Why Did Stalin Rather Than Trotsky Emerge As The Leader Of The Ussr After Lenin's Death?

1732 words - 7 pages

'In 1293 Stalin had been on the point of political ruin... six years later he would be in unchallenged power' (Conquest). To see how such a dramatic change, and such an unpredictable defeat of Trotsky, happen you have to look at key figure's personalities, political skill, and or mistakes. You will also have to look at the situation each figure is in, the situation of the country and the political scene in general which is holding the 'left' verses the 'right'. And lastly I will look at the effects of luck which played in his victory.'Trotsky could fire masses of men to acclaim and follow him. But he had no talent for leadership among equals' (Carr)This is a key factor of why Stalin had become dictator. Trotsky's weaknesses lead directly to his own downfall and his underestimation of Stalin is also a key part of Trotsky's arrogant nature. Trotsky was not scared to speak his mind and his overconfidence lead him to assert his point of view even if all other members didn't agree, this created an image of the most likely person to cause a split in the party. A view magnified by the fact that Trotsky only joined the party in August 1917 after defecting from the Mensheviks. Trotsky kept a lot of his Menshevik policies to hart and especially the topic of 'international revolution' heightened the distrust of Trotsky, as many did not see him as a loyal member of the Bolshevik Party. Due to his very strong views that he refused to back down from he was seen as the most likely to try and establish a dictatorshipAs well as Trotsky's inability in political intrigue he also made multiple mistakes. The fact that he did not appear at Lenin's funeral meant that many saw him as disrespectful to a leader who they were starting to idolise. This factor has been a point of discussion for many historians: some say that Trotsky was ill at the time, others claim, according to Trotsky's memoirs, that Stalin had deliberately withheld the date of the funeral. Both seem quite weak excuses, Trotsky would have to be near death himself to not be able to drag himself to funeral his entire political career balanced on. Likewise over the three days of the funeral three and a half million people showed up what did they know that Trotsky didn't? How come the rest of Russia had been notified of date of the funeral without Trotsky knowing? It all seems a little far-fetched. Another failure on Trotsky's part was his inability to get Lenin's Testament read out. Lenin in his life showed some great support for Trotsky and Trotsky did not draw upon this after his death. The Testament left by Lenin showed all the high up members of the Politburo in a bad light but none more so than Stalin. Even though it would have met mass resistance Trotsky could have still pushed for the Testament to be read out on the stand that it was by Lenin and following Lenin's last wishes. But he did not, weather it was because it had personal criticism or fear of causing splits in the party he did not.Stalin's...

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