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Consequences of Joseph Stalin's Leadership

Powerful Essays
Consequences of Joseph Stalin's Leadership

Stalin began his rise to power after the death of Lenin in 1924. At

this time, Russia was in social, political and economic turmoil and

suffering from ailing international relations following the revolution

of 1917 and growth of a one party communist sate. The 'uprising of the

proletariat' had occurred in a country without a recognisable working

class. In order for Russian industry to develop, the political system

needed stabilising and capital invested in the major companies. Stalin

implemented hard-line tactics to obtain this in the shortest possible

time - the consequences of this method of developing the country are

to be discussed in this essay.

The politicians of the period had to contend Stalin's ruthless quest

to become the omnipotent and unopposed ruler of Russia. The communist

system was a relatively new radical political system within Russia.

Stalin felt that the less extremist governments preceding him

(Provisional Government) had failed drastically, and that the only way

to rule such a large country, further hindered by its retarded

industrial revolution and multitude of minority nations was through

force. He considered purging any suspect opposition as a way to

establish the legitimacy of his control. In February 1929, he emerged

as the undisputed leader through the manipulation of official posts

and forcing opposition out of the Party. For instance, Zinoviev and

Kamenev (who had made up the Troika with Stalin after Lenin's death)

were imprisoned until 1936 when they were executed after the 'show

trails' for 'crimes against the Party. These public 'confessions'

tortured ...

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...ly that any form of major economic and political revolution can

occur in a country without bloodshed. Total stability of the political

system is required but annihilation of any opposition, both in the

government itself and from the public is unacceptable and unnecessary.

It is estimated that at least 30million died at the hands of Stalin -

25million from purges and repression, and about 7 million through the

easily avoidable food crisis caused by collectivisation.

Stalin feared capitalist take-over if the Soviets did not

industrialise quickly. The Soviet Union was a fully operational

developed country just 20 years after Stalin began his program.

However the simple retort to this statement is that if 30million had

to die to allow for this, then it occurred too quickly and an

alternate strategy should have been used.