Joseph Stalin: Did his Rule Benefit Russian Society and the Russian People?

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Joseph Stalin: Did his Rule Benefit Russian Society and the Russian People? In this paper I plan to prove that even though Stalin made improvements in the Russian industrial system, his rule did not benefit Russian society and the Russian people. In order to accomplish this, several questions must be asked. How did Stalin affect Russia's industrial power? How did Stalin try to change Russia's agricultural system? What changes did Stalin make in society? What were Stalin's purges, and who did they effect? Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili was born on December 21, 1879, on the southern slopes of the Caucasus mountains, in the town of Gori. His mother, Ekaterina was the daughter of a peasant who married at fifteen and who lost her first three children at birth. Vissarion, his father, was a self-employed shoemaker who had a violent temper (Marrin 6-7). Young Djugashvili was small and wiry and had a deeply pitted face from a small pox attack that nearly killed him. He also had blood poisoning in his left arm that was probably caused by Vissarion's beating fists. The arm would stiffen at the elbow joint and wither, making it lame and useless for the rest of his life (Lewis 8; Marrin 8). He was dedicated to only one person, his mother, and her only ambition was for her son to become a priest and to bless her with his own hands. But, this dream was crushed when Joseph was expelled from Tiflis Theological Seminary for reading "forbidden books" such as Marx and Lenin (Lewis 8; Marrin 20). After his expulsion from Tiflis school, Joseph became a revolutionary. He organized strikes and demonstrations at factories and also found ways to gather money for Lenin and the Bolshevik party. He was banished to Siberia six times between the years 1903 and 1917. Each time, he escaped easily, except the last, when he was released because of the February revolution (Lewis 19; Marrin 24). After the death of his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, Joseph became more cold and tough. He gave the child that his wife bore him to her parents and even chose a new name for himself, Stalin, the Man of Steel (Marrin 26). Then came the October Revolution and the rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Stalin became general secretary of the Bolshevik party's Central Committee. He was also the commissar of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate and the commissar of nationalities (McKay 927; Treadgold 205). After Lenin's, death Stalin gained power by allying himself with the moderates to fight off his rival, Leon Trotsky, who was a radical and another member of the Central

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