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How Did Stalin Become the Leader of the Soviet Union?

Why and how Joseph Stalin overcame Leon Trotsky to become the second leader of the USSR.

During the revolution Trotsky lead the red guards to take over post offices, bridges and the state bank on the 6th the next day he and the red guards stormed the winter palace without much opposition they then arrested members of the provisional government Alexander Kerensky managed to escape but failed to get enough support to take back power.

Trotsky was put in charge of making peace with Germany, he was told by Lenin to spin out the talks in hope for a socialist revolution in Germany, which never came, the treaty came after Germany threatened to make an attack, Russia lost 34% of its population, 32% of its agriculture land, 54% of its industry, 26% of its railways and 89% of its coal mines this was not the reasonable deal Trotsky hoped for.

By the end of 1918 Russia was at war again but this time with its self a lose coalition of anti-socialists collectively called the whites attacked the Bolsheviks known as the reds, Leon Trotsky threw himself into action and in a very small amount of time amassed an army of 300,000 men who where lead by former tsarist officers to make sure these officers did there job properly Trotsky took their families hostage political commissars also watched over them. There where many beating and killings of white supporters or even suspected supporters of the whites to keep control of the people this was known as the red terror.

Trotsky’s new army then beat the white armies one by one the last major white army was beaten in 1920.

Trotsky had many good points he was a genius even Lenin compared to him was just intelligent he was an amazing public speaker some say even better than Lenin as well he was also very organised which lead him to his victories in the civil war.

With out Trotsky I don’t think the Bolsheviks would have had any public support after the revolution because Trotsky was the public face of the party the people thought of him as one of them and no one could match his speaking ability, later on the Bolsheviks would not have survived the civil war because he was there great leader then as well.

After Lenin’s death in January 1924 Stalin surprisingly won the power struggle in the Bolshevik party ahead of many other leading communists such as Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinoviev and most surprisingly Trotsky. Stalin won because partly from Trotsky’s arrogance but a bigger part in Stalin’s victory comes from Stalin himself he informed Trotsky that Lenin’s funeral would be on the 26th of January when it was actually on the 27th Stalin had known that Trotsky would not have been able to attend on the 26th because he was so far away from where the funeral was being held he would have been able to attend on the 27th however so Trotsky didn’t go to Lenin’s funeral instead Stalin appeared as chief mourner and closest friend. Stalin also used his job as general secretary of the party to put his supporters in important jobs and supports of his opponents in remote postings. Stalin also supported one opponent to get rid of another opponent he did this most notably with Bukharin and Trotsky, Stalin supported Bukharin on a debate on the NEP against Trotsky and once Trotsky was disposed of Stalin used Trotsky’s arguments to get rid of Bukharin. Stalin’s policies where also more popular than Trotsky’s, Stalin favoured socialism in one country opposed to Trotsky’s spread of socialism which people feared would start another war. Stalin also appeared to be just a Georgian peasant who understood the war weary people when his seemingly intellectual rivals didn’t appear to understand the people.

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