed Russia during his time in power. In this essay, I will be discussing the life and influence of Joseph Stalin upon the Soviet Union and the world. Stalin has a long life and a long political career too. He was dictator (or comrade) of Soviet Russia from 1929 right up until his death in 1953. Stalin is a household name fifty years after his death, even though he didn't start wars like Hitler did or make such bold moves. As far as world history goes, he didn't do that much, but he transformed Russia from a minor rural country into a great and powerful industrial nation. Joseph Stalin was born in 1879 in what is now the republic of Georgia. His real name is not Stalin, he changed his name to Stalin, which means 'man of steel' in 1910. ...read more.

Middle

In the revolution of November 1917, Stalin was not seen as a great revolutionary, but more of a 'grey blur'. (Microsoft Encarta 1995) After Lenin's death in 1924, a trio of communists comprising Stalin, Zinovyev and Kamenev lead the country. However, Stalin ousted these 'rivals' by clever manipulation and by his 50th birthday in 1929, Stalin was the sole dictator in communist Russia. One of Stalin's first schemes when he came to power was the controversial collectivization program where, in an attempt to increase agricultural production, millions of peasants were uprooted and moved cross-country. Stalin's name will also live in infamy for the execution of millions of his 'enemies'. Political opposition, people who he saw as a threat and others who didn't agree with 'Stalinism' either vanished or were sent to labour camps in the far reaches of the USSR. ...read more.

Conclusion

The USSR had a 'temporary' wartime alliance with Britain and the US when fighting Germany, but when Hitler had been defeated, the alliance turned sour. The establishment of communism in virtually all eastern European countries coined the phrase 'Iron Curtain' and made the west suspicious of Stalin's aims. Stalin's view towards the western powers had always been slightly frosty, and postwar east-west relations deteriorated rapidly, in many people's view, due to Stalin's aggressive and hostile foreign policy. He was suspicious of many of the western states, especially the US and the UK. He saw capitalism as evil and aggressive. Stalin played his part in the increasing of tensions in Europe between capitalist west and communist east. His blockade of Berlin in 1948 proved he was a serious leader to deal with and the US and USSR were on the brink of war. 'His single-minded determination to prevent yet another devastating assault on the USSR from the West had much to do with the growth of the cold war' (Microsoft Encarta 1995) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1950-1999 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 University Degree 1950-1999 essays

  1. U.S. - Soviet relations.

    As Kennan perceived it, the Soviet personality was neurotic, conspiratorial, and untrustworthy. Such impressions were only reinforced when Stalin suddenly announced a nonaggression treaty with Hitler in August 1939, and later that year invaded the small, neutral state of Finland.

  2. Global and National developings resulting from the Cold War.

    This conflict of interests made the war a failure. Communist forces eventually conquered South Vietnam and the policy of containment proved to be somewhat half-hearted. The Vietnam war proved that the United States was growing unsure of itself and its policies abroad.

  1. Why was "vice" and sexual scandal a public worry in 1950s London

    The streets of the West End became a place for homosexuals to stroll, meet and search for partners covertly; Bourgeois gentlemen strolled the streets looking for partners, conventionally attired and never drawing attention. Working-class youths met on street corners and picked up middle-class "steamers"...In the perpetual flux and movement of

  2. Examine the role of Fidel Castro in East/West relations.

    This still existed in 1962, and Fidel Castro would prove a willing pawn in a move by Khrushchev to gain the upper hand in negotiations over the administration of Berlin. Prior to the events of 1962 which made up the Cuban Missile Crisis came the infamous Bay of Pigs invasion.

  1. Marred by violence, ravaged by terrorism: A brief history of (in)security in ...

    the confessional electoral system4 would not put a complete end to the sectarian strife that had plagued the country for years and indeed contained other problems that will be brought up by a critic in a later section of the paper.

  2. Does Deterrence work?

    If both were directly involved, the almost inevitable end would be an escalation to nuclear weapons. The result was firstly the increase in costs for the superpowers overall strategy. The main outcome was by using these third world countries as pawns for their war, they increased the level of technology

  1. A history to overcome

    Even the people who do own their own property, it is most likely in remote desert areas of the country. Some Indigenous communities do not own their own land; and in some cases overcrowding can occur. This is just one of the factors that can lead to health problems.

  2. A study into how much John F. Kennedy was responsible for the ...

    Essentially Kennedy was in damage control mode, but the final parts of his address made it clear that he intended to ?re-examine and reorient our forces of all kinds, our tactics and other institutions here in this community.?[42] Other institutions being the CIA and other government agencies, he confirmed they

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