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Stalin’s 1924-1941 Detailed Content Review. Mr. Bacon Everything you need to know about Stalin to help with Paper 2 (except Cold War – that’s a different ppt). Russia Background. Russia had been ruled by the Romanov dynasty for 300 years

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Stalin s 1924 1941 detailed content review

Stalin’s 1924-1941Detailed Content Review

Mr. Bacon

Everything you need to know about Stalin to help with Paper 2 (except Cold War – that’s a different ppt)

Russia background
Russia Background

  • Russia had been ruled by the Romanov dynasty for 300 years

  • Russia was huge, was composed of 50 different nationalities, and was ‘backward’ in many ways compared to the rest of Europe

  • Russia only started to industrialize in the 1890s

  • Russian agriculture was very unproductive and the poverty of the peasants led to a number of rebellions (1905 Bloody Sunday for example)

  • Nicholas II calls the first Duma (parliament)

  • This pleased the middle class liberals, but not the two revolutionary parties – Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats

Russia background cont
Russia Background cont.

  • Socialist Revolutionaries – were working for a peasant revolution

  • Social Democrats – wanted an industrial workers revolution – and split into the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in 1903

    • Bolsheviks were more radical, Mensheviks were more conservative

  • 1916, the Duma informs Nicholas they no longer have confidence in him

  • Nicholas II abdicates in Feb 1917 – result of military and economic disasters in WWI

    • Russians were no match for the Germans and suffered huge losses

    • Prices soared

    • Riots broke out and the government lost control in Petrograd

  • Russia becomes a republic, run by the Provisional Govt.

  • Lenin returns from exile in April 1917

  • Provisional Govt continues WWI

    • Military defeats increase

    • Price inflation worsens

  • The Bolsheviks seize power in October 1917

  • Russia background cont1
    Russia Background cont.

    • Lenin and the Bolsheviks fight the Civil War with the Mensheviks from 1918 – 1921

    • Lenin signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918 to end WWI

    • The Bolsheviks (Communists in 1918) defeat the Mensheviks, Trotsky proves to be a great leader

    • Civil War results:

      • Economy was in ruins (war communism)

      • 5 million die in the famine of 1921

    • Lenin begins the NEP – limited capitalism (suggested by Trotsky)

      • Some private ownership of factories

      • Peasant farmers pay 10% tax and keep any profits

    • Lenin suffers strokes, writes his Testament, and dies in 1924

    • Who will lead the Soviet Union?

    Stalin s leadership struggle
    Stalin’s Leadership Struggle

    • What were Stalin’s strengths?

      • Able and conscientious administrator – nicknamed “comrade card-index”

      • Held a range of influential posts – Commissar for Nationalities, member of Orgburo (organization of party) and Politburo (top decision-making body in the party) and in 1922 General Secretary of the Party

      • He used his positions to promote friends and demote enemies, and as party got larger, it became more centralized which allowed him to wield huge influence over it

    Stalin s leadership struggle1
    Stalin’s Leadership Struggle

    • Stalin’s rivals’ weaknesses?

      • No one could rival his influence in the Party

      • Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev all underestimated him

      • Kamenev and Zinoviev were weak because they had not supported the Oct Rev

      • Trotsky did not have a power base within the party, was seen as arrogant, and suffered poor health

    Stalin s leadership struggle2
    Stalin’s Leadership Struggle

    • How did divisions in the Party benefit Stalin?

      • Stalin exploited rivalries within the party – i.e. Zinoviev and Kamenev resented Trotsky

      • Division over an economic plan in the 1920s

        • Left Communists – Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev

          • Opposed the NEP – growth was too slow, unacceptable compromise with capitalism

          • Favored collectivization of agric and rapid industrialization

          • Supported “permanent revolution” – worldwide communist revolution

        • Right Communists – Bukharin, Rykov, Tomsky

          • Thought NEP was successful

          • Needed to coax peasants into cooperating with the state

          • Supported “socialism in one country” – worry about communism in Soviet Union foremost

    Round 1 stalin allies with kamenev and zinoviev against trotsky
    Round 1 : Stalin allies with Kamenev and Zinoviev against Trotsky

    • Lenin died in 1924

    • Stalin purposefully appeared to be chief mourner at funeral – it helped that Trotsky was not there

    • Stalin helped create the Cult of Lenin – embalmed Lenin and put him on display

    • He then aggressively sought to stake his claim as Lenin’s heir

    • Even up to 1925, Kamenev and Zinoviev were prepared to work with Stalin to prevent Trotsky from becoming leader

