Joseph Stalin, a dictatorial leader of the Union of the Soviet Social Republic (USSR) between the years1929-1953. Brutal terror characterized his leadership. Millions of his citizens, along with most of his rivals died during his regime. Under his leadership, the USSR grew from a society of peasants to a military super power. However, Stalin revolutionized the USSR from a society of peasant to a great industrial and military power. Stalin participated in a change movement type of criminal activities and politics at an early age (Stalin, Kaganovich, and Davies). After the death of Vladimir Lenin, a leader of the Bolshevik military wing, in 1924, Stalin took control of the party. He used his power to enforce communism and to execute most of his rivals (Wieczynski and Rhyne 286). Stalin’s economic strategy lead to great improvement, by1937, steel production had increased by 25% while the agricultural production doubled. Finally, by late 1930, Stalin had changed his country into an economic and military power. Joseph Stalin died in 1953 after suffering a stroke.
Keywords: Stalin and military
The Bolshevik took over the leadership of Russia in 1917 after the World War I. By then, Stalin was already serving in the Bolshevik party central committee. However, the state was weak as it had lost most of its territory to Germany during the war. In 1922, the creation and formation of the Soviet Union took place. Lenin became its first leader. Downey 195, suggests that by this time, Stalin had risen in rank to a strategic role as the secretary general of the Communist Party. The position enabled him to elect allies to the government and win political favors. In 1924, Vladimir Lenin died. Stalin outsmarted his rivals to take over the leadership of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union by 1928(Stalin, Kaganovich, and Davies, 186).
The Stalinist System
By the time Stalin took power, he was a follower of the Karl Marx ideology. He thus sorts to transform the Russia into a communist state. To realize this goal, Stalin employed crude methods to achieve control such as killing rivals or imprisoning those who were contrary to his ideology. Stalin built a secret police state that used lethal force to stop riots. They used surveillance to monitor calls, emails and activities of all those regarded as traitors (Stalin, Kaganovich, and Davies, 243).
In 1934, Stalin deployed a series of campaigns aimed at identifying and riding the state of traitors in the state, the military, and even the communist party. Many former Bolshevik and Communist party members have executed and others sent to labor camps for crimes against the state (Podell and Anzovin, 178). While in power Stalin controlled all the information by controlling the sources of information such as the media, and schools (Stalin, Kaganovich and Davies, 111). He influenced the information channels to spread the communist doctrine and glorify Stalin’s rule. The government controlled all schools from nurseries to universities. Any information contrary to the communist ideology or the governments rule was considered treason and many lost their jobs or lives (Stalin, Kaganovich, and Davies, 93).
The communism also aimed to either replace or inculcate the communism teaching in all doctrine. They destroyed churches and killed religious leaders. In the quest for control and power, Stalin disregarded the freedoms of his people leading to the death of almost 20 million people. However, women rights were respected with equal right in both education and job opportunities. Women were also encouraged to join active politics (Stalin, Kaganovich, and Davies, 206).
Industrial and agricultural revolution
Stalin set a high target five-year plan that sought to increase the production of coal, oil, steel and electricity. Stalin’s government had to restrict production of consumer goods to reach this target, leading to a shortage of necessities in the state. In 1928, the state started to seize private properties like land and converted them into collective states farms. Davies suggests that those who resisted giving up the land were sent to forced labor camps or killed. Production was collective by the community. Stalin’s economic strategy lead to great improvement, by1937, steel production had increased by 25% while the agricultural production doubled (Stalin, Kaganovich, and Davies, 79).
By late 1930, Stalin had transformed the Soviet Union into an economic and military power. Joseph Stalin died in 1953 after suffering a stroke (Wieczynski and Rhyne, 117). He is remembered the guy who revolutionized the USSR from a society of peasant to a great industrial and military power. Stalin got involved in revolutionary politics and criminal activities at an early age.
Auty, Robert, and Dimitri Obolensky. An Introduction to Russian Language and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977. Print.
Downey, Tony. The USSR. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. Print.
Podell, Janet, and Steven Anzovin. The Soviet Union. New York: Wilson, 1988. Print.
Stalin, Joseph, L. M Kaganovich, and R. W Davies. The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence, 1931-36. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Print.
Wieczynski, Joseph L, and George N Rhyne. The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History. Gulf Breeze, Fla.: Academic International Press, 1976. Print.
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