The Impact of Stalin on Russia and the Russian People
Joseph Stalin was born to a poor family in the province of Georgia in
1879. Stalin's real surname was Djugasvili; he adopted the name
'Stalin' whilst in prison as he felt the translation 'Man of Steel'
would help his image. Stalin joined the Bolshevik party as a young man
and soon became an active member organizing bank raids to gain money
for party funds; this led to Stalin's imprisonment a number of times.
Stalin first met Lenin in December 1905 in Finland and was quite
surprised to see him as an ordinary man unlike the person he had
imagined. In 1918 Stalin was made Commissar for Nationalities of the
Bolshevik party, then in 1922 he became General Secretary. This made
Stalin very powerful, particularly when soon after his appointment
Lenin was hospitalised to have 'Dora Kaplan's bullet' removed. The
operation was unsuccessful and left Lenin paralysed down his right
side. Joseph Stalin then became Lenin's mouthpiece. The initial
effects of this was the rise of Stalin to become the leader of the
Communist party in Russia, this then resulted in Stalin going down in
History as a brutal dictator and mass murderer.
In 1924 Lenin died and most people presumed Trotsky who had formed the
Red Army and who had been Lenin's right hand man would become Lenin's
successor. If Stalin had not been around Trotsky probably would have
become the leader of the Communist party. Stalin was seen as dull by
the intellectual elite of the Communist party and probably not very
intelligent or well educated, however, they all made a fatal mistake
in assuming that he was stupid. Stalin outmanoeuvred Trotsky by
deceiving him and misinforming him of Lenin's funeral in order that he
appear disloyal by not attending the burial of Russia's 'Father of
Communism'. Stalin was extremely ambitious and his initial taste of
power had made him even more egotistical. Trotsky fled but was hunted
down and eliminated to ensure Stalin retained power. The long term
effects of this ensured that future opponents of Stalin would also be
With Lenin dead and Trotsky eliminated Stalin realized he was now able
to concentrate on his own policies. He abandoned Lenin's idea of
'World Revolution' and adopted his own policy of 'Socialism in One
Country'. He began with state control of Industry and Agriculture.
This led to Stalin adopting his 'Five Year Plans for Industry' and
'Collectivisation of Agriculture'. An organisation called GOSPLAN was
created to plan everything out. The first five-year plan was created
to improve heavy industries production such as coal, oil, iron, steel
and electricity. The second continued to emphasise on heavy industry
but also made a commitment to communication systems such as railways.
The third put an emphasis on weapon production,...