Lenin died in 1924, everybody expected Trotsky to take over
the leadership. Instead, Stalin schemed his way
into power, using his position as General Secretary, and a
series of ruthless political moves .
Brett on Stalin's rise to power
and Trotsky - a comparison
on Stalin vs Trotsky
E Smitha - online book VERY hard
Historiography - recent attempts to rehabilitate Stalin's
Lenin died in 1924.
Everyone thought Trotsky, the brilliant leader of the Red Army
would become leader – especially as Lenin left a Testament (will) saying
that Stalin was dangerous and should be dismissed.
But it was Stalin
Stalin was made General
Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922.
Everybody thought it was a dull, unimportant job.
Stalin used it to get his supporters into important positions.
brilliant, but nobody liked him:
they thought he was too big-headed.
Secretary Stalin told him the wrong date for
Lenin’s funeral, so he missed it – this made him more unpopular.
Trotsky also wanted to try to cause a world
revolution; many Russians feared that this would ruin Russia.
was divided into two halves.
The Leftists (Zinoviev and
Kamenev) wanted world
revolution, and to abolish the NEP, but they hated Trotsky because
they thought he was too ambitious.
The Rightists (Bukharin,
to continue the NEP until the USSR was stronger.
Stalin played one side
against the other to take power:
First, he allied with
Zinoviev and Kamenev to cover up Lenin’s Will and to get Trotsky
dismissed (1925). Trotsky went into exile (1928).
Then, he advocated ‘Socialism in one country’
(he said that the USSR should first become strong,
try to bring world revolution) and allied with the Rightists to get
Zinoviev and Kamenev dismissed (1927).
Stalin put his supporters into the Politburo.
he argued that the NEP was uncommunist, and got Bukharin, Rykov and
Tomsky dismissed (1929).
am not sure that Comrade Stalin will always use his power properly.
Trotsky, on the other hand, is distinguished by his outstanding ability.
(right) with Lenin.
Stalin was one of the people who looked after Lenin in his last
Soviet propaganda – such as this 1936 poster – portrayed Stalin as
the natural successor to the great Communist heroes Marx, Engels and
a timeline, 1919–1929, to illustrate Stalin’s rise to power.