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

What were the Aims and Achievements of Stalins Foreign Policy between 1928 and 1941?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐What were the Aims and Achievements of Stalin?s Foreign Policy between 1928 and 1941? By 1941, Stalin?s Russia would face one of the most brutal onslaughts in her turbulent history, as a direct result of the lack of foresight and diplomatic skill of the Soviet Leader in pursuing a consistent foreign policy between 1928 and 1941. In the opinion of historian Stephen Lee, Stalinist foreign policy ?at its best was skilful, confident and effective, at its worst was blundering, uncertain and ruinous? ? it was this seeming inability to commit to a single path or principle that characterised the constant oscillation of Stalin?s preference between isolationism, cooperation with Germany, formation of a popular front with Allied Powers, dogged pursuit of collective security and the culmination of a ?dangerously naive? outlook, according to Robert Service, that resulted in the ?stunning coup?, described by Lee, that was the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. Russian international relations were in a sorry state by 1928. After unsuccessful wars and easily quelled half-hearted attempts to catalyse a World Revolution, newly established Bolshevik Leader Stalin imposed the austere domestic policies of collectivisation and rapid industrialisation, often at the price of liberty, upon the Soviets in order to become so self-sufficient that the foreign alliances in which their country was sorely lacking would become unnecessary. ...read more.


This type of about-turn movement characterised Stalin?s ability to ?bend like a reed? according to Stephen Lee in order to secure what he thought necessary for Soviet Russia; in order to please his new prospective allies, the ever-flexible Stalin even ordered a reversal in the formerly stringent policies of the Comintern in August 1935. By 1937, it seemed to Stalin that the pro-Allied attitude of his foreign minister Litvinov was having a positive effect as 1934 saw USSR?s entry into the League of Nations and pacts in 1935 with France and Czechoslovakia effectively achieved the aims of Russian foreign policy, on paper. With the formation of an Anti-Comintern pact involving Germany, Japan and Italy also by 1937, a potential war on two fronts loomed before Russia. Their treaty obligations with France and Czechoslovakia therefore assumed significant importance for their national security, because, as Litvinov orated, ?what other guarantees of security are there?? This period marked the change in Russian international attitude as it became more and more dependent on the success of collective security whilst simultaneously becoming acutely aware of its vulnerability from attacks on both borders through the strengthened relationship between Germany and Japan. ...read more.


By 1941 it was apparent that although all foreign policy aims had been pursued purely in the interests of Soviet Russia, it had not been independent of the influence of foreign power but rather wholly decided by it, and the elasticity of Stalin with ‘the power to divide and subdivide himself…depending on circumstances’ according to Service which facilitated this. An alliance was needed by Russia in order to sustain Socialism In One Country, yet to whom and on what conditions was determined by stronger countries, namely Britain and Germany. Stalin himself was too naïve in international politics, in which he only ‘took a sporadic interest’ according to Haslam, to pay close attention to the possible ramifications of the rapidly vacillating foreign policy decisions, decisions that highlighted his indifference as to whom Russia’s ally was as long as there was one, which in turn discouraged countries from negotiating with such an unscrupulous state. Instead, Stalin met his match in Hitler; the European alliance that should have secured Russia instead left it exposed and without anticipation of attack. What should have been the greatest achievement of foreign policy was without a doubt its greatest failure, and Stalin, in the words of Churchill, was ‘the most completely outwitted bungler of the Second World War’. Ciara Lally 09.05.2010 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. The Domestic Policies of Stalin

    In July 1934 however Sergei Kirov was murdered and although it is clear who murdered him, it is unclear what the motives were. One option is that it could have been Stalin, the other that the secret Police, "OGPU" which had been replaced by the "NKVD" had murdered Kirov thinking they would do Stalin a favour.

  2. How did collective security develop, in particular between WWI and WWII?

    For the first half of the 19th century, the congress system worked very well, and little disputes occurred. However, as rivalry among the nations increased through the 19th century, the nations shared less and less common interest and were busy with domestic problems due to revolutions, enabling Prussia to be

  1. To what extent was Stalin's rise to power due to his opponents' mistakes?

    The second reason as to why Stalin rose to power is based on his own political skills. One of his most important attributes was his ability to collect positions in the Party which were seemingly unimportant but which in fact gave him a lot of influence and power.

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Savage persecution. Holy League 1. Pogroms broke out in 12 cities in 1881 and 4 more in 1883. Organized by the extreme nationalist Holy League supported by Pobedonostsev among others. 2. Armed gangs burned, looted, beat, raped, and killed. Claimed to be spontaneous but were well prepared.

  1. Why did collective security fail to keep the peace between 1920 and 1935?

    They verbally reprimanded Japan and by the time a investigation into the invasion began the occupation of the Manchuria providence was complete. Japan left the League due to the fact that Britain was being hypocritical due to the fact that that was the way that Britain had gained its huge empire.

  2. To what extent were Stalins economic policies successful up to 1940?

    Petersburg and Magnitogorsk. Although the agricultural output such as grain increased sufficiently to support the industrial growth of the Soviet Union, there were a lot of failures that came along with it. One major failure of collectivization was the famine caused between 1932 and 1933.

  1. US History. To what extent were the aims of Reconstruction achieved by 1877?

    slavery was removed , therefore, in this way Reconstruction achieved its aims as slavery was now abolished in the South , and also the southern states were forced to write new states constitution, this was a success for reconstruction as this made slaves free without being again enslaved.

  2. He brought his country and his people nothing but harm. To what extent do ...

    figures that, in the opinion of Lee, ?showed collectivisation to be a disaster? as the grain harvest declines from the already modest 73.3 million tonnes in 1928 to 67.6 by 1934. By 1929, only 20% of the population had been collectivised, which prompted Stalin to use a force so harmful

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