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Stalin's Original Opposition

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        Stalin’s original opposition was started from the peasants and lower class.  They were against the idea of collectivization set by Joseph Stalin.  “Millions of peasants resisted collectivization, this created civil war in the countryside” (Lynch, 17).  They responded through vandalism everywhere, in the countryside and the cities.  “The peasants committed over 30,000 arson attacks” (Lynch, 17).  Peasants were moving all around the country, for riots or vandalism but Stalin found a way to control them.  “Peasant uprisings caused massive migration flow, Stalin reacted by installing internal passports to control flow” (Lynch, 18).  If Stalin senses any resistance towards his policies he would do whatever it took to make them step in line.  “Stalin used artificial famines to starve any resistance and force them to comply.  These Famines killed over 10 million peasants and citizens” (Spielvogel, 825).  The peasantry of the Soviet Union revolted in extreme way, but faced Stalin that was more than willing to do anything to suppress the uprising.

        Joseph Stalin overhead rumors of domestic terrorism in the Soviet Union against Stalin himself, he had various plans of action.  “He put the Decrees Against Terrorism act in place to go on the offensive towards terrorists”  (Lynch, 19).  This switched the Soviet Unions focus towards searching for terrorists and groups that went against Stalin.  “After the decrees, over 3,000 terrorists were arrested and sent to the gulags” (Lynch, 20).  A small group of terrorists labeled Trotsyites, they were on the top of Stalin’s list.  “In 1938, Bukharin, Rykov, Tomsky, and 20 others were named Trotskyite rightists.  They were tried for sabotage, spying, and conspiring to assassinate Joseph Stalin.  All we named guilty, Bukharin and Rykov were executed and Tomsky committed suicide” (Lynch, 21).  Domestic terrorists were everywhere in the Soviet Union but could not avoid Stalin and his policies.

        Stalin felt threatened from his internal politicians as he needed to completely reface the government.  War informants were most at risk as he believed they were planning a military coup against him.  “He then dismissed 11 war commisars and three war marshals from duty” (Lynch, 23).  “ He also tried 91 members of the military supreme council and 80 were executed” (Lynch, 23).  He dismissed many political leaders of various parties as he felt they were plotting to take him out of power. “He dismissed 2 prime ministers, and 80% of the party secretaries” (Lynch, 23).  Feeling threatened politically Stalin believed the only way to keep his power was to dismiss anyone that potential wanted him out of duty.

        Stalin even went after his military commanders and personnel in fear of military action against him.  Military officers were at the most risk as they had the most arrested and executed by Stalin.  “35,000 military officers were arrested and shot” (Lynch, 23).  Military commanders were not safe even though they have obtained an extremely high rank.  “14 army commander, and 93 divisional commanders were arrested and sent to the gulags” (Lynch, 23).  The army wasn’t the only branch under siege.  “Every single navy admiral was executed along with every air force commander was shot except one” (Lynch, 23).  Even though Stalin’s power came through his military influence he felt there was a lot of potential uprising through military force as he felt there was no other way to handle it besides executing of arresting any threat.

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