Russian History Essay

2356 words - 9 pages

The Soviet Union has had numerous leaders throughout it’s existence as a country. However, there are a few leaders that will forever be in Russian history books and lectures. Among those leaders who have had the largest influence on the Soviet Union are; Vladimir Lenin, Peter the Great, Alexander Kerensky, and Joseph Stalin to name a few. While all of the leaders are interesting and have influence on Russia, this research paper will specifically focus on Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin lead the Soviet Union for over 20 years and he certainly had a unique way of doing so. While Stalin did contribute to turning Russia into a world superpower, he was a murderous dictator who is among many things, responsible for millions of innocent lives, genocides, and famines.
While Stalin’s birthday is printed in different places as two different dates, Iosiph Vissarionovich Djugashvili was born on December 21, 1879 in Gori, Georgia (Montefiore 2004). Stalin was born to “illiterate peasant parents”, Vissarion and Ekaterina, and his father is said to be the cause of his ruthless soul. According to the Jewish Library, he was undeservingly beaten by his father and this was reason for him to have revengeful feelings towards everyone who had power over him (Jewish Virtual Library 2011). He eventually would chang his name to Joseph Stalin, which means “Man of Steel”. Some sources say that Lenin is referenced in his name change (stal + Lenin = Stalin) (Jewish Virtual Library 2011). When Stalin was just seven years old his face was permanently scared after he acquired a case of smallpox. Iosiph attended church school when he was young and would also do so later under the preference of his mother (Radzinsky 1996). Stalin was involved in two accidents at about the age of 12 which resulted in his left arm being permanently damaged. His mother wanted him to go to school to become a priest, he attended a Georgian Orthodox institution from which he received a scholarship. He was expelled in 1899 from the school, the reason is debatable. Some records state that he was barred because he was not able to pay for his tuition, while other documents recall that he created a Social Democratic study group and read from illegal literature. Stalin was not upset about this punishment, he never wanted to be a priest, he desired to have control. After he was expelled he joined the Democratic Workers’ Party and became a professional revolutionary (Montefiore 2004). Stalin became interested in Marxism. Marxism according to Lenin and Stalin was a very important concept. They laid heavy emphasis on the concept of Marx and Engels. They stated that “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement…The role of an advanced struggle can only be fulfilled by a Party directed by an advanced theory (Rieber 1962). Before Joseph changed his name to Stalin, he adopted the name Koba. Koba was inspired by Alexander Kazbegi’s novel The Parricide. Koba was the hero...

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