    • This helped Stalin weather Lenin’s Testament which was particularly harsh on him

    • Kamenev and Zinoviev persuade the Central Committee not to publish Lenin’s Testament

    • Trotsky is forced to resign as War Commissar in Jan 1925

    Round 2 stalin eliminates the left
    Round 2: Stalin eliminates the Left Trotsky

    • By Dec 1925, Kamenev and Zinoviev attacked the NEP and Socialism in One Country

    • Stalin realized that the majority of the party still supported the relative peace and prosperity of NEP, and economic recovery attained pre-war levels

    • So Communist Party overwhelmingly endorsed Stalin’s policies

    Round 2 cont
    Round 2 cont. Trotsky

    • From 1926 on, Kamenev and Zinoviev joined Trotsky against Stalin

    • Stalin had become so popular though that they were isolated and were all removed from the Politburo in 1926

    • This helped the Right – Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, who all supported the NEP

    • In late 1927, Kamenev, Zinoviev and Trotsky were all expelled from the Party.

    • Four of Stalin’s allies join the Politburo, including Molotov, in 1926

    • This demonstrates Stalin’s ability to pack the party with his own supporters

    Round 3 stalin eliminates the right
    Round 3 Stalin eliminates the Right Trotsky

    • By late 1927, many were beginning to question the NEP

      • Industrial growth had stagnated

      • State could not secure enough grain to feed cities and towns

      • State cut grain prices in half to save money and this reduced the farmers’ incentives to produce

    • Stalin used this opportunity to turn on the Right, go against the NEP, and favor rapid industrialization and collectivization

    • Stalin killed two birds with one stone – get rid of Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, and implement Socialist economic policies he actually believed in

    Round 3 cont
    Round 3 cont. Trotsky

    • The Right (mainly Bukharin) advocated coaxing farmers into producing more grain by raising prices

    • Stalin resorted to forcing grain requisitioning in the winter of 1927-28

    • The grain procurement crisis worsened, and rationing was introduced in Moscow and Leningrad (formerly Petrograd)

    • Majority of the Party supported Stalin over Bukharin

    • By April 1929, the first Five Year Plan was voted for (it had actually started in 1928 - ending private factory ownership)

    • In December 1929 forced collectivization started

    • Bukharin was removed from the Politburo in 1929, Rykov and Tomsky were removed in 1930

    Collectivization Trotsky

    • What were Stalin’s aims and motives?

      • State should acquire greater control over the harvest

      • This was the answer to the grain procurement crisis of 1927-28

      • The state was mainly to blame for having dropped grain prices – lowering incentives for farmers

      • USSR had to import grain and introduce bread rationing in early 1929

      • Collectivization was seen as essential for providing additional resources and manpower required for rapid industrialization

      • Needed to mechanize agriculture to create surplus to feed the cities and export to generate capital

      • Few peasants belonged to the Party, so relationships were strained. OGPU units were attached to collectives, giving the party greater control

    How was collectivization carried out
    How was Collectivization carried out? Trotsky

    • 120 million peasants had lived on 25 million farms. These were consolidated to 240,000 collectives (kolkhoz)

    • Forced collectivization soon created resistance

    • December 1929 - Stalin announces the “liquidation of kulaks as a class”

    • Rebellion was serious but did not last long

    • Many people left farms and went into factories

    • Most rebellion involved slaughtering livestock (50% of cattle, 50% of horses, and 65% of sheep) or burning fields – all this took years to recover from

    • Stalin’s concessions – peasants could keep small plots of land and some animals. Peasants living outside collectives were given inferior land

    Results of collectivization
    Results of Collectivization Trotsky

    • By 1935, 90% of arable land was collectivized

    • Productivity did not increase significantly

      • Harvests fell in early/mid 1930s

      • By 1940, production was only 7% higher than 1928

      • Framers had little incentive to improve productivity

        • Seemed to them to be a return to serfdom

      • State grain procurements rose dramatically though

        • 1928 – 14% of grain production

        • 1931 – 26%

        • 1933 – 39.5%

    • 1933-34 Famine +/- 6 million people died (5 million in Ukraine alone

      • But grain continued to be exported (2 million tons in both 1933 and 1934)

    • Estimated that 6.5 million kulaks were killed

    • Food was rationed from 1929 to 1935

    Industrialization and the five year plans 1928 1941
    Industrialization and the Five Year Plans, 1928-1941 Trotsky

    • What were Stalin’s aims?

