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How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008)

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Presentation on theme: "How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008)"— Presentation transcript:

1 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008)

2 The key issue is the link between Stalin and Lenin. How far…allows candidates to argue that either change or continuity was more important.

3 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008) Weak answers might describe some of Stalin’s policies without making any attempt to compare or contrast them with Lenin’s work. Focus on Stalin comment how far he adhered to or departed from the policies of Lenin.

4 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008) Stalin claimed to continue Lenin’s policies – This was necessary for any post-revolutionary leader – One of the justifications for the purge of Trotsky and his followers was that they departed from Lenin’s teachings – Stalin gained power by claiming to be Lenin’s successor although candidates can explain how he manipulated himself into power. The use of propaganda to show he was the rightful heir to Lenin. Stalin tricked Trotsky and made him missed funeral. Chief mourner of Lenin’s funeral. Made alliances to remove opposition (refer to the rise of power)

5 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008) Stalin cancelled the features of NEP that were associated with private enterprise although Lenin justified the NEP as a necessary temporary measure. – The policies of collectivisation went much further than Lenin advocated Though it provided food surpluses to get foreign exchange and support further industrial growth, this forced policy led to liquidation of kulaks and extend socialism to the countryside The use of machinery reduced the labour requirements and encouraged peasants to work in industrial plants

6 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008) Stalin’s purges were different from the methods used by Lenin. – Their scale was greater although Lenin had insisted on one-party government and the dominance of the Bolsheviks. – Show trials were regularly carried out c.f. Lenin The Great Purges 1930s – Paranoid tendencies Mistrusted everyone – To get rid of class enemies in all disguises

7 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008) Stalin’s personal role was obstructive and destructive – Ridding of ‘class enemies’ – No tolerance of religious freedom – Peasants treated as second-class citizens

8 How far did Stalin to 1939 continue the policies of Lenin? (OCT/NOV 2008) The cult of personality was more pronounced under Stalin. – Stalin as superhero through statues and paintings – Highlighted Stalin and attributed positive qualities – Pronounced from mid 1930s onwards

9 Lenin and Stalin: Elements of continuity Stalin had few ideas of his own, he merely applied those of Lenin. – This was stressed by the Soviet school under Stalin to justify policy decisions The rooting out of class enemies: there is similarity between the aims of Lenin during the civil war (to remove the old order) and those of Stalin under the first FYP (aimed at removing Nepmen and Kulaks). – The policies of the 1930s were driven by attitudes shaped by the civil war under Lenin. This has been emphasised by revisionist historians. The party should govern in the interests of the working class. – This was the stated aim of both leaders.

10 Lenin and Stalin: Elements of continuity The growth of the bureaucracy: the apparatus of the party and state had grown under Lenin, Stalin merely built on this. The use of terror: Lenin had purged political opponents as well as members of his own party. – This provided a precedent for Stalin. Stalinism grew out of the authoritarian tendencies of Bolshevism which were evident before Stalin. – Thus there is continuity with Lenin. The Bolshevik Revolution was therefore the original sin. – This view has been stressed by the liberal school who see all aspects of communism in a negative light. – Stalin merely highlighted the brutal nature of the Soviet regime. – Russian writers since the fall of communism in 1991 have often come to this conclusion.

11 Lenin and Stalin: Elements of continuity Stalin was one of a long line of Russian despotic leaders. – Thus the continuity is not just with Lenin but with long-term trends in Russian history which were also responsible for Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. – This view has been put forward by ‘Russia’s Revenge’ school in the West which sees Stalin as a ‘Red Tsar’.

12 Lenin and Stalin: Elements of change Stalin betrayed the revolution by perverting it for its own ends. – A Dictatorship of the Proletariat was turned into a personal dictatorship of Stalin. – This view was emphasised by Trotsky and his supporters Lenin’s use of terror was justified as the civil war was threatened the existence of the regime; Stalin used terror for his own ends.

13 Lenin and Stalin: Elements of change Stalin’s economic policies marked a break from the NEP. – The emphasis was now on coercion rather than compromise. – In this sense Stalin broke away from the policies of Lenin. – This was emphasised by Soviet writers in the period of Glasnost. – Supporters of the more conciliatory policies of Bukharin also emphasise this change away from the NEP

14 Lenin and Stalin: Elements of change The revolution was in danger of running into the ground by – The policies of Stalin brought about real changes which saved the revolution. – The determinist school emphasises this factor. Lenin was tolerant – within limits – of debate within the party; Stalin was intolerant of any dissent.


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