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Stalin's job in Lenin's govt

general secretary from 1922 - most turned down this position - shitty but stalin saw the benefits


leadership post Lenin

collective leadership from 1924-28


pros of being general secretary

- had access to 26,000 files on members
- co-ordinated different sections of the party
- was in charge of Lenin enrolment plan - 50,000 poorly educated people joined the party - stalin could politically manipulate them
- decide agenda of meeting - not talk about things he wanted to avoid
- appointed loyal supporters to Party positions


who were Stalin's terrifying opponents

- Trotsky - v arrogant, bit of a twat, didn't bother getting supporters bc he thought inner party bickering was below him
- zinoviev - close w Lenin, good speaker - bit cocky (big in Leningrad)
- kamenev - didn't take initiative on party matters (big in Moscow)
- bukharin - 'golden boy' young so politically inexperienced
- tomsky - big in the trade unions but Lenin had reduced the power of unions
- rykov - beat Lenin as head of sovnarkom, big drinker


left opposition in party

Trotsky, Zinoviev and Karmenev
- wanted permanent revolution
- 1926 accused of forming factions & expelled from politburo and party
- Zinoviev and Karmenev allowed back in Party


right opposition 1928-29

- Bukharin, Tomsky, Rykov
- issues over the 5YPs - NEP making peasants happy and not revolt
- stalin accused bukharin of trotskyism - prev disagreements with Lenin
- Bukharin accused of forming factions - arranged meeting w tomsky and rykov = death penalty
- right removed in April 1929 - not rykov after bukharin admitted failures


Stalin's two 'instruments of terror'

- party secretary - collected info on party members
- secret police - ran the gulag and the NKVD by 1934


Chriska 1932-35

- non violent removal of party members
- 'cleansing'
- 22% of party removed as 'enemies of the people' by 1935


opposition to Stalin's early power

- 1932 - ryutin issued a highly critical document
- brutality enforced over collectivisation caused mass criticism - Ukraine
- critical of unrealistic targets of the 5YP
- 1934 - 17th Party congress put pressure on Kirov to present criticisms - got lots of support


Kirov murdered

- zinoeviev and karmenev blamed and imprisoned for long time


trail of sixteen

- zinoviev and karmenev accused of being spies of Trotsky - under pressure of NKVD
- admitted to killing kirov


trial of seventeen

- radek and pyatakov accused of being spies of Trotsky


trial of twenty one

- purge of the right
- rykov and bukharin accused of forming a trotskyite-right bloc


purges in red army in 1937 & 38

- 3/5 marshals
- 14/16 army officials shot or imprisoned
- navy lost every admiral
- stalin cut down to increase loyalty, and criticisms over collectivisation ad treatment of peasants


purges in secret police

- yagoda replaced with yezhov (bloody dwaf)
- dismissed in 1938 and imprisoned in 1939
- used as scapegoat
- secret police = lots of power, need to be loyal


Trotsky thought stalin betrayed revolution by forming dictatorship

- yes - used terror to control party, purges happened during stable time of party - suggests purges were for stalin - UNLIKE LENIN
- no - communist party was small - needed terror make sure they had control


Lenin's view on use of terror

- clearly established the message that terror was an acceptable way of dealing with opponents


difference between Lenin and Stalin's dictatorships

- Lenin = dictatorship of the proletariat
- Stalin = personal dictatorship


by the 1930s how did stalin gain more personal power

- only surviving member of 1924 politburo - met less frequently - weekly in '20s to 9 times a year by mid 30s
- power focused on subgroups outside politburo - stalin could exercise firmer control
- intimidated people in important meetings - fear of saying something disagreeable to stalin resulted in execution


limitations to Stalin's power

- stalin unable to view everything that was going on in the party
- he wanted to imprison ryutin - politburo refused and gave him 10 years in labour camp instead
- forced to accept rushed redrafted targets for second 5YP to avoid humiliation


can you say that stalinism originated from leninism

- although there were limits to Stalin's power - still significantly more control over govt than Lenin - impossible to see stalinism as result of Leninism - operated differently - secret police, personal dictatorship, fundamental ideology (socialism in one country vs permeant revolution)


stalin's power during WW2

- germany invaded russia June 1941 - all hell broke loose
- army organised by the stavka
- lots of propaganda to promote Russian nationalism - lots of people supported
- USE OF TERROR DECREASED - officials released from prison to help with war effort


Stalin's personal reaction to WW2

- seemed to have suffered from breakdown
- retired to his house - didn't come out till Molotov made him


Stalin's rule post WW2

- terror implemented back
- stalin was very ill - cult of personality showed him as v healthy but actually close to death
- beria's allies were promoted - shows Stalin's weakness - after the Mingrelian Purging in '51
- stalin could no longer control subordinates and power was declining from 1945
- stalin dies in '53


leadership of ussr post stalin

- collective leadership of beria, malenkov and Khrushchev
- beria was head of secret police - biggest threat - march 1953 he released prisoners from gulags - look better in front of people
- beria arrested under suspicion of being British spy


when did Khrushchev become first secretary

september 1953
- leader of presidium as well
- used positions to promote allies in party


how did khrushchev gain power in party

- removed half of central committee and replaced with his supporters
- by 1956 had fully out smarted his opponents


similarities between Khrushchev and Stalin's use of power

- appointed supporters in central committee - good for the 1957 crisis
- terror continued


differences between Khrushchev and Stalin's use of power

- terror didn't continue to the same extent it had AT ALL
- easily dismissed as leader
- not a dictatorship


khushchev's secret speech

1956 20th party congress - criticising stalin
- accused stalin of creating cult of personality, acting as a tyrant and using unnecessary terror, making economic mistakes
- wanted return to Leninism and de-stalinisation