      • 1931 speech – to catch up to the West in 10 years

      • Wanted to protect USSR from hostile capitalist invasion

      • Doubts about NEP continued to increase

      • By 1926, NEP recovered production to pre-WWI levels, but rose slowly from 1926-28

      • USSR was way behind Germany, GB, USA, etc

      • The Left Communists advocated leaving NEP in favor of rapid industrialization

    How was industrialization implemented
    How was Industrialization implemented? Trotsky

    • 3 five year plans 1928-1941

      • 1928-1932

      • 1933-1937

      • 1938-1941 (interrupted by Hitler’s invasion of USSR)

    • Gosplan – state planning agency for industrialization

    • Emphasis on heavy industry (goal = 110% increase)

    • NEP ended as well as all private ownership

    • Total control over urban workforce started – internal passports were implemented to prevent movement from one factory to another

    • Millions of peasants were removed from land and sent to cities, also women were recruited

      • Urban population increased from 27 million to 57 million from 1928-1941

    How was industrialization implemented1
    How was Industrialization implemented? Trotsky

    • Grain taken from collectives and exported to earn foreign currency to buy machinery and hire technicians

      • Taxes were also raised

      • Living standards fell 50% from 1928-1939

    • Most new factories located east of Urals – harder to reach in case of attack, and closer to mineral resources

    • Incentives and Propaganda

      • Stakhanovite movement to reach targets

      • Many gave up holidays to work on projects

      • Skilled workers received higher pay as reward

    • Failed to meet target:

      • Risk of arrest, imprisonment in Gulag

      • +/- 100,000 prisoners died building Belomor Canal

    Results of industrialization
    Results of Industrialization? Trotsky

    • Succeeded in expanding output

      • Western historians believe +/- 7 to 14%

      • USSR overtook most Western countries except USA

    • Many historians argue that without the plans, the USSR would not have survived Hitler’s invasion in 1941

    • Major redistribution of population from countryside to city

    • Huge increase in literacy rates – went from 51% to 81%

    • But was the cost too high????????????????????

    Costs of industrialization
    Costs of Industrialization Trotsky

    • Success was not even – 1st plan had mistakes and was not completed, 2nd was more successful but was disrupted by effects of purges, etc

    • Targets were quantitative, not qualitative – products were manufactured for speed, not quality

    • Obsession with HUGE projects that were badly conceived and executed and many proved to be of little value

    • Centralized planning and fear of punishment stifled creativity and initiative

    • Living standards fell, real wages fell, serious over-crowding in cities and towns

    • Shortage of consumer goods

    • Historians are divided over whether USSR could have caught up with the West without Stalin’s brutal methods. There was opposition to the methods, but this probably explains the Great Terror in the mid 1930s

    Rearmament Trotsky

    • From 1937, Stalin massively expands the military in response to Hitler’s rearmament program

      • In 1936 – army was 940,000

      • In June 1941 – army was 5 million

      • But had a hard time with finding / training good leadership (purges had affected military too)

    • Red Army fought well against the Japanese in July 1939 on Manchurian-Mongolian border, but fought poorly against the Finns in Nov 1939 trying to push them back away from Leningrad

    • Russia had more tanks than Germany, but their condition was not as good

    • When Germany attacked in 1941, most of the Red Army was still not trained very well and had little experience

    How did ussr respond to the german invasion of june 1941
    How did USSR respond to the German invasion of June 1941? Trotsky

    • Generally not prepared

    • Failed to respond to German troop buildups on the borders

      • Stalin had wanted to delay war as long as possible, so he didn’t want to antagonize Hitler

    • German blitzkrieg made rapid advances into USSR

    • By the end of 1941, 3 million Russian troops were captured and Moscow was saved only by a severe winter, an over-confident Hitler, and a brilliant counter-attack by Marshal Zhukov with fresh troops from Siberia (Stalin was no longer worried about Japanese attack in the Eastern territories)

    Soviet state and constitution
    Soviet State and Constitution Trotsky

    • At all levels, key posts in state institutions were monopolized by the Communist Party

    • The top decision-making body of the Party was the Politburo

    • Below the Politburo was the Central Committee, which was elected by the Party Congress

    • 1924 Constitution created the USSR – a federation of 4 Republics, each with its own Republic Governments, and 16 autonomous republics which had less self-governing powers than the republics

      • But the Union (Moscow) controlled all important matters like economy and foreign policy

    Stalin and the soviet state
    Stalin and the Soviet State Trotsky

    • Stalin increased the power of the Party over the state institutions, while also acquiring greater personal control over the Party

