Free Essay

Why Did Stalin Rather Than Trotsky Emerge as Leader of the Ussr

In: Historical Events

Submitted By pepperpot1
Words 610
Pages 3
Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as leader of the USSR in 1929?
When Lenin died in 1924 there was no clear leader of the communist party. By 1929 Stalin had successfully managed to take power and begin his regime as leader. Here are the reasons to why Stalin beat Trotsky.
Firstly many members of the communist distrusted Trotsky due to his Menshevik past and didn’t see him as a true and Loyal Bolshevik. He didn’t join to Bolshevism until 1917 and this made the ‘old’ Bolsheviks suspect him. The distrust continued with his role as the commander of the Red Army and his opportunism is switching alliances against and with other colleagues like Zinoviev and Kamenev. Due to this many suspected him of becoming a dictator and they wanted to avoid this at all costs.
Furthermore Trotsky had no strong Party base and even Lenin had criticised his personal qualities in his Testament. Trotsky made no attempt to build up a power base and this was a crucial mistake as Stalin had a strong party base which enabled him to completely outmanoeuvre him. During the 1920’s when Trotsky had to confront party congress it was packed full on supporters of Stalin’s. This made it impossible for Trotsky to become popular due to Stalin using his position of General Secretary to his advantage. The position in the party administration which Stalin held was manipulated by Stalin to his advantage. It gave him enormous power over the policy and personnel of the party. He was able to place people who supported his ideas into powerful positions and this enabled him to win over congress with a majority.
Another downfall of Trotsky was his personal failings such as extreme his extreme arrogance. He saw himself as superior and he refused to accept others like Stalin as equals. This firstly made him very unpopular among other important communists but this also allowed his opponents to become more and more powerful right under his nose as they were merely dismissed by himself as being lower.
Lenin’s funeral was also key to Stalin’s success. With Trotsky already being unpopular Stalin tricked him to not turning up to Lenin’s funeral. This not only put a terrible light upon Trotsky, Stalin was able to play a huge role in the procession portraying himself as Lenin’s disciple, wanting to carry on the work of Lenin.
Another failure to Trotsky was he didn’t push himself due to his Jewish roots. He believed that there would be anti-Semitism towards him and thus didn’t push himself forward enough. This was a great downfall as other leading Bolsheviks such as Kamenev and Zinoviev were also Jewish. Trotsky’s policies such as Permanent Revolution and hard-line economic policies isolated him from some of his colleagues. Stalin supported Communism in one country which was a more reasonable and obtainable goal.
Trotsky’s personality was unpredictable and his nerves got the better of him at times, furthermore, he fell ill at critical and important moments when he needed to be healthy to further his role in becoming Communist leader. His errors of judgement were fatal including the attack on the party bureaucracy and his support for Lenin’s testament pushed Stalin Forward. If published it is probable that Stalin wouldn’t have been able to become leader due to how damaging Lenin’s comments toward him were. Trtosky prohibited the release of the papers and thus gave Stalin the opportunity to gain power.
Finally Trotsky completely underestimated Stalin just like many other leading Communist. Stalin was able to use his cunning characterises to sneakily gain the support and power needed to become leader under everyone’s noses.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Joseph Stalin

...Joseph Stalin (1879 - 1953) was not the major player of the October Revolution of 1917, however, he later grew through the ranks of the Bolshevik party and became one of the most powerful dictators that the world had ever encountered. His path to the dictator of the Soviet Union began when he was appointed to the position of the general secretary of the Communist Party in 1922. A lot of Bolsheviks criticize Stalin in the 1920s, but this did not prevent him from getting the power. Lenin was the first Bolshevik’s leader who foreshadowed Stalin’s dictatorship inclination by writing in his “Testament”: “Comrade Stalin … has concentrated an enormous power in his hand; and I am not sure that he always know how to use that power with sufficient caution.” (CP I, 64) Further in the testament Lenin suggested to remove Stalin from the post: “I propose to the comrades to find the way to remove Stalin from that position and appoint to it another man…”(CP I, 64) After the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin started to destroy his opponents. Stalin was very skillful in maneuvering around situation to make his opponents look bad. Also, he was constantly changing his theory depends on whom he needed to destroy. The first Stalin’s target was Trotsky who wrote “theory of permanent revolution” where he elaborated on his concerns that the Soviet regime, being unsupported by international revolution, was in threat of losing its social qualities. Stalin criticized Trotsky’s publication and accused...

