Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin
Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin.There are both similarities and differences in the characters of Leninand Stalin. Both Lenin and Stalin were quite clever and ambitiouspoliticians. Lenin came to power in 1917 as the head of the Bolshevikparty after many years of planning, and he was leader of Russia untilhis death in 1924. Stalin won the struggle with Trotsky to becomeleader of the Communist party in 1929 and remained the leader untilhis death in 1953. Both Lenin and Stalin were extremely patriotic;they loved their land and country and they tried to improve it as bestas they could. Lenin and Stalin were both ruthless leaders. Lenin usedhis secret police (the Cheka) to crush any opposition, and people werenot allowed to talk freely. Stalin used his secret police (the NKVD)to crush his opponents as well.There are also differences in the characters of Lenin and Stalin.Lenin was much more careful in his use of the Cheka and his way ofacting agains the opponents. Stalin felt more secure to use his secretpolice to crush any opposition. He even held 'Show Trials' in publicto eliminate members of the party. Lenin was maybe more popular withthe people, probably because of the Revolution. Stalin was lesspopular than Lenin, perhaps because of his cruel way of
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eliminatingopponents. Especially Stalin's period of leadership between 1928 and1936 (also called the Purges) made him very unpopular with the people.There are quite a few clear similarities in the beliefs of Lenin andStalin. For example, they both believed in State Control ofAgriculture and Industry. Lenin introduced a period of 'War Communism'to improve Russia after the war, and Stalin introduced the 'Five-YearPlans' and after that his policy of 'Collectivisation' to succeed themajor changes the Five-Year Plans had brought about. Lenin and Stalinalso believed in a One Party State and a Dictatorship and, however inanother way, they both believed in the use of the Secret Police tocrush any opposition, as said before. Another similarity is that theyboth believed in the ideas of Karl Marx, so they believed that historywas dominated by class struggle and revolution. In the end there wouldbe no need for any government.There are also differences in the beliefs of Lenin and Stalin. Leninwas prepared to compromise and to change his policies if necessary.For example, he introduced the 'New Economic Policy' in March 1921 toenable Russia to recover from 'War Communism'. Lenin knew thatsometimes sacrifices had to be made in order to succeed, but Stalindidn't. Stalin was stubborn and unwilling to change his policies or tocompromise. Lenin believed in World Revolution and hoped Communismwould spread through the world. When Stalin came to power in 1929 hechanged Lenin's ideas of 'World Revolution' into his own plans, whichbecame known as 'Socialism in One Country'.Assignment AQuestion 2) Assess the impact that Lenin had on Russia and the Russionpeople.To know why Lenin had such a big impact on Russia and its people, wefirst have to go back in history even further. We'll then find out whyLenin was successful in fulfilling his aims and ideas.Already in 1914, Russia is having trouble at home, which keeps it outof the First World War. Keeping the soldiers supplied meant thatcivilians went hungry, and although the Tsar Nicholas II took personalcommand of the army, that didn't change the fact the people turnedagainst him. Many soldiers were supporters of the revolutionaryBolshevik party, because the Tsar was unable to keep them satisfiedeither. Finally, in March 1917 Russia collapsed into revolution. TheTsar was overthrown and a new Provisional Government ruled Russia.This government promised to carry on the war, but soon found out thatneither the will or the resources were there. In November 1917 theBolsheviks, led by Lenin, took power and pulled out of the war. Thiswas very easy, because there were no massive demonstrations demandingthe return of Kerensky (the Justice Minister in the ProvisionalGovernment) and the Provisional Government was very unpopular. Lenin'spolicy is known as the 'April Theses', which can be summed up in thewords 'Peace, Bread and Land'. He introduces the New Soviet State witha one party rule. Other political parties such as the Mensheviks, theSocialist Revolutionaries and the Kadets were weakened by the arrestof their leaders and the closing down of their newspapers. This is thefirst major impact Lenin had on Russia: it is now run by atotalitarian dictatorship.The first thing Lenin did was to demand a peace treaty with Germany,who were very near the capture of Petrograd. In the treaty ofBrest-Litovsk Russia lost very much territory, but it also caused theCivil War in 1918. The Reds (as the Bolsheviks called themselves) wonfrom the Whites (as the opposition called themselves, in contrast withthe Reds), but this was at the cost of loads of human lives. Duringthe war Lenin had introduced 'War Communism', which was the statecontrol of industry and agriculture. War Communism resulted instrikes, demonstatrations and eventually famine in Russia. The firsthatred agains communism occurred, especially because of the greathunger in the towns. Lenin ordered soldiers to requisition food andseize it without payment. These were known as Requisition Squads. Thisresulted in even more hunger and distress, and even more oppositionagains the government. In the short term War Communism helped Leninwin the civil war but in the long term (the Civil War ended in 1921)it devastated the country.Lenin recognised that changes were necessary and in March 1921 heintroduced the New Economic Policy (NEP). He made agreements with thepeasants to allow them to keep or sell any food they had left afterthe government had taken a specific amount. Smaller factories weregiven back to their previous owners, and Russian economy began torecover. However, Lenin didn't live long enough to see this, and hedied in January 1924, due to several strokes.Lenin's impact on Russia and the Russian people was huge. Russia hadbeen governed by the Tsar and his family for three hundred years. WhenLenin gained power he brought about a lot of reforms he modernisedRussia to some extent. As said before, he was the one who put theideas of Karl Marx into practise, and he was the one who realised theideas of a One Party State and Communism. He led Russia through CivilWar and when NEP began to be abandoned, the ordinary Russian wasprobably better off than at any time in 1914. According to thehistorian A.J.P. Taylor: 'Lenin did more than any other politicalfigure to change the face of the twentieth century world'. However, todo this, Lenin and his Red Guards had killed thousands of opponents,which is an impact on the Russian people as well. It is clear thatRussian history would've been very different without him, and I doubtif it would be better.