    • He used the secret police (NKVD), gulags, censorship, propaganda and the Purges of 1934 onward to create his dictatorship

    • By the late 1930s, there was an estimated 3 million in prison camps

    1936 stalin constitution
    1936 “Stalin Constitution” Trotsky

    • Introduced during the Show Trials and Purges, and was in force until 1977 and Brezhnev

    • On paper, it made the USSR very democratic

    • Increased number of Republics to 11

    • New legislative body called the Supreme Soviet

      • Elections were held by secret ballot and all Russians over 18 could vote

      • But only one person was nominated for each position, so you had no real choice

      • Two houses – Soviet of the Union (based on population) and Soviet of the Nationalities (25 members for each Republic and 11 for each autonomous republic)

      • But it only met for a few days each year and had no real power – was just a rubber stamp

    • In essence, the Constitution was to convince the rest of the world that the USSR was a democracy

    The extent of stalin s power
    The Extent of Stalin’s Power Trotsky

    • Traditionalists

      • Stalin’s dictatorship was the most efficient and ruthless of the 20th century

      • Lenin had destroyed Russia’s old system, whereas Hitler functioned within the old system

      • Stalin was thus able to exert greater personal control over government and the people than Hitler or Mussolini

    • Revisionists

      • Question the “efficiency” of his dictatorship, not necessarily that it was the most ruthless

      • The size of the Soviet Union undermined Stalin’s ability to control his policies

      • Both the Purges and Collectivization went beyond his initial expectations as local officials interpreted and implemented their instructions differently than intended

    Stalin s cult of personality
    Stalin’s Cult of Personality Trotsky

    • The “cult” really started with his 50th birthday in 1929

    • Pravda spent 5 days listing the thousands of organizations that sent Stalin greetings

    • Official biography – “the most outstanding continuer of Lenin’s cause and his most devoted disciple”

    • Even former opponents, like Bukharin, joined in his praise in the mid 1930s (fearful of purges)

    • Artists and writers were expected to promote his image

    • History books were rewritten to show Stalin as the key figure in the October Revolution (he wasn’t even there!) and Civil War

    Society and culture
    Society and Culture Trotsky

    • Religion

      • October 1917 Bolsheviks confiscate all Church lands

      • During the Civil War Orthodox priests tended to support the Whites, so they were killed or arrested

      • 1926 Communist Party created The League of Militant Atheists (official state non-religion)

      • Orthodox Christians continued to be persecuted

      • Decree of 1929 banned churches from any activities other than church services

      • 1936 Constitution allowed some small churches to remain open so Stalin could claim religious freedom

      • In 1930s 90% of mosques were closed down

    Society and culture1
    Society and Culture Trotsky

    • Education

      • 1913 only 40% of Russians were literate

      • By 1926 70 % and by 1939 - 94% were literate

      • People’s Commissariat for Enlightenment sought to increase educational opportunities for workers

      • Reforms:

        • Examinations and uniforms were abolished in 20s

        • Expanded vocational and technical training at the expense of more academic courses

        • 1930s exams and uniforms reintroduced

        • In 1930 all children had to have minimum of 4 years primary education, by 1939 it was 7 years

    Society and culture2
    Society and Culture Trotsky

    • Youth Movements

      • Communist Party sought to mobilize young people and help them become committed Communists

      • 14-18 year-olds were recruited into Komsomol (Young Communist League)

      • 9-14 year-olds joined the All-Union Lenin Pioneer Organization

      • Younger children belonged to the Little Octobrists

    Society and culture3
    Society and Culture Trotsky

    • The Arts

      • In the 1920s, some artists were free to experiment with new genres like Futurism and Modernism

      • More abstract art forms were disapproved as Stalin saw art solely in propaganda terms

      • In the 1930s, artists had to conform to ‘Socialist Realism’

        • Art, music and writing had to glorify the 5 Year Plans and Stalin

      • Andrei Zhdanov was put in charge of the Union of Soviet Writers which attacked art that explored any kind of individualism

    Society and culture4
    Society and Culture Trotsky

    • Family Life

      • After the 1917 Revolutions divorce was made easier and abortion was legalized (women were declared as equal)

      • But Stalin later adopted a more traditional approach to family life:

        • 1936 abortion is made illegal

        • Divorce is harder to get

        • Women were encouraged to have a large family AND work in factories

          • At least daycare was provided!

