Essay on The Effectiveness of Stalin's Use of Personal Power

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From the 1920's onwards, Stalin set the stage for gaining absolute power, through a number of campaigns of repression against groups which opposed the Communist Party and Stalin himself. The use of terror became a central part to Stalin's rule during the 1930's with the launching of The Great Purges against opposition to Stalin. It can be seen that Stalin did effectively remove opposition to the exercise of his personal power until 1941 when Germany invaded Russia. The term 'purge' in Soviet political slang was an abbreviation of the expression 'purge of the party ranks.' However, Stalin's terror changed its meaning to almost certain arrest, imprisonment or even…show more content…
The main difference was the terror in the 1920's was usually applied to obvious opponents of the party; whereas the terror in the 1930's was mainly against members of the party and against people had committed no offences to be considered as opposition. Another major difference was the earlier terror had occurred under exceptional circumstances in the civil war, when Communist rule was under threat. The terror in the 1930's took place while Communist rule was firmly in place. It is necessary to make a clear distinction between 'The Purges' and 'The Terror'. The purges were the attempts to 'clean-up' the party so that unworthy party members who only joined for their own advantage were expelled. They were also attempts to ensure the party members were loyal, dedicated and active. Whereas 'The Terror' is the name given to the use of fear by Stalin to control the population and to remove his opponents. There were many attempts to clean up the Communist party in the early 19360's. In 1933 and 1934 a general purge of the party was launched where alien, unreliable and disreputable elements were expelled from the party. At the end of 1934 nearly one million members were expelled from the party and Ryutin was jailed. Also in this year a New Central Purge Commission was set up. In 1935 there was a verification of party documents
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