victoriagwenlan
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I am currently doing my A-level History Coursework (AQA) and my question is 'How Far is it to say that Stalin was the most oppressive leader in the period 1855-1953?' I've chosen Robert Service as one of my historians ( who thinks "Stalin was killer") but I can't find another historian with a contrasting view. Are there historians who strongly support Stalin?
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Archetypally
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Does it necessarily have to be a historian that fully supports Stalin? I think given what took place under his regime you are unlikely to find someone that 'supports' him or the oppression that took place given that it is sort of undeniable. I'm unfamiliar with the coursework structure, but is it feasible for you to use other historians that analyse the other leaders in 1855-1953 and their methods of censorship/oppression and use that as your contrasting argument instead?
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Darth Caedus
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(Original post by victoriagwenlan)
I am currently doing my A-level History Coursework (AQA) and my question is 'How Far is it to say that Stalin was the most oppressive leader in the period 1855-1953?' I've chosen Robert Service as one of my historians ( who thinks "Stalin was killer") but I can't find another historian with a contrasting view. Are there historians who strongly support Stalin?
You don’t have to find a historian that supports Stalin - if you can find one, then that’s fantastic as you can really criticise their arguments, but I think that’s highly unlikely! All you need to find is people who don’t think that Stalin was the most oppressive leader in that period: for example, you could find a historian who concludes that Stalin was horrendously oppressive, but that Adolf Hitler was more so.

You need to make sure that you appreciate the nuance of the question - you’re looking at how oppressive the leaders were, not anything else about their tenure! That’s a term I think you should probably define early on in your work, and then also in your final essay - it’s important to make clear what criteria you are evaluating the historians’ views on. Other things they did, such as how ethical their foreign policy was, or how they governed, are completely irrelevant. The quote you give from Service is a good one, but you need to show that this makes Stalin oppressive, and then ideally compare it to his view of another leader, as it is a competitive essay between the leaders in the period defined.

The history coursework isn’t easy, but if you can do a good job it’s very helpful for taking the stress of the exams, and is extremely interesting. Good luck!
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Nautilus
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A few years ago I watched a TV series about Russia. It was presented by Jonathan Dimbleby. It was calles Russia - A journey with Jonathan Dimbleby. The DVD is available from Amazon.

What struck me was how the general populace viewed Stalin at the time. The old lady that he interviewed thought Stalin was a great leader, and that view was widely shared. Propaganda at the time was so effective that no-one knew or thought of Stalin as the mass murderer that we know he was.

I think you need to research what the Russian population at the time thought of him.
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Compost
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He was quite fit
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...talin_1902.jpg
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victoriagwenlan
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(Original post by Archetypally)
Does it necessarily have to be a historian that fully supports Stalin? I think given what took place under his regime you are unlikely to find someone that 'supports' him or the oppression that took place given that it is sort of undeniable. I'm unfamiliar with the coursework structure, but is it feasible for you to use other historians that analyse the other leaders in 1855-1953 and their methods of censorship/oppression and use that as your contrasting argument instead?
No It doesn't have to be a historian that fully supports Stalin, I just wanted to know whether there are any to make the coursework easier.

(Original post by Darth Caedus)
You don’t have to find a historian that supports Stalin - if you can find one, then that’s fantastic as you can really criticise their arguments, but I think that’s highly unlikely! All you need to find is people who don’t think that Stalin was the most oppressive leader in that period: for example, you could find a historian who concludes that Stalin was horrendously oppressive, but that Adolf Hitler was more so.

You need to make sure that you appreciate the nuance of the question - you’re looking at how oppressive the leaders were, not anything else about their tenure! That’s a term I think you should probably define early on in your work, and then also in your final essay - it’s important to make clear what criteria you are evaluating the historians’ views on. Other things they did, such as how ethical their foreign policy was, or how they governed, are completely irrelevant. The quote you give from Service is a good one, but you need to show that this makes Stalin oppressive, and then ideally compare it to his view of another leader, as it is a competitive essay between the leaders in the period defined.

The history coursework isn’t easy, but if you can do a good job it’s very helpful for taking the stress of the exams, and is extremely interesting. Good luck!
Thank you for the advice!
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victoriagwenlan
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(Original post by Nautilus)
A few years ago I watched a TV series about Russia. It was presented by Jonathan Dimbleby. It was calles Russia - A journey with Jonathan Dimbleby. The DVD is available from Amazon.

What struck me was how the general populace viewed Stalin at the time. The old lady that he interviewed thought Stalin was a great leader, and that view was widely shared. Propaganda at the time was so effective that no-one knew or thought of Stalin as the mass murderer that we know he was.

I think you need to research what the Russian population at the time thought of him.
I'll have a look at that, thank you
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victoriagwenlan
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factss
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