Stalin’s rise to power and his Key Domestic Policies

1327 Words6 Pages
At the beginning of the twentieth century Russia had been ruled by the Tsars for over

three hundred years. However, with Russia doing badly in the Great War and living

conditions in Russia were poor, in March 1917, a revolution broke out, resulting in

the abdication of the Tsar, resulting in a provisional government being formed. This

essay will look at Stalin’s rise to power and the success of his Domestic policies.

In April, Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik party returned from exile. His April thesis was

popular with the people through his communist ideology and popular slogans “All

power to the soviets” and “Peace, Bread, Land.” In November a second revolution,

organised by Trotsky overthrew the provisional
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As stated by Kuromiya:

2

“Historians have traditionally attributed the rise of Stalin to his cunning, political

manipulation and intrigue.” (Kuromiya, 2005, p70)

By 1928, Stalin had decided to modernise Soviet industry, requiring a more efficient

agricultural system. Most farms were small and used old fashioned farming methods,

with little machinery. Agriculture was producing two million tonnes less grain than

was needed, as Todd states:

“Stalin decided that 25 million individual peasant holdings should be joined into

250,000 state collected farms.” (Todd, 1998, p37)

However in 1930 a serious food shortage led Stalin to end the NEP and begin

compulsory collectivisation of agriculture. This led to much opposition and many

slaughtered their animals and destroyed their crops and heavy machinery rather

than turn them over to collectivists. This led to Stalin result to harsher methods;

many Kulaks were sent to Gulags, prison camps or were hanged. Food production

dropped sharply and several million died from famine. By 1939, 99 percent had been

collectivised, with 90 percent of the produce going to the state, with the remaining 10

percent left to the workers.

Soviet industry was limited leading Stalin to fear invasion by capitalist nations. He

saw the country as being fifty to one

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