    Stalin s purges
    Stalin’s Purges Trotsky

    • Late 1934, Stalin issued a decree giving the NKVD extensive powers dealing with terrorists (investigations could not last longer than 10 days, no lawyers at trials)

      • Several thousand party members arrested in Leningrad

    • Show Trials

      • 1936 Kamenev, Zinoviev and 14 others convicted of treason and executed

      • 1937 17 more arrested, convicted and executed

      • Stalin purged the leading generals of the military and by 1938, two-thirds of Red Army senior officers had been arrested or shot

      • 1938 Bukharin and Rykov among others

      • 1939 NKVD boss Yezhov arrested and replaced by Beria

        • This was the end of mass arrests and arrest quotas

        • Millions remained in gulags though

      • Trotsky was murdered in Mexico in 1940

    Impact of the purges
    Impact of the Purges Trotsky

    • 1934 – there were 2.8 million party members

    • 1939 – 1 million had been expelled (60% executed)

    • Late 1930s - +/- 3 million in labor camps

    • Red Army purge meant lack of leadership by 1941 and Hitler’s invasion

    • Arrest of thousands of engineers and managers undermined the success of the Five Year Plans (particularly 1933-37)

    Stalin s foreign policy
    Stalin’s Foreign Policy Trotsky

    • Background

      • Most foreign countries broke off relations with Russia when Bolsheviks seized power (some even fought against the Reds i.e. G. Britain)

      • Comintern was established to promote world-wide revolution and organize communist parties in all countries

      • USSR needed foreign capital after the Civil War

      • G. Britain recognized USSR in 1924, USA in 1933

      • USSR joined League of Nations in 1934

      • USSR and Germany sign Treaty of Rapallo after WWI – increased trade and secretly allowed Germans to make and test weapons (forbidden by Treaty of Versailles)

      • USSR gave Guomindang military help in Chinese Civil War in the 1920’s which eventually backfired in 1927

    Stalin was afraid of hitler
    Stalin was afraid of Hitler Trotsky

    • It was no secret that Hitler was anti-communist

    • Stalin tried to persuade western countries that the USSR was not bent on world revolution and would be a valuable ally against Germany

    • 1934 USSR joined League of Nations

    • 1935 Treaty with France and Czech. – promised support to Czech if Germany attacked

    • Comintern ordered Europe’s communist parties to assist other socialist parties in combating the spread of Fascism

    • 1936-39 USSR gave military aid to the Republicans in Spain, but Franco’s Nationalists (Fascists) won the Civil War

    Stalin s foreign policy1
    Stalin’s Foreign Policy Trotsky

    • 1938 Munich Conference – GB, France, Italy, Germany

    • The Sudetenland (Czech.) is turned over to Germany to avoid conflict (appeasement)

    • USSR was not even invited and was upset since they had a treaty with Czech.

    • Stalin believed GB and France were encouraging Germany to attack USSR to weaken both of them

    • So Stalin stuns Europe and signs the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany

    Stalin s foreign policy2
    Stalin’s Foreign Policy Trotsky

    • Nazi-Soviet Pact, August 1939

      • Why?

        • To give Stalin time to continue rearming

        • To keep Hitler busy with France and G Britain

        • To extend USSR territory and influence in E. Europe

      • Contents?

        • Poland divided between Germany and USSR

        • Germany allows USSR to conquer Bessarabia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and part of Finland

      • Results?

        • Sept 1939 – Germany invades Poland from the west and USSR from the east (Poland surrendered by late October)

        • G Britain and France declare war on Germany in Sept

    Nazi soviet pact cont
    Nazi-Soviet Pact cont Trotsky

    • Results? cont

      • Winter 1939-40 – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were occupied by the Red Army. USSR demands land from Finland which led to war (USSR barely defeated a smaller Finn army) and USSR was expelled from the League of Nations

    • When did the Pact end?

      • June 1941 Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR

      • Stalin had tried desperately to avoid conflict with Hitler, continuing to supply Hitler with vital war supplies

      • Stalin even ignored intelligence reports of an impending invasion

    Ussr and the far east 1938 1941
    USSR and the Far East 1938-1941 Trotsky

    • Armed clashes with Japan in Outer Mongolia

    • Non-Aggression Pact signed in April 1941 – Japan looks south to expand toward colonies of G Britain, France, the Netherlands and USA

    • Stalin was relieved that he would not have to fight a war on two fronts


    Congratulations! Trotsky

    You now know basically everything you might need to do well on Paper 2 for Stalin, except Cold War stuff, but that’s another ppt!