Analyse the Methods Used by One Single Party State Ruler in His Successful Bid for Power

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Josef Stalin is known throughout Russia for his legendry use of terror, political manipulation and demanding policies who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals. However, the question of the legitimacy of his position as leader of the Bolshevik party still remains. Following the death of Lenin in 1924, a power vacuum developed within the Bolshevik party and it was clear that a leadership race between candidates had begun. Stalin was able to rise above men like Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev to launch into new economic policies, collectivisation and industrialisation. The main key to Stalin’s success in gaining power after Lenin’s death was held in his alignment with the former ‘hero’ of Russia, as well as his ability to plan, manipulate…show more content…
He used this information to choose certain people to fill key positions who wouldn’t oppose his policies. It created a solid mass of Stalin followers within the Bolshevik party who owed their posts to Stalin and dared not oppose him. These ‘Stalinists’ became crucial sources of support during the mass purges of the party in later years. He had control over 700 party officials and the secret police, a necessary tool to gain control over the majority of the Bolshevik party and the purges that would later follow. Through this manipulation of elements within the communist party and even before Lenin’s death, Stalin built up vast local and national bases of support. With this in mind, he could then use his power and influence to cut out any opposition. The power vacuum created by Lenin’s death gave rise for many of Stalin’s opposition to challenge his bid for power and leadership of the communist party. Leading up to Lenin’s death, Trotsky and Stalin recognised they were the two main contenders to take over the position as leader of the Bolshevik party. Stalin started a campaign to discredit the ‘ideological errors’ of his main rival for power. He rallied Kamenev and Zinoviev to isolate Trotsky, emphasising his Jewish background and disloyalty to the party as an ex-Menshevik member. Trotsky’s lack of devotion to the memory of Lenin further fuelled this anti-Trotsky movement within the party. Stalin was a master of

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