Words: 660 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Stalin

...Single Party States Leaders Ilaria Matiassich History SL Analyze the conditions that enabled one left-wing leader to become the ruler of a single-party state. Joseph Stalin was one of the most important leaders that was at the head of the USSR. He established the political and economic structure that remained in place until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. As Bruce Pawley states, “The Politburo, the Party’s leading organ, had become his rubber stamp. Now, at last, he no longer had to play the role of a moderate”[1], Stalin was very sly and gained his position by “stabbing in the back” his rivals, of any type. Historians all agree that the conditions that enabled Stalin’s rise to power were mainly three; Stalin and Lenin’s relationship combined to Lenin’s death (1924), the unpopularity of Trotsky and ultimately his ability as persuader. Stalin success in rising to power could be mostly attributed to Lenin’s decision and to his death in 1924. In 1917, Stalin – not yet a full member of the Communist party leadership – was appointed Commissar for Nationalities. Stalin had supported the idea of gaining control in October and had been an old member of the Bolshevik Party. However, Stalin started to disagree with Lenin when he gained the title of National Commissar. Lenin alleged that republics of Russian Empire were able to clasp a communist revolution and could be trusted in joining the Soviet Union. However, Stalin had a more pragmatic view. He......

Words: 1816 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Role of Culture in the Ussr Between the October Revolution and 'Glasnost'

...Role of culture in the USSR between the October Revolution and 'Glasnost' The two most significant event in the Soviet Russia history are the Bolsheviks seizing power from the provisional government and the fall of soviet union under Gorbachev. Between this period of time the specific pattern on which leadership evolved is 'Culture'. The deep thought of social engineering brought into light by Lenin and carried out by many leaders following him. The permanent impact of this leadership was very vital on the cultural issues. While most of them wanted to strengthen the soviet regime, paved ways to the other leaders too through cultural influence. In this paper I will argue that, the use of culture throughout the period between October revolution and glasnost was to 'combine' the reformation of values ,renewal of economic system and establishment of leadership. Cultural is an essential tool to motivate the norms of behavior of the citizens. To analyze how this was done by the Bolshevik party and later on follow up leaders we need to understand the three factors associated with it. So based on this three factors I will establish logics associated with the reformation of the values using culture. Firstly, the intention of the Bolshevik party with cultural politics. The arts were a necessary component of the communist project. The Bolsheviks saw the arts as playing an important role in the creation of a truly communist society. It is clear that a progressive and ......

Words: 2224 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Why Did Stalin Emerge as the Sole Leader of Ussr by 1929?

...Why did Stalin emerge as the sole leader of USSR by 1929? One of the main reasons why Stalin emerged as sole leader was because of how he used pragmatism to manipulate Lenin’s opinion of him to suggest that he was the most favourable leader to carry on Marxism throughout Russia. This key event that secured Stalin’s public support was around the time of Lenin’s funeral. His role as general secretary gave him the ‘grey blur’ title because of his reputation of being invisible, focusing his time on important paperwork. When Lenin released his testament, Stalin used his reputation to change it, which had previously had influential and opinionated views on Stalin, and if seen by the public, would inevitably have changed the success of Stalin’s emergence to a failure at becoming leader. Lenin’s real opinion of Stalin was highly negative. He was so concerned about Stalin becoming leader that he made a plea in his testament to do anything to stop this. ‘I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead.’ As well as his view to not see him as leader, Lenin described Stalin as ‘rude’, but more importantly, favored Trotsky to be his successor in the testament, stating that he was ‘most capable’ individual to lead Russia. If it wasn’t for Stalin using his role as secretary of state to keep this document hidden, these opinions of Lenin would have influenced the public hugely, as his death alone attracted......

Words: 1139 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

'the Truth Is That Trotsky Refrained from Attacking Stalin Because He Felt

...in a shift from collective leadership in the Soviet Union to Josef Stalin emerging and establishing his position as the individual leader of the state. To the majority of the Communist Party this was an improbable development as it was thought Trotsky would succeed Lenin. Trotsky had originally affirmed allegiance to the Mensheviks after the spilt of the social democrats in 1903, nevertheless the outbreak of revolution in 1917 witnessed Trotsky joining the Bolshevik party and playing a crucial part in the communist takeover that followed. He began his time in government as the foreign commissar and was principle negotiator in the peace terms with Germany; he then became war commissar and played a vital role in the preservation of the Bolshevik regime by leading the red army to victory against the whites in the civil war. It was down to these factors that Trotsky was seen as the evident heir of Lenin. As well as this Stalin had never posed any threat, Kamenev had described Stalin as ‘a small town politician… a man with no ideas or ambitions’ . However, Trotsky and other leading politicians such as Kamenev and Zinoviev underestimated Stalin’s abilities. Trotsky especially, felt secure as the next successor to Lenin and so when opportunities arose to eradicate Stalin from the party he made the mistake of not taking hold of them. For example, Lenin’s last testament called for the removal of Stalin however Trotsky failed to publish it as he felt it would damage party unity . It......

