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

    which proved most worrisome to the public in 1950s was discussed in graphic detail by the committee. Frank Mort cites the evidence given by Sir John Nott-Bower to the committee as an example of the 'obsessive detail' which was considered; 'Perverts were adept at cutting holes about two inches square in the partition between the W.C cubicles.

  1. Do Great Men change the course of history? Discuss with reference to either Lenin ...

    The hope of bridging Russian backwardness and a socialist programme, through the industrial and cultural support afforded by the resources of a socialist Europe, was now unpredictably served. This would lead to internal struggle and the debate between Socialism in one country and Permanent revolution.

  2. Fidel Castro led the overthrow of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 to ...

    There is a lot of strain between the UN and Cuba on the issue of human rights. Castro feels that the UN should not interfere with the autonomy of his country, often sighting statistics of how living conditions have improved dramatically, and denying any allegations of human right breaches.

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

    war that would come to feature exterior forces such as the PLO, and the nation-states of Syria and Israel, as well as various sectarian and nationalistic groups from within Lebanon.3 The Ta'if agreement of 1989 would help see out the end of the civil war, but its negligible amendments of

  2. A history to overcome

    Recently the United Nations rated the quality of life of Aboriginal the second worst on the planet only ahead of natives from a few provinces in China (Aboriginal Health). This is obviously a major issue in the Indigenous culture. According to a study in 2004, sixty five percent of Indigenous Australians will obtain at least one long term health condition.

  1. Examine the Evolution of Soviet doctrinal thinking during the Cold War.

    Certain factors had to be established, such as what factors would influence the establishment of a common interpretation of the military affairs. Such change could be achieved through the influence of military education. A unified military school 'is a categorical, self-defined universal entity within the army of a given state.'

  2. Critical Review: A History of Postwar

    a "hero of the mightiest war ever fought and could afford to be set in his ways."5 While Pethybridge suggests that if Khrushchev wanted to hold onto his newfound power he had to embrace de-Stalinization other historians argue that Khrushchev wanted to make these changes in order to begin the

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