The Rise of Stalin in the Soviet Union

The Rise of Stalin in the Soviet Union


Early in the 20th century, Russia had a lot of problems: government mismanagement, bad military defeats, rising inflation and food shortages. The peasantry demanded more land as the gap between the wealthy
elite and the poor masses grew wider. There were general strikes
and uprisings in the streets. The conditions were right for revolution. It came to a head on March 12, 1917, when the opponents of Tsar Nicholas II taking advantage of the unrest, forced him to abdicate the throne. One of the groups competing for power were the Bolsheviks. Formed by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, who would become known as Vladimir Lenin, the Bolsheviks were a revolutionary party that believed the working
classes would liberate themselves from the economic and political
control of the ruling class and establish a socialist
society based on equality. The rise of the Bolsheviks was rapid, in part because the provisional government that was installed until
elections were held, had postponed much-needed land reform and, against popular opinion, kept Russia in the first World War. Soviets, council elected
by workers and soldiers, started to appear in more major cities as they gained popularity. Lenin wanted to form a
parliament of these Soviets to rule Russia. The Bolsheviks would
then control the Soviets. Lenin returned from exile in
western Europe in April 1917. The Bolsheviks seized power
in the October Revolution and established the Soviet Union. When Lenin died in 1924, there was no succession
plan for a new leader. This led to an internal power struggle between Trotsky and Stalin. Trotsky was head of the
Military Revolutionary Committee and Stalin, General
Secretary of the Party. Trotsky wanted permanent world revolution and encouraged the working classes, or proletariat, around
the world to rise up. While Stalin pushed for
socialism in one country. He wanted to secure the
communist regime in Russia before looking outward. Stalin’s position as General Secretary enabled him to put supporters
in powerful party positions and he was ultimately able
to secure the leadership. Trotsky was expelled from the party and then the Soviet Union. Years later in exile in
Mexico, he was assassinated, most likely on Stalin’s orders. The Communist party sought
total control over everything: the totalitarian state. In 1927, Stalin introduced the
first Five Year Plan, designed to turn the nation
into a major industrial power within five years. Central planning by the government determined where to build
factories and what crops to grow. A policy of collectivisation meant peasants were
forced to pool their land into government-owned and -operated farms. Any resistance to the regime was dealt with brutal and deadly force. Millions of farmers were exiled
to labour camps in Siberia, or simply executed. Stalin became increasingly dictatorial, using propaganda and his secret police to terrorise the people and eliminate potential
threats within the party. In Stalin’s reign of
terror from 1929 to 1930, more than three million
people were killed. Life got progressively worse
for the average Russian as food and everyday goods
became increasingly scarce. Stalin led the Soviet Union
through the second World War. Many millions of his people were killed, but the Soviets were instrumental, along with the Allies,
in defeating Germany. Stalin remained in power until his death from a
massive heart attack in 1953.

18 Comments on "The Rise of Stalin in the Soviet Union"


  1. This video propagates lies. The Revolution of 12th March 1917 was the result of a March on International Women's Day demanding an end to the War. The Tsarist Govt collapsed a few days later. Lenin and the Bolsheviks had nothing to do with it. It was almost completely non-violent — not like here, where one sees the top of a building exploding. Why not tell the truth?
    The Bolshevik Revolution was in October 1917 (NOT March 1917)

    Reply

  2. Stalin industrialise Russia in under a few decades something that took the rest world centuries to achieve so we shouldn’t paint history black and white!

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  3. He was not even a Russian but a Georgian. I am surprised they allowed him to become the leader of the soviet union

    Reply

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