Words: 2646 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Why Were Stalin’s Opponents Unable to Prevent Him from Becoming the Leader of the Ussr by 1929?

...Why were Stalin’s opponents unable to prevent him from becoming the leader of the USSR by 1929? The communist party was split in half during the 20’s with Trotsky and Zinoviev on the left and Bukharin on the right. Stalin however separated himself from both groups and was in the middle. Stalin knew that if he was going to succeed Lenin as supreme leader of the communist party he would have to defeat Trotsky, as he posed the largest threat to him. Trotsky was seen as the most likely successor to Lenin by members of the communist party in 1924. Trotsky was the leader of the red army during both the October revolution and the civil war; he was seen to be Lenin’s right hand man. Stalin however was seen to be in the administrative role and was described as having a dull personality. Trotsky also was an intellect and was a brilliant speaker; both qualities Stalin did not possess. Trotsky however was unpopular, he was from a wealthy Jewish family and was very arrogant resulting from his intellectual background. Trotsky did not convert from the Menshevik’s to the communists until the summer of 1917 which was seen by some as evidence of his lack of commitment to the party. ...

Words: 895 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Trotsky

...architect and first head of the USSR. History, nonetheless, as history often does has opened up a series of questions, It is generally accepted that Leon Trotsky played a greater role in organising and executing the Bolshevik revolution. Even Joseph Stalin acknowledges his major rival’s role in the events in Pravda on the 10th November, 1918, “All practical work in connection with the organisation of the uprising was done under the immediate direction of Comrade Trotsky, the President of the Petrograd Soviet...the Party is indebted primarily and principally to Comrade Trotsky...” This statement by Stalin confirms the role of Trotsky in the revolution, however Terry Brotherstone, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, argues that “The Bolshevik victory in the October Revolution would have been just as unthinkable and unrealisable without Trotsky as it would have been unthinkable and unrealisable without Lenin”. It has been suggested often that whilst Lenin was the visionary of the Bolsheviks, Trotsky was the practitioner. This is most evident in his contribution in the lead up to and during the Russian civil war, which led to the ultimate success of the Bolsheviks. Leon Trotsky had joined the Bolsheviks much later than other members of the party. During his time in London in the early nineteen hundreds, Trotsky's firm belief in Karl Marx led him to his ideology of a ‘Permanent Revolution’. This meant that at first he was opposed to Lenin, the leader of the......

Words: 3069 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Why Were Stalin's Opponents Unable to Prevent Him from Becoming the Leader of the Ussr by 1929?

...Why were Stalin's opponents unable to prevent him from becoming the leader of the USSR by 1929? Stalin and 4 other men ; Bukharin, Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev were competing to become leader of Russia after Lenin’s death in 1924. Since you couldn’t vote because it was democratic it was harder to choose become the leader of Russia. One of the reasons that his opponents were unable to prevent him from becoming leader of the USSR was Stalin used the job of General Secretary to promote peoples loyalty to him, to remove from the party people who were disloyal and to collect information on every party member. After Lenin's death he waited, allowing other Politburo members to state their preferred policies - he then ganged up on groups of them, using his alliances and his party contacts to destroy the opposition. His did this twice in the 1920s, destroying Trotsky and his supporters and Zinoviev and Kamenev and their supporters. This left him as the ruler of Russia by about 1929. Another reason is Lenin’s testament. The communist didn’t reveal what the testament said. In the testament Lenin said this about Stalin. "Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage,......

