Presentation on theme: "Who were the contenders in the leadership struggle? L/O – To identify the contenders in the power struggle after Lenin’s death."— Presentation transcript:
Who were the contenders in the leadership struggle? L/O – To identify the contenders in the power struggle after Lenin’s death
Recap Between 1918-1924, the government of the USSR became increasingly centralised. This was the result of pragmatic responses to fighting the Civil War and coping with a failing economy, and the result of party ideology. Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy which was accompanied by repressive police control. The Communist Party actually controlled the government and became centralised and controlled by the Politburo. The 1921 ‘Ban of Factions’ meant that party members were less likely to challenge the party leaders. By 1924, the USSR WAS a highly centralised, one-party state.
Lenin’s Illness and Succession In May 1922, Lenin had his first stroke, which meant he became very ill and couldn’t take an active part in daily politics. Arguments continued over economic policy and the direction of the party. Leading communists began to consider what would happen when Lenin dies. The key communists were other members of the Politburo, especially Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and Stalin. Stalin was not well-known and Trotsky seemed the most likely candidate to replace Lenin.
Lenin’s Death In January 1924, Lenin died after a series of strokes. There was no obvious successor, and no mechanism had been set up for the appointment of a new leader. Stalin TrotskyKamenev ZinovievBukharin There were many who wished to take over. These included:
Lenin’s Last Testament Lenin left a letter that has become known as his Last Testament. In it, he made comments on people in the party who wanted power. An interpretation is below: Stalin TrotskyKamenev ZinovievBukharin The most capable, but too big- headed and too concerned with detail. These men opposed me when I tried to set the date for the revolution in October 1917. This was no accident and they are not to be trusted. Rude and too powerful, should be removed from his post as Party Secretary. The favourite of the party, an able thinker and planner.
Lenin’s Last Testament Stalin TrotskyKamenev ZinovievBukharin The most capable, but too big- headed and too concerned with detail. These men opposed me when I tried to set the date for the revolution in October 1917. This was no accident and they are not to be trusted. Rude and too powerful, should be removed from his post as Party Secretary. The favourite of the party, an able thinker and planner. 1.Which one of these five do you think would be the best successor to Lenin, and why? 2.Which one do you think would have been the most likely to succeed Lenin, and why?
The Left-Wing So what happened to each of these contenders for power? Who emerged as the next successors? Stage One: Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev (the left) joined together to oppose the continuation of the NEP (New Economic Policy). They formed the Left Opposition. These three wanted rapid industrialization, collective farms and the use of force to make peasants produce enough food to feed workers in the cities. This was similar to the war communism of the civil war period but was appearing to go against Lenin’s wishes just before he died.
Stalin gets rid of the left Stalin sided with Bukhurin on the right of the party. Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev were denounced as traitors to Lenin. They were expelled from the Communist Party. Why might Stalin be in a good position to manoeuvre himself into the leadership?
Stalin gets rid of the right Stage Two: Bukharin had sided with Stalin to get rid of Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamanev. He now proposed to continue with NEP for at least 20 years, because this is what Stalin had told him they should do. What will Stalin do now? In 1927, Stalin sent soldiers to arrest those who were making a profit as a result of the NEP. He called them internal enemies and said that NEP had to be abandoned. Bukharin now accused Stalin of being a tyrant. As Party Secretary, Stalin had appointed all his supporters to positions of power. Bukharin was expelled from the Party in 1929.
Stalin wins Who was left as the undisputed leader of Russia in 1929? Stalin!