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Was Stalin a good Leader

In 1922 a person that was later to become the best known tyrant (leader) of all time, became the secretary-general of the Bolshevik party. He got to power by his close friendship with the General Secretary who told him about everything that was going on in the party and made sure all the posts were filled with his supporters. He brought on economic reforms by his “five year plans” and collectivization and he perhaps avoided occupation and total annihilation by Germans for “Lebensraum” (place to live). Stalin definitely wasn’t a good person but for the time being he was a very good leader for a backward society which had to deal with poverty, economic repression and possible German occupation.

Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili as he was named at birth was born on December 21, 1879 in Gori the republic of Georgia. His father was a drunk and his mother was a made. His father died when Stalin was about 10 years old so he became closely attached to his mother. He attended a Theological Seminary like his mother asked him to but was later expelled for propaganda of Marxism. Stalin began his career by working as a secretary general for the Bolshevik party, which meant he had access to information before anyone else did and he had the chance to censure it in any way he wished to. It was a job no one wanted but Stalin took it, in order to get into the party. He had experience in this kind of work since he used to work as an editor in the “Pravda” magazine. He slowly made sure the party was filled with his supporters so he could later become the Leader of the Party. Since he became the leader, many people were against him, so he became an extremely paranoid person. It was very terrible thing that he had so much power because his way’s of “taking care of things’ were horrific. Even his family was afraid of him and especially since one of the first people to be deported was his own wife. Everyone who was against him was either killed or sent to the Gulags where they would work until they died. Almost 5 million people disappeared and were never seen again. This way, no one dared to even say a bad word about him without worrying about their life. He killed almost 7 million people by the purges method. He also used show trials to get rid of the Top Bolshevik leaders where they had to confess to ridiculous crimes they couldn’t possibly commit. In the 1930s Stalin began to rewrite the history of Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century.

School books and encyclopaedias were destroyed or altered, and children in school had to paste over pages in their books with the new versions of what had happened. This became known as the "Revision of History". Stalin wanted to look like an all-powerful leader and he wanted to stop anyone opposing his ideas. This became known as the "Cult of Personality". Stalin made out that he was a superman who never made any mistakes. Once he was the leader he immediately started with Economic reforms by denouncing the new economic plan. He continued massive collectivization which meant that over 97 percent of land and stock were owned by the government that was started by Lenin. Many people were not going to give up their belongings so they killed their animals and burnt their crops. Most of the richer farmers called Kulaks were harshly punished and they were sent to Gulags. He also started the “five year plans” which were basically plans that each company had to make a certain number of products in 5 years and if they didn’t, they would either be closed down or transformed into a different company.

He would divide the five year plans. He would for five years just make tanks and guns and things necessary for the war. Then for the next five years, he would just make products of everyday use. This system was very effective. People didn’t always fill the plan but Stalin was happy as long as the numbers were right. He created many new companies which helped Stalin almost eliminate unemployment when it reached almost 0 percent in the late 1930’s. Before Stalin was the leader, Russia was said to be 100 years behind the rest of the Europe but he got it up to second best in Europe in about 15 years. He had to make everything from tractors and trucks to refrigerators and furniture because his goal was total isolation from all other countries. He didn’t let anyone leave or enter Russia so they wouldn’t know what was going on in the rest of the world. Russia’s economy rose by 400% and they were doing better then ever before. Stalin helped Russia get back on its feat after all the trouble they went through.

In this whole process it is estimated that Josef Stalin killed over 20 million people. It was a sacrifice for all the other things he made, and who knows maybe if he wouldn’t have become the Leader of Russia and if he didn’t kill all these people Hitler would be able to take over Europe and maybe even the rest of the world and we would today be under Fascist rule. His ways were for sure very inhumane, sadistic and despotic but he might have saved us from a much worse plague.

Mitchner, Alyn & Tuffs, Joanne. Global Forces of the Twentieth Century. Falk, J. History twelve student workbook. Third edition, 2002. Howarth, Tony. Twentieth Century History. New York: Longman Group UK, 1989. DeMarco, Neil. The World This Century. London: Unwin Hyman Limited, 1989. -
Modern World History, http://ftp.bbc.co.uk/education/modern/stalin/stalihtm.htm#q1 -
Building socialism in one country, http://www.tiac.net/users/knut/Stalin/node14.html#SECTION00500000000000000000 -
The great purge, http://www.tiac.net/users/knut/Stalin/node86.html#SECTION001000000000000000000 -
Another view of Stalin, http://www.tiac.net/users/knut/Stalin/book.html -
Joseph Stalin, http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/stalin.htm -
How Lenin led to Stalin, http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/ws91/lenin33.html -

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