Why Stalin was Able to Win the Power Struggle with Trotsky

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Why Stalin was Able to Win the Power Struggle with Trotsky The Bolsheviks, the ruling party of the Soviet Union, was lead by the Lenin. When Lenin died in January of 1924, he left behind no clear successor, and vague indications of his intended plans for the Bolshevik party. A power struggle for control of the party ensued, one in which many historical figures arose. Within this plethora of names, two of the most important names in Soviet history arose, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin. As the power struggle continued, the mutual antagonism grew, resulting in a life or death struggle. Eventually, Stalin was able to seize power and exile Trotsky. The reason for Stalin's success over Trotsky can be seen in their respective methodologies. Initially, the two were both long-time Marxists, in great positions of power, and both had worked closely alongside Lenin. However, where Stalin was willing to abuse his powers within the state, Trotsky refused to abuse his power. Secondly, Trotsky arose on the scene of the power struggle much earlier than Stalin, and allowed Stalin to bide his time and attack at his convenience. Finally, Stalin chose his allies wisely, and when they no longer suited his needs, was able to drop them and ruin their reputations in so doing. Trotsky however, formed uneasy alliances with other party members, ones that questioned his reputation. In the end, Stalin was in a position of great authority and command, leaving Trotsky in a position of futility. Stalin and Trotsky both had close ties to their former ruler, Lenin. Stalin, who was born in Georgia, had entered into Marxism while still a student at his seminary . Stalin quickly became one of the most prominent figures on the Georgian communist s... ... middle of paper ... ...ky then allied himself with Zinoviev and Kamenev, it further damaged his credibility, and resulted in the eventual expulsion of Trotsky. It is for these reasons that Stalin was able to so decisively win the power struggle for leadership with Trotsky. Bibliography: Bibliography Conquest, Robert. Stalin: Breaker of Nations. Phoenix Publishing Ltd.: London, 1998. Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin: A Political Biography. Oxford Press: London, 1949 Lawrence, John. A History of Russia. Penguin Books, New York, 1978 Rigby, T.H. Great Lives Observed: Stalin. Prentice Hall Ltd.: New York, 1966. Service, Robert. A History of Twentieth Century Russia. Harvard Press, New York, 1997. Stalin, Joseph. My Works. Moscow Press: Moscow, 1952-1955. Trotsky, Leon. Stalin, An Appraisal of the Man and his Influence. Wolfe Publications Ltd.: London, 1970

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