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Was Stalin A Neccessary Evil? Assess

1979 words - 8 pages

Joseph Stalin is undoubtedly one of the most notorious characters in history. He has been called: The greatest criminal in history and a 20th century Ivan the Terrible. He ruled as a supreme dictator and was responsible for the deaths of millions during collectivization, through slave labour camps and through grave mistakes during WW2. He isolated the Soviet Union from most of the world, keeping his people inside and keeping foreigners out. He created an entire society based purely on terror, one that no citizen could escape and finally, he created a new privileged class in Russia that exploited the rest of the population. However, all this evil did have a purpose. Stalin turned Russia from a backward mainly agricultural country to an industrial superpower. He created the worlds first and largest collectivized farming system. He also created the world's first state socialist system and probably the main thing: he successfully defended Russia from all foreign invaders. Russia was extremely vulnerable and needed somebody like Stalin to modernize her otherwise she would be crushed.To give an overview of Russia in 1930, pre-Stalin: The First World War, the revolution and the civil war had taken its toll on Russia. The country was just starting to recover and the introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) meant that workers now had incentives to work harder. Between 1918-1922, Russia had been invaded by many countries including Germany, France and Britain. The Red Army: was weak, had almost no modern equipment and lacked leadership. Over 90% of the Russian population lived on small farms. Farming was primitive and this meant Russia had no money to spend. Russian industry was concentrated in only a few cities including Leningrad and Moscow. Output was well below 1913 levels. The government was weak and the socialist dream seemed farther away than ever.If Russia was going to defend herself from invading armies she needed somebody who was truly dedicated to her survival. When Lenin died, Stalin and Trotsky were the two main contenders for leader. Stalin presented the idea of: "Socialism in one country" He argued that: Russia should come first before other countries, that Russia needs to build up her own economy so that nobody will attack her. Trotsky believed in the idea of "permanent revolution". He believed that Russia should spread communism to other parts of Europe because if she didn't, the non-communist countries would crush her. Most Russians preferred Stalin's idea because they had a strong sense of national pride and believed that they needed to fix their own country up before dealing with any others. By 1929, Stalin had removed all his political rivals to become the supreme leader of Russia.After becoming leader, Stalin then set about implementing various economic policies. His main aims were: To modernize the soviet agriculture and industrial sectors, to strengthen Russia's economy and to make Russia a socialist state where the government...

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