Words: 715 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Why Trotsky Did Not Become Soviet Leader 1924

...Trotsky was born Jewish, he believed he would be persecuted as Jews traditionally were in Russia. This lead to him not pushing himself far enough and not working enough to become Soviet leader. He felt he should be more in the background due to his, despite the fact that many Bolsheviks were Jewish themselves, such as Grigori Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev. He was also late to converter to Bolshevism, so many fellow Bolsheviks thought he wasn't that committed and distrusted him. Many old Bolsheviks considered Trotsky to be too much of an intellectual for their liking and was seen as arrogant, unpredictable, indecisive and inconsistent. During the Civil war it was a great victory for Trotsky as he lead the Red Army and won the war however he also fell out with Stalin. Therefore Stalin objected to Trotsky's employment of ex-tsarists officers and he disobeyed his orders. This made Stalin able to control Trotsky and get an advantage on his to become Soviet leader. Also he made no attempt to build a base of support within the party which was a big mistake when the party were fighting after Lenin’s death and it made it very difficult for Trotsky when confronting the Party Congress which was was filled with Stalin’s supporters. Another reason was that other Bolsheviks feared Trotsky, as he has links in the Red Army and may use them to form a military. They also feared him because he was foreseen as a dictator and was worried that he wanted a revolution thought the world and......

Words: 709 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Stalins Five Year Plans Made Ussr Stronger. Agree or Disagree

...s By 1941, Stalin’s Five Year Plans had made the USSR stronger. Explain why you agree or disagree with this view? (24 marks) By 1941 Stalin had used the five year plans to strengthen his position as leader of the USSR, however the society as a whole was weaker. There were both advantages and disadvantages to the three five year plans: The five year plans were disorganised, there was difficulties with managers, it created a quicksand society and living standards were deprived. It did however help to create the Stakhanovite movement, it helped to finally abolish the New Economic policy (NEP) and most importantly to revolutionise the USSR’s heavy industry. The plans determined the course of the Soviet economy from 1928 to the German invasion of 1941, when the plans achievements were tested. Throughout all three of the five-year plans it was agreed that the state decided what was produced and when it was produced however there was little idea of an ultimate goal for example senior party officials appointed and dismissed planner’s senior managers for political reasons rather political reasons than economical. The first five-year (1928-32) plan focused solely on advancing heavy industry through projects like Magnitogorsk and advancing the production of coal, steel and timber. It would achieve this through the Gosplan (the State Planning Committee) who were set up in 1921 as a forecasting agency to work out things like output and input figures for industries and their......

Words: 1212 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Why Were Stalin’s Opponents Unable to Prevent Him from Becoming Leader of the Ussr by 1929?

...Why were Stalin’s opponents unable to prevent him from becoming leader of the USSR by 1929? Within this essay question I’m going to be discussing four different factors that aided Joseph Stalin in becoming leader of the USSR by 1929. These four factors are Trotsky’s errors, errors of others, powerbases and Stalin’s own skills. Personally I believe, based on my current knowledge of all four factors, that the powerbases is going to be a highly significant factor in terms of why Stalin’s opponents were unable to prevent him becoming leader. However, the other three factors are still very important and also played a role in helping Stalin. Therefore, I will be discussing all four of the factors and what effects they had. Errors made by Leon Trotsky were some of the main reasons why Stalin was able to become leader of the USSR by 1929. After Lenin’s death in 1924 there was wide speculation that Trotsky, head of the red army would succeed Lenin. Lenin wrote a testament outlining his opinions on the head Bolsheviks, and Stalin was described as being very dangerous and should be dismissed from the party immediately. However despite this, Stalin eventually became the leader of the USSR. The reason why Trotsky was the most likely candidate to succeed Lenin was because he was very popular among young communists, this was due to his revolutionary heroism in 1905, 1917 and during the civil war, coupled with his stirring speeches. However, despite the fact that Trotsky was clearly more......

Words: 1884 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Stalin/Alexander Iii Was More Successful at Dealing with Opposition Than Any Other Ruler of Russia in the Period from 1855-1964. How Far Do You Agree with This View?

...opposition, in comparison to his previous/succeeding rulers, in this instance, comparing Stalin to the Tsars Alexander II,III and Nicholas II, and Communist Leaders Lenin and Khrushchev, over a decade of Russian history. Under Stalin, the campaign to crush opposition began almost instantaneously. Initially, this came in the form of political opponents such as Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamanev and the left. Beginning with Trotsky, Stalin seized opportunity and dominated the 12th Party Conference in 1923, after Trotsky failed to capitalise on the chance to make the principal speech, which would arguably have enabled him to emerge as the next leader of Russia. Fraught with half truths and lies was Stalin’s speech, which diminished the position of Trotsky and subsequently enhanced his own profile. A fathom of mistakes from Trotsky would follow, including accusations of factionalism, absence in various Central Committee meetings and missing Lenin’s funeral, all provided Stalin to emerge as the loyal discipline of Lenin. Subsequently, a vicious campaign from Zinoviev and Kamanev was launched against Trotsky, questioning his loyalty and raising the issue of his opposition towards Lenin prior to 1917. In response, Trotsky published ‘The Lessons of October’ in which he attacked Zinoviev and Kamanev, branding them as the instigators, belittling any responsibility from Stalin, which in hindsight was a huge mistake. Stalin merely sat back and watched the political left tear themselves apart,......

