Assessment objective 1

General Trotsky contributed to the success of the Bolsheviks by winning the support of the army. He did this by removing Kerensky and Kornilov. Trotsky, who was the leader of the Red Army, had overthrown the provisional government thus leading the Bolsheviks to power. On 6th November Leon Trotsky and the red guards took control of the post offices, state bank and the bridges on the evening of 7th November the red guards stormed the winter palace without much opposition.

Kornilov was not able to maintain control of the army so the army turned over to the Bolsheviks where Leon Trotsky controlled them.

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Kerensky unpopularity was shown when there were no massive demonstrations demanding the return of Kerensky and his ideas.

Trotsky was dedicated to the revolution even though many thought that this was the wrong way to change Russia. Trotsky contributed most to the Bolshevik success in February 1918. He contributed by negotiating peace with Germany. This is when the treaty of Brest-Litovsk was issued.

This treaty was a severe blow to Russia, as it took lots of land and there was a fine of 300 million gold roubles. The treaty also took 25% of the population, 27% of Russia’s farmlands, 26%of its railways and 75% of its iron ore.

“The Bolsheviks won mainly because they were disciplined and because Trotsky led the army brilliantly.”

This statement shows the importance of the army. Because without it Trotsky and the Bolsheviks would have failed.

On December 20th, Lenin and Trotsky set up the Cheka. The Cheka was a secret police that was formed to deal with spies and to capture people who were against them; this was a form of propaganda. Setting up this secret police meant that the people were controlled.

Trotsky sent instructions for requisitioning food from peasants. He got the food from force, the force was his army, and this was war communism.

Trotsky used the Red Army and the Cheka to make sure that no one in Bolshevik controlled areas co-operated with the whites. The whites were the Mensheviks. This helped the Bolsheviks stay in control; he quite often used the Red Army and the Cheka as a form of propaganda.

The army was a tool that helped them stay in power. He used this tool when the social revolutionaries won the open elections. He used the army to close down the constituent assembly and then set up a new party, this party was for the peasants, so this was like a win win situation where Lenin stayed in power all the time.

Q B:

Stalin appeared as Lenin’s successor for many reasons these are just some of the things that allowed him to appear as Lenin’s successor.

* Stalin always took on the boring jobs because he knew that if he took these he would be as powerful as Lenin would, this also meant he always had information on people.

* Stalin always tried to look like Lenin’s best friend and he never missed an opportunity to look close to him.

* Stalin told Trotsky that Lenin’s funeral would be on 26 January but it was actually on the 27 January. As a result, Trotsky came on the wrong date a Stalin looked like Lenin’s best friend and his successor.

For Trotsky did not do these things, as he was not a trickster. One thing was for Trotsky this was Lenin’s testament, in it he said:

“Comrade Trotsky is distinguished not only by his outstanding ability he is personally probably the most capable man in the present control committee; but he has displayed self-assurance and preoccupation with the purely administrative side of the work.”

However, this unfortunately was discounted, as Lenin gave criticism to all of the Bolshevik members.

However, very many people in the USSR thought that Trotsky would win. The reasons? These were the reasons:

1. Trotsky was a brilliant speaker and writer, as well as the party’s best political thinker.

2. He was the man behind the curtains, he had organised the Bolshevik revolution and he was the hero of the civil war, being the leader of the Red Army

3. He negotiated the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany.

The unfortunate thing was that Trotsky supported war communism he wanted it to spread over the world, whereas Stalin wanted war communism to stay in the USSR. This was important because the people did not want war as they had just finished fighting one. Another thing that acted against Trotsky was that he was too arrogant and made little effort to build up support from the ranks of the party, he offended senior party members but even more importantly, he did not take opposition seriously, and he was too arrogant and thought he would win any way.

People mostly did not support Trotsky because of one thing he supported war communism he wanted it to spread through the world this meant that he would have to get people to fight in wars, and perhaps lose land and loved ones.

