How far do you agree that Stalins paranoia was the main cause of the Great Terror?

Authors Avatar by zaira (student)

How far do you agree that Stalin’s paranoia was the main cause of the Great Terror?

There were many reasons as to what caused the Great Terror for example Stalin’s paranoia, terror economics, other individuals and NKVD, threats to Stalin’s leadership and lastly the purges which had developed momentum within the society.

The Great Terror had been designed to increase the economic production but it turned out to be a disaster. Russia was still recovering and was attempting to industrialize itself in order to increase their power. When Stalin had begun the purges, he knew that he would be able to create a high reservoir for cheap labour and prison camps to obtain slave labour and bring in economy and production into Russia. An example of such a labour camp was gulags. This was a harsh labour camp set up in order to get raw materials and help with the industrialisation process. Stalin had introduced collectivisation for peasants in order to reintroduce serfdom in the countryside for all the peasants. However, his main aim for introducing collectivisation was to eliminate the wealthiest peasants known as the kulaks. By eliminating the kulaks, it therefore meant that more money was able to come into the Russian economy. Through the economic problems that Russia were facing, it allowed Stalin to blame them on his political enemies which would have cause Stalin’s paranoia and therefore allowed him to discreetly achieve his aims and increase his own reputation by seemingly trying to save Russia from the economic problems that they were experiencing.

Join now!

The next cause for the Great Terror was the threats which Stalin had to his leadership and therefore added to Stalin’s paranoia. An example of this was the congress of victors which caused fear in Stalin because during the election, Kirov had received more votes that him and hence made Kirov seem more popular within the Communist Party. This therefore led to Kirov being told to become the General Secretary by a group of old Bolsheviks which  Stalin had found out about and hence he decided to purge the communist party as he believed that he was unable to ...

This is a preview of the whole essay

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


There is some awareness of the reasons for the Great Terror and the author considers Stalin's motivations as well as briefly addressing the role of others. However, the meaning of paranoia is never fully addressed and so it is unclear in places. 3 out of 5 stars.