The emergence of Stalin's Authoritarian State
Methods used to Establish Stalin's Authoritarian State
: Stalin used the power of propoganda, heavy censorship, the purges to establish and maintain power in Russia. Stalin wanted to eliminate his opposition entirely so, anybody that posed a threat to him, he executed.
Conditions in which Stalin's Authoritarian State emerged
Stalin's role in the Russian Revolution:
Stalin was one of the editors of the Pravda, which was a newspaper that had supported joining the war. Because of this, Lenin had accused him of being a "betrayer of communism," and persuaded him to stop his support for the Provisional Government, and move towards a revolution. But, Stalin did not have much of a leading role in the October 1917 Revolution because most of the planning was made my Lenin and Trotsky.
Stalin as Commissar for nationalities:
Although Stalin had been a part of the Bolshevik party for a long time, it wasn't until he was the Commissar for Nationalities that he had his first disagreement wth Lenin; Lenin believed that the republics of the former Russian Empire could be trusted to "bind themselves willingly to the Soviet Union," while Stalin believed that all the republics needed to come together as one and be governed by one central power. This brought up the "Georgian Question," Georgia wanted to join the USSR as an independent republic, but they eventually joined as part of the Transcaucasian Federation. Stalin then passed the Resolution on Party Unity, which tightened the control over all of the parties. He then was appointed as the General Secretary of the Party and had an overview of what happened daily.
The Russian Civil war
: the civil war was fought between those who believed in communism and those who didn't. It was just after the 2nd Russian revolution. This was predicted to tear the Soviet Union apart in just 3 years. However, the Bolshevik party ended with victory and thus began the reign in of Stalin.
Lenin's Early Death:
Lenin died of a stroke in 1924 and has no clear successor, which leaves the appealing position of "leader of Russia" up for grabs. Stalin seizes this opportunity and gains office, beating Trotsky.
The Role of Lenin's testament:
A series of memorandums written by Lenin (1922-1923) in which he expressed his reservations about some people including Stalin. In it, Lenin talked about the personalities of the leadership of the Communist Party in which he recommended Stalin be removed as General Secretary. But, in order to preserve Stalin's feelings, they kept it a secret, and they thought it best to not announce it in order to provide a sense of unity after Lenin's death.
The Lenin Enrollment
:This was an effort to get more people who supported communism into office.
: Stalin wanted to industrialize Russia badly. This lead to his installation of the 6 5 year plans in Russia. They all had the same goal which was to expand Russia's industrial arms and finally connect them with the rest of the world. Communism under Josef Stalin sought to not only create a complete and equal society but set up the economy so it was the chunk sum of government spending rather than the chunk sum of public spending.
Consolidation and Maintenance of Stalin's Power
Stalin Started hosting fake trials that would accuse innocent people (usually in the political atmosphere ) of crimes against the communist regime they did not commit. Often times they would be sentenced to death. This was an important strategy for Stalin because it kept the masses from acting against him as well. They thought that if Stalin could kill political officials without batting an eye, then he would surely kill them too.
Along with the show trials Stalin also admitted mass purges of political officials that posed a threat to his power. However, this ended up getting out of hand due to Stalin's paranoia . Of the 1996 delegates that attended communist party congress, 1108 of them were executed within the next 3 years. The purges initially targeted against political officials, but as the years progressed the military became the target and then eventually the masses. This proved to be an issue in 1941 when Germany invaded Russia because there were hardly enough people to fight. The purges ended in 1953 because Stalin finally died.
Socialism in one state Vs. Permanent Revolution :
Stalin thought that Trotsky's ideals of permanent revolution was naive. Russia was giving too much away at the thought that they will once redeem it when they finally takeover the world. Stalin believed in Socialism in one state because he realized in order for any other country to get on board with communism, I has to be made successful in one state first. This would lead to much lower casualties and land loss because Russia wouldn't be in a constant war with whatever country they were trying to convert to communism.
Nazi-Societ Non-aggression pact:
Once upon a time , the Germans and the Japanese sign a pact called the Anticomenturn act (1936) which outlined that both Germany and Japan were against communism. The soviets realized this and knew that if this was going to be acted on, Russia would be facing a 2 front war. So, Russia and Germany signed a non aggression pact in 1939 in order to prevent this from happening even though this signifies WWII was on the horizon.
World War II:
Russia allies with Great Britain and France against Germany, Japan, and some other country that I cannot think of now but will fill in later. Germany invaded Poland which breaks the agreements outlined in the Nazi-soviet non-aggression pact and Russia is barely hanging in there because of the purges and the the widespread famine. However, they are able to push back Germany and prevent them from taking Leningrad which is also known as Stalingrad which is also known as Petrograd and most commonly known as St. Petersburg
Stalin's attitude towards the arts in Russia was mostly to perpetrate propaganda. There was heavy censorship in the media thus discouraging many forms of art entirely.
Literature, Music, Visual Arts:
the visual arts encouraged "socialist realism" this depicted happy communists at work under Stalin. This art strayed from abstract or more complex pieces because it had to be accessible to everybody, and discourage thought. Many authors and artist during this time committed suicide because they didn't fit this "socialist Realism" expectations. Stalin's praise was the highest honor to an artist during this time. With that being said, 68 out of the 150 films were cancelled mid production and in that same year 10 out of 15 plays were cancelled due to Stalin's censorship laws.
Stalin had a very negative attitude toward religion to say the least. Since communism revolves around equality, this stands for religion as well, meaning all communist states have to be atheist. Stalin burned churches and tried to destroy religion, but there were many churches that practiced in secret called "underground churches." Stalin also did this to expand his cult of personality. Stalin was the new god-like figure that everybody was supposed to worship. However, this all changed when WWII began because Stalin used religion to rally support and a sense of nationalism within Russia in order to fight that war.
Education was made free and mandatory for everyone until the age of 16. However, there was a slight hierarchy within the communist regime and that started when those who could afford private school after the age of 16 came into play. These people became the new elite in society and they were called the Nomenklation.
This was the installation of large scale communes. The peasants didn't own nay land, but in order to pay for it they farmed it and gave what they cultivated to the government. Often the government took too much which left the peasant population starving.
First 5 Year plan (1929)
: This was the"turn to there left" against the NEP (capitalism) and began the installation of "war communism" which means the government got rid of all of the money and set up a bartering system. However, this failed miserably and led to widespread famine. The difference between the 5 year plan and capitalism is that under the 5 year plan, the economy is the sum of government spending, and under capitalism, the economy is the sum of the citizen's spending.
Second 5 Year Plan (1933):
Although everyone was dying of hunger in the first 5 year plan, the economy was overall successful because Russia started making industrial ties with the rest of the world (finally), thus Stalin decided it was worth another shot, and try to accomplish this 5 year plan in only 4 years. This 5 year plan put Russia 2nd to Germany as a major steel producer. Also, communication and transportation around Russia became easier and more reliable. in order to keep the peasant population in support of this Stalin imposed "rewards" as an incentive.
Third 5 year Plan (1938):
"Well, third time's a charm," said Stalin and off he went with yet another 5 year plan (and certainly not the last). However, this one only lasted 3 years because then Germany invaded in 1941 during WWII. However, 12% of industrial growth still happened in Russia.