Stalin's Authority Over the USSR Essay example

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Stalin's Authority Over the USSR

During the period between Lenin's death, 1924, and the end of the
'Great Purge', 1939, Stalin managed to assert personal authority over
the USSR by gaining complete control of the Communist Party and using
terror to eliminate opposition to his role as leader.

After a successful joint effort with Kamenev and Zinoviev to remove
Trotsky from the Communist Party, Stalin turned his attention towards
eliminating Kamenev and Zinoviev themselves, as they were a threat to
his influence over the party. Both had attacked Stalin's authority and
criticised the idea of having one single leader in the party.
Therefore in 1926 party meetings were held in Moscow and Leningrad and
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As Fitzpatrick states, "Like previous oppositions to
Stalin the Right was defeated by the Party machine which Stalin
controlled". By eradicating his most powerful opposition from the
party, Stalin secured his position as leader and gained almost
complete control of the Communist regime, which, in time, would lead
to the assertion of his personal authority over the USSR. This may be
seen as cunning on Stalin's part, but there is also the view that he
was simply the beneficiary of the mistakes of other leading figures of
the party as he was the only one who appeared to stick to party
policy.

Stalin's abandonment of the New Economic Policy in 1929 is another way
in which he gained control over the USSR. He did not consider the NEP
as being Communist as it allowed the peasants to "have their little
bit of capitalism" (Lenin). The policy allowed peasants to sell extra
surplus in free markets and legalized small businesses. Only industry,
transport and banking remained under State control. This was not
acceptable to Stalin who saw the NEP as unpopular and believed that
the Party should oppose private property and profit. Collectivisation,
started in 1928, was seen to be the solution to this problem as it
gave the State, and therefore Stalin, complete control…

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