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    I'm currently studying for my AS level and was wondering if we could (anyone else doing AQA Stalin) discuss certain topics so I can really develop an opinion on them.

    Firstly:

    Why was there no obvious choice of leader after Lenin's death?
    And, why did Stalin manage to gain the leadership role?

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    Bear in mind it has been almost 3 years since I did this but I shall try.

    Lenin ****ged off the entire party. There was no clear successor. His will criticized most of the leaders of the time Stalin Trotsky ect

    Stalin managed to get the leadership role because of was seen as the "grayish blur" in the party. No one saw him as a threat. He managed to get the position of General sectary (or something like that) and this gave him a lot of behind the scenes power.

    Stalin then managed to manipulate both the left and right of the party and would switch sides as and when it suited him in key debates.

    I'll leave it at this as I am not sure about some of the things I have said as it has been awhile since I did this and may be wrong about a few things.
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    Well I agree with you, must say your knowledge is great for doing it three years ago! I hope to forget it after this year :P hoping I do well that is.

    Just out of interest what grade did you get?
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    If i remember correctly he teamed up with various other 'front runners' and let them fight against opposition while he just took the back seat. The public wanted stability and with the others fighting against each other, all Stalin had to do was stroll along and gain the publics trust.


    Stalin then basically just stirred the party around and managed to get a following behind him. And with his fear tactics there weren't going to be many people stand against him.

    He played it very very well.
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    So do you think everyone underestimated Stalin and his ability?

    Oh, and as General Secretary what powers would he have actually had that made him so powerful? As it says he was in charge of the Lenin Enrolement, but I'm not 100% sure what that was.
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    Oh yeh, he came from a really poor background so no doubt the others assumed he stood no chance at gaining leadership.

    Negged? I'm not saying that people from poor backgrounds are idiots, but to the leading members of the Bolshevik party he wouldn't have appeared as a threat.
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    (Original post by maggiewalley)
    Well I agree with you, must say your knowledge is great for doing it three years ago! I hope to forget it after this year :P hoping I do well that is.

    Just out of interest what grade did you get?
    On the Stalin paper I got a B
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    awesomes! I've got the European Reformation as my other half, which I'm a lot better at
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    Hmm.. I've got more detail than this which I can give if you want but...

    When, in 1924, the iconic leader of the Bolshevik party, Vladimir Lenin passed away he left no obvious successor. However most Soviet Communists as well as wider society believed that Leon Trotsky, the brilliant leader of the Red Army and superb intellectual would take Lenin’s place. Few gave thought to Joseph Stalin, described as a “dull grey blank” to be the successor. Yet, after a bitter five year power struggle, it was the pragmatic Stalin who had consistently outmanoeuvred his opponents and established his authority over the communist party and the USSR as a whole.

    By 1922, Stalin’s presence on many senior government committees secured him a position as General Secretary. Stalin, in this key position recorded and conveyed party policy allowing him to build up personal files on all members of the Communist party. It’s also essential to note the power Stalin had as General Secretary in terms of access to information, setting agendas and most importantly the power of patronage which gave him a vital influence over local secretariats and through them, the party congress. Stalin’s ability to place supporters in key positions inevitably meant that he could count on their support later on while he also had the ability to advance the careers of those in the communist party. Moreover Stalin’s pragmatism in policy and position as the ideological centre of the party meant that he was able to constantly adapt himself to the situation at hand unlike most of his opponents who rigidly stuck to their ideologies.

    Stalin’s cunning combined with his pragmatism gave me a vital advantage in the propaganda war after Lenin’s death when he tricked Trotsky ensuring the latter did not attend Lenin’s funeral, hereby damaging his reputation and political prestige. As head of the Red Army, Trotsky remained a major threat and so forced Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoviev to form a triumvirate with the sole purpose of defeating Trotsky. Due to Stalin’s ability to “deliver the votes” and “recommend” candidates for the Party Congress as well as Zinoviev and Kamenev’s influence in Leningrad and Moscow respectively, Trotsky was removed as Commissar for War in 1925. However Zinoviev and Kamenev’s inability to accept Stalin’s policy of socialism in one country led to the split of the triumvirate. In 1926, along with Trotsky, they formed the United Opposition while Stalin allied himself with Bukharin. With the help of the Rightists and his ever-increasing control of the party congress, Stalin was easily able to outvote the United Opposition in 1926.Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party as a result of this while Kamenev and Zinoviev had their reputations shattered and were removed as heads of the Moscow and Leningrad Communist parties. Demonstrating his pragmatism, Stalin now quickly rejected the NEP and advocated rapid industrialisation and forced collectivisation thus ending his alliance with Bukharin. Despite Bukharin’s control of the media and his insistence that Stalin was guilty of Trotskyism, Stalin was able to use some devious tactical manoeuvring to wrong foot the Rightists. For example he circulated false rumours that he was about to form an alliance with Zinoviev and Kamenev. In response Bukharin arranged a meeting with the two and was subsequently viciously attacked by Stalin who described his conduct as “treacherous” as evidence of factionalism. This combined with Stalin’s control of the party bureaucracy meant that Right was trounced beyond recovery by mid-1929. Bukharin was forced to admit his “political errors” and lost control of the Soviet Press as well as being expelled from the Politburo while Tomsky was no longer the national trade union leader. Without his position as General Secretary and subsequent power of patronage Stalin’s powerbase would have been comparatively laughable (What were his opponents’ powerbases?).

