This extended essay will analyze the factors behind Stalin’s rise to power; his personal strength and abilities, personality, the weakness of his political enemies and the role of luck and opportunities. Stalin’s rise to power took place from 1922-29 and involved numerous political maneuvers and the facing of strong opposition form Old Bolsheviks.
In order to carry out a detailedanalysis of this rise to power both primary and secondary sources were used. Books such as “Russia in War and Revolution”, “Hitler and Stalin: Parallel lives” and “The Soviet Union- A documentary History” and websites such as www.marxists.org were examined and compared in order to provide a more in-depth study.
This topic was chosen because of Stalin’s importance in Russian history, and the factthat his rise shows the workings of the communist Party at this time
Word count: 137
The following extended essay will analyze the reasons behind Stalin’s rise to power. This topic was chosen because of its historical importance, as it illustrates how a strong individual can subvert a Party bureaucracy and achieve dominance over numerous, more gifted opponents.When Lenin was in power, he suffered several strokes from 1922-1923 which removed him from politics until he finally died on the 24th of January in 1924. There were many Communist leaders who wanted to seize power, but only Stalin was able to achieve this.
Before the Bolsheviks took power in 1917, the situation in Russia was chaotic. The country was ruled by Nicholas II, an autocrat who didnot allow democracy and therefore most of the peasants, which were the majority of the population (85%), were against him. The situation in Russia got worse when Russia joined the First World War, and this was the key factor for the February Revolution in 1917.
In 1914, Russia’s government decided to join the war and fight against Germany, without realizing that the German army was muchstronger, better equipped and trained. During the war, Russia suffered numerous defeats such as the Battle of Tannenberg where “over 30,000 Russians troops were killed or wounded and 90,000 captured, while Germany suffered just 20,000 casualties” and by the end of it, it lost nearly “5,000,000 men” out of 15,5 million.
As war continued, the economy of the country started tocollapse due to a lack of workers in the industries and the countryside as they were sent to fight, therefore by 1915, 300 factories had to close.
Many People had no jobs and because inflation reached 400% increasing food prices, Russians had insufficient money for living. Another problem was transport as there was not enough and the population depended on it to obtain food and rawmaterials. For that reason, 90,000 workers went on strike asking for the overthrow of the Tsar. However conflicts continued until October as Russia was still involved in the War creating discontent. On the 10th of October Lenin and the Bolsheviks, after gaining great support, seized power. When the Russian leader finally died on January 1924 a power vacuum was created as nobody knew who was goingreplace him.
Once in power, Lenin had to fight a brutal Civil War, the stress of which eventually speeded up his illness.
The factors behind Stalin’s rise to power were many and varied.
These included Stalin’s personal strengths and abilities. His proximity to Lenin was one as he could give Stalin certain power, because of the posts, that he would later use toachieve to power. What Lenin most admired from Stalin was “his ability to exert pressure” so after the Civil War, Lenin appointed Stalin as the “People’s commissar for nationalities”.
This job had been rejected by other members of the Politburo such as Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev, and so Lenin offered it to Stalin as he knew that people would found it easier to talk to him rather to the...