IB, Paper 1: USSR under Stalin, 1924-1941. Analysis of sources.

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Beatrice Ferro

Paper 1: The USSR under Stalin, 1924 to 1941


a) According to source A, Stalin's advantages over his rivals gave him the power of patronage. He had the right to choose any individual to take an important position in the party and government. He also could place his own supporters in key positions. Stalin was always able to out-vote his enemies in various committees. He also had the privilege to fire those who did not support him.

b) The message that is being communicated in source D is that of Stalin being a great supporter for Lenin. His position shows how he is assisting Lenin and backing him up. This protection that Stalin is showing in source D also wants to convey the fact the he wishes to be as close to Lenin as possible.


        In Sources A and C, we can find some of Stalin's methods to weaken his oppositions. Both sources talk about Stalin wanting to isolate his rivals. We can see this in source A where it says: “individuals who opposed him...he could always out-vote them”. Source C also says that “the Trotskyites and the right opportunists were politically isolated”. Source A and C both agree that Stalin went against those who opposed Lenin. Source A supports this view as it says that “the party had undertaken the 'Lenin Enrolment' ”, and source D also says that the Party went against those who followed the “anti-Leninist theses”.

        As I mentioned before Stalin had the power to out-vote his oppositions but, source C does not talk about Stalin's ability to use the support of the Party; where in source A it does. Another contrasting point is that source A says that the General Secretary was set up, this allowed Stalin to place his supporters in power: “they provided the General Secretary”. In source C it says that “the party was able to awaken and organise the working masses...to build socialism”. This shows that Stalin was gaining popularity outside the party as well by also increasing its support; this is not seen in source A.

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        The origin of source B come from an interview with Nadezhda Joffe during the late 1990's and talk about other politician's view of Stalin. The purpose of this source is to show why Stalin in the end had little opposition for him becoming the General Secretary of the Party. The value of this source is that Joffe had a good understanding of what was going on in politics, as her father was a close friend of Trotsky. She provides evidence of political rivalry as she gives examples of which politician disagreed in giving another man the role of ...

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