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'
... middle of paper ...
...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.
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