Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the USSR in 1929?
Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the USSR in 1929? At the time of Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin’s political future was hanging by a thread. He was, in the opinion of historian Stephen Lee, ‘the least impressive of all the candidates for succession’, and Leon Trotsky was regarded as the most likely emerging leader of the USSR. However, within five years, Stalin had outmanoeuvred a series of political opponents to become the absolute leader of the Soviet State, a feat accomplished by his unscrupulous politics and propagandist actions, his facade of moderateness and temporarily centrist stance on key issues like the NEP and the spread of the Revolution, as well as exploitation of the broad power base built up by Stalin throughout his political career to manipulate majorities. However he could not have succeeded in his quest for leadership without a series of misjudgements on Trotsky’s part, such as his failure to canvas support for himself amongst the Bolshevik elite, and most crucially his underestimation of the often pragmatic but distinctly un-idealistic ‘comrade card index’. Despite not playing a key role in the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin had steadily built up his reputation in the Bolshevik party through his administrative work and holding of key positions, all enabling him to secure a strong power base with which he could
Why was the Weimar Republic so short-lived?
Why was the Weimar Republic so short-lived? The Weimar Republic entered a broken Germany in 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had plunged Germany into an economic recession and social outrage; the new government faced unpredictable political rivalry from extremist parties and its own constitution and parliamentary system could not solve the problems it faced as a result of the negativities of an overly-pure democracy. Apart from this, the Great Depression had the final say in securing Germany's (arguably inevitable) fate. The extensive £6600 million reparations payments (determined in 1921) of the Treaty of Versailles threw the Republic into a deeper state of national debt. Territorial losses on Germany's behalf meant that it was now harder than ever to cover these payments. Alsace-Lorraine - acquired by Germany in 18711 - was an economically and geographically important area of land that had trade routes leading from Germany to other European countries although the government now suffered a great loss in potential tax revenue. However in the spirit of maintaining good and peaceful international relations, the Weimar government printed money to cover the costs of each payment. This had the effect of causing hyperinflation (unsustainable inflation) making people's savings worthless. The government's ineffective ability to deal with the 'diktat'2 (as the people saw it) made
Why was the Weimar republic so short lived?
Since it's very beginning, the Weimar republic had suffered much opposition caused by a number of different reason which went against the general thoughts: it accepted the humiliating and unpopular Treaty of Versailles, the general thought of the "stab in the back" caused people to dishonor democratic governments, the parliamentary system introduced by the Weimar Republic had serious weaknesses, the political parties had no experience on operating a democratic parliament. Furthermore, the time period chosen to give birth to such Republic was not the best, as the Treaty of Versailles, together with the Depression caused people to develop extremist ideologies refusing to support the democratic Weimar Republic. Also, the rise of single- party rulers like Hitler motivated people to go against a democratic government which accepted the limitations and punishments, causing germans to rage against their nation and, as I said, develop either extreme right or extreme left ideologies. After WWI Germany was judged responsible for the damages and deaths caused by the war, the Treaty of Versailles was created to decide how to act in respect of the above statement. The Allies chose to make Germany pay for reparations and limit it's army in order to prevent a future outbreak of war. As the Weimar Republic accepted such diminishing terms of the treaty, people always associated the Republic