Essay on Stalin's Launch of the Great Terror

Essay on Stalin's Launch of the Great Terror

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Stalin's Launch of the Great Terror

The Great Terror of 1936-1938 came after a period of success, with the
completion of the First Five Year Plan and the Peasants had been
collectivised to make food for the workers in the factories. Yet there
was still opposition to Stalin's leadership inside the party from
Ryutin; Ryutin argued that Stalin should be removed from the position
of General Secretary. Stalin then called for the execution of Ryutin
(most communist did not believe in killing their own), Kirov, Stalin's
supporter and the head of Leningrad headed the majority against the
execution. This made Kirov very popular in the party and when there
was a vote in the Central Congress for the Politburo, Kirov received
more votes than Stalin - although these votes mysteriously fanished.
In 1934 Kirov was assassinated is suspicious circumstances by a young
man called Nikolaev, maybe Stalin was behind it? These were the events
leading up to the Great Terror and may have influenced Stalin in
launching it, because of the opposition showed by a few in his own
party.

Total control of the Communist Party and of Russia would have
something Stalin would have wanted, especially from 1932 onwards after
Kirov was apparently more popular in the Central Committee. This may
have worried Stalin as the people who voted for Kirov where the people
he placed there and how dare they vote against him. The Moscow Show
Trials helped create a sense of fear in Russia that gave Stalin
control over his workers completely, making them work harder and
become more productive. The show trials lasted over three years, with
three different trials. The first in 1936 w...


... middle of paper ...


... who had gone against him. So if he had
been in total control before 1936 and had not faced opposition from
Ryutin and Kirov and not been so popular with congress, the Great
Terror may not have been launched. Although he still needed a work
force and needed the workers to be more productive to ensure the
success of crash industrialisation, and he still would have held a
grudge against Trotsky, Zinoviev and Bukharin, so he probably would
have still gone ahead with the Great Terror whatever the circumstance.
Yet the two main reasons were his personality, which gave him that
ruthless streak, which demanded total control, the Great Terror was
the only way Stalin could have done this with a ruthless act that
showed everyone what he really was like and also gave him the complete
control of the workforce, army and government.

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