Lenin’s testament was only ignored because Lenin wrote a book that criticised all of the Bolshevik members in the end. The testament as I have said was in Trotsky’s favour, had Lenin’s testament been taken account of Stalin would have surely no have com to power another reason why Trotsky was unable to turn up by Stalin’s deathbed was that he had gone on holiday and was extremely ill this was his misfortune.

Another reason Stalin appeared, as Stalin’s successor was that he played off his opponents against each other. He did this by siding with a pair of people and then removing the person they were against and then he turned one of the people against the other, when the second person was gone he would remove the third by siding with someone else. This is how he made sure no one took the top place.

Boring positions let him again stay in power and remove opposition without much attention. This was good because knew everything about everyone. The post of secretary for party helped him do this, this was the most boring post but it was also the most powerful one as opposed to the rest excluding Lenin’s. This post was deemed a very glamorous post to hold and Stalin knew this so he often applied for the job. Stalin only got the job because he had the know how to take up the post (as he did other more boring posts).

As secretary for party he controlled up to 60% of the USSR, he therefore had enough power as Lenin and Trotsky without being high profile or as being seen as a threat.

Q C:

All of the things that are mentioned in the cover sheet for this question are equally important as they helped Stalin stay in control, so of course they were important, but in different ways.

The purges and show trial are important as they helped eliminate enemies and opposition. An example of this is when in 1928 Stalin accused a number of engineers of the sabotage in the Donbass mining region. He accused them without much evidence, or then when a number of former Mensheviks were put on trial on charges that were obviously made up.

This period in Stalin’s rule was also known as the Red Terror. The purges originally began in 1934 when Kirov, who was the leader of Leningrad (formerly known as Petrograd until 1924) Communist Party, was murdered. This was an advantage to Stalin as he was a manipulator and used this fact (Kirov being murdered0 to start the purges. by 1937 Stalin had transported eighteen million people to labour camps and killed ten million people.

The purges caused fear amongst the people, as they knew what happened. This meant that if people did not want to end up dead they would have to make sure they never spoke out of place. This was like creating millions and millions of Stalin’s as they had to think like him or they would die.

The NKVD was the one that that arrested and exiled all of the people. People would not even be told why they were being arrested and were arrested unexpectedly; this is why it was known as the Red Terror. Not very many people were able to sleep safely at night wondering whether they would be arrested, they would often lie awake thinking of ways not to oppress the “great one.”

The secret police was called the NKVD the NKVD was controlled by none other than Stalin himself. Stalin used this secret police in the purges and as a source of propaganda. The NKVD Meant that Stalin would stay in control forever as they were the equivalent of “yes men”, they what they were told this is why the purges carried on without any problems.

The secret police had been used by all generation but had different names. It was known first as the Okhrana then the Cheka and then the OGPU (NKVD) and then NKVD this helped all of the generations stay in power.

The NKVD also controlled the cult as they monitored the art and music of Russia. Most of the plays and the poems praised Stalin directly or indirectly. The NKVD also banned any sort of religious worship, as Stalin did not want the people to have loyalty to anyone else but him.

Even education was controlled, children were taught not the way we are but under a Stalinist regime and were later sent to join the regime.

“The teacher showed us her school textbooks where the portraits of party leaders had thick pieces of paper pasted over them as one by one they fell into disgrace-this the children had to do on instructions from their teacher… with every new arrest, people went through their books and burned the works of disgraced leaders in their stoves”

Stalin’s economic plans helped because they modernised Russia as Stalin said:

“Throughout history Russia has been beaten again and again because she was backward…”

They helped produce a lot more things than they would have without the five-year plans. Not only this but by 1937 the USSR was a modern state and it was this that saved it from defeat when Hitler invaded in 1941. This was because it had enough material to make ammunition and artillery. Without these five year plans Russia would surely have lost the battle.

Though Stalin was a dictator and was widely feared it was he who helped Russia rise.