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An Example of a Bad Bit of Coursework - Why Did Stalin Emerge as Leader of Russia in 1928?

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Why did Stalin emerge as leader of Russia in 1928?                Jack O'Meara

There were many reasons why Stalin emerged as leader of Russia in 1928, due mainly to the weaknesses of his opposition, and Stalin's success of taking advantage of those weaknesses. Stalin was a great tactician and turned many things into his advantage which is the main reason Staling emerged as leader of Russia.

     The ideological conflict was a big discussion in Russian politics in the 1920's, but Stalin's view best suited the views of the members of the communist party and of the people of Russia. Trotsky wanted permanent revolution/world revolution which was a big weakness for Trotsky as no one in Russia wanted another war as they had just come through WW1, the Russian Revolution and the Russian civil war. People just simply didn't want another war. Stalin's view was to make Russia a super power, this view was called 'Socialism in one country'. This was very appealing to the nationalists as they would love a strong Russia. This was the foreign policy argument, but there was also an economic argument. Trotsky once again made his own weakness by supporting the dictatorship of industry which was very idealistic. This view was to force the peasants to work for the Government, so the Government could then sell the grain to Europe and America. This view is very fast but peasants would hate it, and at the time peasants were about 80% of the population so this view was just not practical. Stalin shared a view with Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev, they believed the view 'Socialism at a snails pace'. This view allows peasants to own their own farms and produce what they want. Also to allow peasants to trade freely, this generates wealth. This money can then be taxed, and that money to be used to build industry. This view is very popular with the peasants but a very slow process. Once again Stalin comes out on top of Trotsky who was the clear favourite to become leader in 1924.

     Stalin also had a very strong powerbase. He was the general secretary of the Communist party, so he had the power to hire people across the whole of the Communist party. He could promote people who would vote for him, so he was in a very strong position. Stalin was also head of the Rabkrin which made him in charge of sacking and disciplining party members, so he could sack or discipline members who went against him. This makes him a very strong influence throughout the Communist party. Lastly Stalin was also the Commissar for nationalities which gives him power over non-Rusian Communists. This allows him to influence Communists from other countries. Stalin has influence over the largest area of Communists which gives him the strongest powerbase.

    Finally, the most important reason from Stalin becoming leader of Russia in 1928 was the weaknesses of the others in contention. Bukharin fell out with Lenin, which Stalin also done but Stalin managed to keep it quiet. Everyone knew about Bukharins falling out with Lenin and were not happy with it due to the majority of people supporting and respecting Lenin's ideas. Bukharin was also young at only 30, so was very inexperienced, therefore did not suit the next leader of Russia. Zinoviev's weaknesses were that he was a revolutionary coward, he made sure he was as far way from the action as possible, which the people who had risked their lives really did not respect. Zinoviev was also Jewish, and at the time there was very high anti-semetic beleifs, so that also went against Zinoviev. Lastly, Zinoviev wasn't the most intellectual or a very good public speaker, so he was not the best at persuading people to join his views. Kamenev was very similar, but slightly less of a coward and more of a better public speaker. Finally Trotsky's weaknesses were that he was very arrogant which annoyed a lot of people in the Communist party. He had also argued with Lenin for about 15 years, which turned a lot of Communists against him due to the massive amount of respect for Lenin. Trotsky was also Jewish which was once again a problem. Lastly, Trotsky was the most radical of all, this was a huge weakness as the Russian people just wanted everything to be calmed down a little after WW1, the Russian Revolution and the Russian civil war. The majority of people just wanted a calm leader who would make Russia great. This suited Stalin perfectly.

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