Hey everyone I have a little history problem. Im soon to take the paper "Lenin and the Establishment of Bolshevik Power 1903-1924" on OCR, and looking at a past paper I see a strange problem.
The last two questions were-
Consider the arguments for and against the claim that Stalin depended on the dictatorship already established by Lenin
How far can Trotsky's failure to succeed Lenin by accounted for by the suggestion that, unlike Stalin, Trotsky lacked the necessary character and attributes to become Lenin's heir?
The thing is the questions include Stalin and Trotsky, which is very strange as we have been taught nothing of either of them, nor are they in the specification in any way.
If anyone could help me out here it would be very appreciated.
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- Thread Starter
- 11-06-2005 22:25
- 11-06-2005 23:26
Hmm i'l have a bash but i dont know how useful any of this will be so here goes.
Q1) Consider the arguments for and against the claim that Stalin depended on the dictatorship already established by Lenin
Stalin developed what is known as a 'cult of personality' which means that basically the Russian people saw Stalin synonymous with the Party. The Party was Stalin, and Stalin was Communism. The Russian people worshipped him like a God, and he replaced the Tsar in their eyes. However he carefully created and nurtured this cult of personality and idolisation through Lenin. Even though the Communist Party was supposedly a party with a Central Committee and no dictatorship, it is very evident that Lenin was the clear leader of the Party (give examples - he was the face of Communism/had 'led' the revolution/'freeing the toiling masses'/he introduced NEP = completely contradictory to Party ideology = he lost support)
- The Communist Party was already used to having a leading centralised figure, even though it was not typically communist ideolofy = accepted Stalin more easily.
- Lenin was the focus of the populations love, and so Stalin associated himself with the legend of Lenin, so that Lenin simply became Stalin and vice versa. Again the two were synonymous. (SEEMS A SMALL POINT BUT VERY SIGNIFICANT = Stalin based himself on Lenin whom he knew the population adored.The Party wanted Communism to continue and saw the support of the population towards Stalin). Stalin controlled the propaganda and had posters created showing the apparent close relationship between himself and Lenin. Of course they were fakes.
- There were many factions within the Party that emerged after the death of Lenin = the Party was united solely by one man (Lenin).
- After Lenins death Members of the Party wanted 'Collective Leadership'
- Stalin had to play a careful game, and could not soley depend on Lenins dictatorship, there were many other factors e.g.
THE POOR OPPOSITION - right and left wing e.g. Bukharin/Trotsky/Kamenev = all made wrong/poor decisions which Stalin exploited
HATRED OF TROTSKY - the party did not want Trotsky to become dictator and so focused their attention towards him, while Stalin associated himself with Lenin in the populations eyes. The Party all believed Stalin was not threat.
NEP - Stalin supported the continuation because Lenin introduced it.
GENERAL SECRETARY - Stalin was GS from 1922 = gave him enourmous/ broad power base over policy/ personnel of the party = he placed his loyal associates in key positions.
STALIN WAS VERY CLEVER
LENIN'S TESTAMENT - he stated that Stalin should not become leader = could not be trusted.
Basically for Trotsky, he was a great orator (far better than Stalin) but that was about it, he was merely bothered about ideology. He did not participate in the faction and in fighting that occurred immediately after Lenins death in order to establish power. He was out manouevered by the clever Stalin, and tricked for example into not turning up to Lenins funeral, which lost him popularity. The rest of the Party hated him, and focused on removing him from power, hence the fact that Stalin sneaked in.
Ok after re-reading all that im sure that is gonna be no help whatsoever! Sorry! although i sympathise because i feel that the questions focus more on Stalin/Trotsky rather than Lenin i.e. the syllabus. ****** history exam writers theyre always the same tryin to catch people out,hope they burn in hell lol! anyway let me know iff u need anymore help )