Words: 1137 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

‘a Characteristic of the Cold War (1946 – 91) Was Us Response to Ussr Challenges Rather Than Ussr Response to Us Challenges.’ Do You Agree? Justify Your View.

...1. With reference to the arms challenge by USSR, US responded by developing new military weapons and building more armaments. • After the Second World War, Stalin was determined to make his country into a super power with nuclear capacity to compete with US. In 1949, the USSR exploded her first atomic bomb and became a nuclear power. In 1957, the USSR developed Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) which could be fired from thousands miles away. • In response to the arms challenges by USSR, US responded by developing more advanced weapons than USSR and building a huge amount of them e.g. after USSR exploded the atomic bomb, US made the first hydrogen bomb. Also, after the USSR developed (ICBM) in 1957, US developed more ICBMS and warheads during 1958 -61. • To conclude, it was USSR started the arm race and this made US response by building more armaments. 2. With reference to the spread of communism in the Eastern Europe by USSR, US responded by adopting the policy of containment. • A civil war between the Greek government and the communist rebels broke out in Greece in 1946. The Soviet Satellites soon came to the aid of the rebels. Also, when Britain withdrew her troop from Greece, it left a power vacuum in the eastern Mediterranean and made Stalin turn his eye to Turkey. He even demanded a base in Dardanelles. • In response to the spread of communism the eastern Europe, the US government gave up her traditional isolation policy and made a firm stand to......

Words: 784 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

How Did Stalin Reinforce His Dictatorship in the 1930s?

...How Did Stalin Reinforce His Dictatorship in the 1930’s? During the 1930’s, Stalin engaged in a range of measures to bolster his personal control of the USSR. This included purging Russia of anyone who he considered a threat or disloyal, building a personality cult and the introduction of a new constitution for the USSR in 1936. In 1934, the use of purges were employed after the murder, most probably instructed by Stalin himself, of the leader of the Leningrad Communist Party, Kirov. The murder of Sergei Kirov was announced as part of a terrorist conspiracy involving Trotsky and was then used to arrest Zinoviev, who was given 10 years in prison, and Kamenev who received a 15 year sentence. This lead to an outbreak of purges by which anybody suspected of disloyalty was murdered, sent to prison camps, or put on public show trials at which they pleaded guilty to crimes that were not humanly possible. In reality, Kirov was most likely murdered by Stalin due to his higher levels of popularity and the incident at the 1934 part congress where he was tipped as a future leader. Kirov was also a critic of collectivisation and disagreed with Stalin’s style. The Communist party was the political party most damaged by the effects of these purges. 20% of the party was purged, accused of being “trostskyies”, and were arrested, shot or sentenced to hard labour. Stalin enforced these purges with the use of the emergency decrees, which gave him extra powers to the NKPD to pursue......

Words: 1311 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Explain Why There Was No Successor to Lenin

...Explain why there was no successor to Lenin in 1924? (12 marks) Lenin's concerns over who was to replace him were largely due to ego, he thought that noone was capable of seeing Russia's problems, or the "correct" Marxist solution as clearly as he could. Lenin's ego was the main reason why no one candidate emerged whilst he was alive. He was concerned about all the the prospective candidates, seeing such flaws in their characters that he thought none of them were suitable for the position. He outlined all of his concerns in his testament. In many ways he was right, Bolshevism was, in reality, Lenin's project, anyone who disagreed with him was either thrown out of the party, branded a Menshevik, or worse. ! Lenin's stroke in 1922, the senior Bolsheviks could not agree on an individual who had After the intellectual and moral authority to replace Lenin, so they compromised, and picked three leaders - Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoviev to rule until he either got better or died. This was made official once Lenin died. ! arguments with fMarxists went back to his early days in exile, when he disagreed with His the founders of the Russia Social Democratic Labour Party Georgi Plekhanov and Pavel Aksel'rod, this disagreement led him to form his own faction of people who followed his ideas - the Bolsheviks. ! and policy were divided among party members at all levels.The issue was the Ideology survival of the Revolution and thus,by extension,the party......

Words: 716 - Pages: 3

Mary y La Flor De La Bruja BluRay-Screeener | Aaron Eckhart | Wilson (2017)