    • Stalin’s strengths: General Secretary, Socialism on one country, pragmatist, the head of the Secret Service was also on his side during the initial periods of the power struggle.
    • Opponent’s weaknesses: Trotsky: Over confident, attack on bureaucracy, Permanent revolution, radical ideas for rapid industrialisation. Zinoviev and Kamenev: Weak, uninspriring, no revolutionary heroism. Bukharin: 150% Neptist, only with doubt Marxist, support of NEP and snail pace industrialisation.
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    (Original post by maggiewalley)
    So do you think everyone underestimated Stalin and his ability?

    Oh, and as General Secretary what powers would he have actually had that made him so powerful? As it says he was in charge of the Lenin Enrolement, but I'm not 100% sure what that was.
    Being general secretary Stalin, Stalin recorded and conveyed party policy allowing him to build up personal files on all members of the Communist party.
    It’s also essential to note the power Stalin had as General Secretary in terms of access to information, setting agendas and most importantly the power of patronage which gave him a vital influence over local secretariats and through them, the party congress. Stalin’s ability to place supporters in key positions inevitably meant that he could count on their support later.

    He also had the ability to advance the careers of those in the communist party. Stalin was also head of the Central Control Commission which had the responsibility of eradicating corruption within the party. In this role Stalin had the ability to expel members who disagreed with him ideologically on trumped up charges of corruption. This gave party members more reason to obey him and increased his power of patronage.
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    (Original post by Inzamam99)
    Being general secretary Stalin, Stalin recorded and conveyed party policy allowing him to build up personal files on all members of the Communist party.
    It’s also essential to note the power Stalin had as General Secretary in terms of access to information, setting agendas and most importantly the power of patronage which gave him a vital influence over local secretariats and through them, the party congress. Stalin’s ability to place supporters in key positions inevitably meant that he could count on their support later.

    He also had the ability to advance the careers of those in the communist party. Stalin was also head of the Central Control Commission which had the responsibility of eradicating corruption within the party. In this role Stalin had the ability to expel members who disagreed with him ideologically on trumped up charges of corruption. This gave party members more reason to obey him and increased his power of patronage.
    Wow! Thank you for all that information! It really summed things up a lot better than my textbook. Are you doing AS level now ?
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    (Original post by maggiewalley)
    Wow! Thank you for all that information! It really summed things up a lot better than my textbook. Are you doing AS level now ?
    Na, I'am at uni now but Stalin's Russia was my favourite A Level topic :proud: although I'am fascinated by Russia in general. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions or need more information about this.
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    awesome! I will, thank you very much for this! My teacher isn't the best......so I may ask quite a few questions if you don't mind :P
    I'm just revising collectivisation now! Terror and Stalinism tomorrow!

    what are you doing at Uni and where ?(if you don't mind me asking!) as I'm still deciding and history was a possibility, but I'm leaning towards Philosophy now...
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    (Original post by Swell)
    Oh yeh, he came from a really poor background so no doubt the others assumed he stood no chance at gaining leadership.

    Negged? I'm not saying that people from poor backgrounds are idiots, but to the leading members of the Bolshevik party he wouldn't have appeared as a threat.
    Sorry buddy was a mistake, will rectify asap
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    (Original post by maggiewalley)
    awesome! I will, thank you very much for this! My teacher isn't the best......so I may ask quite a few questions if you don't mind :P
    I'm just revising collectivisation now! Terror and Stalinism tomorrow!

    what are you doing at Uni and where ?(if you don't mind me asking!) as I'm still deciding and history was a possibility, but I'm leaning towards Philosophy now...
    Well I'am not actually doing History at the moment although I got an A* and would have loved to have done it but I come from a very traditional Pakistani family and you know... :rolleyes:

    Doing Accounting and Finance at the moment mate but I'am thinking about doing one or two additional history modules in addition to the course.

    Yeah no problem mate, I adore Stalin's terror :dance:
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    (Original post by Inzamam99)
    Well I'am not actually doing History at the moment although I got an A* and would have loved to have done it but I come from a very traditional Pakistani family and you know... :rolleyes:

    Doing Accounting and Finance at the moment mate but I'am thinking about doing one or two additional history modules in addition to the course.

    Yeah no problem mate, I adore Stalin's terror :dance:
    Wow! An A*! That is brilliant! At least you are having some history modules.
    Thanks again, may ask more questions soon!
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    (Original post by Inzamam99)
    Sorry buddy was a mistake, will rectify asap
    Haha no worries.
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    Lenin's funeral and the controversy over Trotsky's not attending. The powerful assocaite Stalin made with himself to Lenin was perhaps as important as his sharpshooting as General Sec.
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    (Original post by marshymarsh)
    Lenin's funeral and the controversy over Trotsky's not attending. The powerful assocaite Stalin made with himself to Lenin was perhaps as important as his sharpshooting as General Sec.
    two questions,
    Why didn't Trotsky attend again? and what was the Lenin Enrolement ?
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    Just to add as everyone has the main bulk.

    Everyone seen trotsky as a front runner because of his inspiring and influence he had in speeches. Stalin was leader as trotsky was a former menshevik and had only joined the party in 1918.
    So others did not trust . Lenins decree said stalin shouldn't become leader and also be removed as general sec
 
 
 
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