Stalin’s Empire Essay

1608 words - 6 pages

There are many ways to tell how a person has leadership capabilities and how stable they will be. The millions of people lost due to Stalin’s regime was a devastating blow to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union made more progress under Stalin than under any other leader of the Soviet Union at a great cost. Many of the policies enforced were meant to improve the overall standards of the people even if they were forced and instead they did the opposite and created chaos.
Vladimir IIyich Lenin was one of the biggest influences on how Stalin would come to rule the Soviet Union. “In 1922, with Lenin’s strong support, Joseph Stalin was appointed to a newly created post: general secretary (Kort 152).” After Stalin was promoted this position he began appointing loyal allies to key government positions. There was a series of purges from within the party to eliminate careerist who were there for personal advancement. This would end up playing a major role for every regime afterwards but Stalin took it to a new level by killing off anyone who he felt could beat him. Lenin then denounced him saying that he had too much power but it was too late because he died and Stalin started eliminating his competition to become the leader. “Stalin was the only Bolshevik sitting on the Central Committee, the Politburo, the Orgburo, and the Secretariat, the party’s four main power centers (Kort 152).” Lenin gave him too much power and seemed to finally notice when it eventually became too late. Trotsky and Stalin never really seemed to be friends; however, they were both friends of Lenin who helped keep them together.
With the Bolsheviks government, still being pretty new, they needed a leader that would push the people to enforce their policies for a better state. They raised, rather than lowered the goals and intensified the pressures to meet them. Stalin said,”We are bound by no laws. There are no fortresses the Bolsheviks cannot storm, (Kort 202)”That was a way of symbolizing how powerful he was and what things they were capable of. Stalin’s chaos started with the First Five-Year plan which was introduced in April 1929. This policy called for drastic increases in industrial production, heavy industry, coal, pig iron, and electricity. “If the First Five-Year Plan was anything at all, it was a propaganda piece signaling the regime’s intention to push the nation ahead at a reckless speed, regardless of the costs (Kort 201)”. Collectivization was another part of the First Five-Year Plan and consisted of forcing people to move from urban areas to collective farms to produce more agricultural products. “By March 1930, less than three months into the campaign, almost 60 percent of the Soviet Union’s peasants-about 15 million households totaling 70 million people had been driven from their homesteads into collective farms. (Kort 204).” If peasants opposed too strenuously, as many did, they were likely to be branded as kulaks who are considered prosperous or...

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