How Did Stalin Rise To Power

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How Did Stalin Rise To Power



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Terrifying Story Of Joseph Stalin's Rise to Power

Stalin's revelation made Zinoviev, in particular, very unpopular with many inside the Communist Party. Trotsky remained silent throughout this Congress. In early , Zinoviev and Kamenev drew closer to Trotsky and the Left Opposition, forming an alliance that became known as the United Opposition. The United Opposition demanded, among other things, greater freedom of expression within the Communist Party and less bureaucracy. In October , Stalin's supporters voted Trotsky out of the Politburo. During the years of and , Soviet policy toward the Chinese Revolution became the ideological line of demarcation between Stalin and the United Opposition. In reality, however, the Republic controlled very little of the country. Much of China was divided between various regional warlords.

The Republican government established a new "nationalist people's army and a national people's party" — the Kuomintang. In , the Kuomintang opened relations with Soviet Russia. With Soviet help, the Republic of China built up the nationalist people's army. With the development of the nationalist army, a Northern Expedition was planned to smash the power of the warlords of the northern part of the country. This Northern Expedition became a point of contention over foreign policy by Stalin and Trotsky. Stalin tried to persuade the small Chinese Communist Party to merge with the Kuomintang KMT Nationalists to bring about a bourgeois revolution before attempting to bring about a Soviet-style working-class revolution.

Trotsky wanted the Communist Party to complete an orthodox proletarian revolution and have clear class independence from the KMT. Stalin funded the KMT during the expedition. However, Chiang quickly reversed the tables in the Shanghai massacre of April by massacring the Communist Party in Shanghai midway through the Northern Expedition. While the catastrophic events in China completely vindicated Trotsky's criticism of Stalin's approach towards the Chinese Revolution, this paled insignificance compared to the demoralization that the Soviet masses felt at such a big setback for socialist revolution in China, with this demoralization aiding Stalin and his allies in the Communist Party and the Soviet state. Attacks against the United Opposition increased in volatility and ferocity.

Many supporters of Kamenev and Zinoviev's group, as well as most from the Workers Opposition grouping, had left the United Opposition by mid, changing sides under the growing political pressure and espousing their support for Stalin. Trotsky, Kamenev, and Zinoviev grew increasingly isolated and were ejected from the Central Committee in October While Trotsky remained firm in his opposition to Stalin after his expulsion from the Communist Party and his subsequent exile, Zinoviev and Kamenev capitulated almost immediately and called on their supporters to follow suit.

They wrote open letters acknowledging their mistakes and were readmitted to the Communist Party in June , after a six-month cooling-off period. They never regained their Central Committee seats, but they were given mid-level positions within the Soviet bureaucracy. Kamenev and Zinoviev were courted by Bukharin at the beginning of his short and ill-fated struggle with Stalin in the summer of This activity was soon reported to Stalin and was later used against Bukharin as proof of his factionalism. Trotsky, firmer than ever in his opposition to Stalin, was exiled to Alma-ata in January and was exiled from the Soviet Union itself in February , sent into exile in Turkey.

From his exile, Trotsky continued to oppose Stalin, right up until Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico on Stalin's orders in August After the United Opposition were illegalized in December , the Kulaks and NEPmen were emboldened and exerted much greater economic pressure on the Soviet government in the months afterwards. In January , Stalin personally travelled to Siberia where he oversaw the seizure of grain stockpiles from kulak farmers. By the latter months of , a critical shortfall in grain supplies prompted Stalin to push for collectivisation of agriculture. Stalin began pushing for more rapid industrialisation and central control of the economy , a position which alienated Bukharin and the Right Opposition, but which appeared close to what the Left Opposition had advocated before they were banned.

Stalin's agricultural policies were also criticized by fellow Politburo member Mikhail Kalinin. In the summer of , Stalin exposed Kalinin's embezzlement of state funds, which he spent on a mistress. Kalinin begged forgiveness and effectively submitted himself to Stalin. The other Politburo members agreed with Stalin, and supported his nomination of Vyacheslav Molotov. After , open criticism of Stalin within the Communist Party was virtually non-existent, though Stalin continued to hunt for discreet dissenters. On the night of 9 November , Stalin's wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva , committed suicide and shot herself in her bedroom. As Stalin was sleeping in another room, [26] her death was not discovered until the next morning. To prevent a scandal, Pravda reported the cause of death as appendicitis.

Stalin did not tell his children the truth, to prevent them from revealing it accidentally. The death of this popular, high-profile politician shocked Russia, and Stalin used this murder to begin The Great Terror. Within hours of Kirov's death, Stalin declared Grigory Zinoviev and his supporters to be responsible for Kirov's murder. In January , Zinoviev was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, and Kamenev was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Stalin sanctioned the formation of troikas for the purpose of extrajudicial punishment. Hundreds of oppositionists linked to Kamenev and Zinoviev were arrested and exiled to Siberia. Kamenev and Zinoviev were interrogated again, and the exiled Trotsky was now accused of being the leading mastermind in Kirov's murder.

A few weeks later, after a trial, Kamenev and Zinoviev were both executed on 25 August Spearheading Stalin's purges was a Commissar called Nikolai Yezhov , a fervent Stalinist and a believer in violent repression. Only Ulrikh, Budyonny and Shaposhnikov would survive the purges that followed. The Tukhachevsky trial triggered a massive subsequent purge of the Red Army. In September , the People's Commissar for Defence, Voroshilov , reported that a total of 37, officers and commissars were dismissed from the army, 10, were arrested and 7, were condemned for anti-Soviet crimes.

Since his falling out with Stalin in —, Bukharin had written an endless stream of letters of repentance and admiration to Stalin. However, Stalin knew that Bukharin's repentance was insincere, as in private Bukharin continued to criticize Stalin and seek out other opponents of Stalin the NKVD wiretapped Bukharin's telephone. Shortly before their executions in August , Kamenev and Zinoviev had denounced Bukharin as a traitor during their trial. Bukharin confessed to conspiring against Stalin, and was executed on 15 March , on the same day that former NKVD chief, Yagoda, was also executed.

Stalin eventually turned on Yezhov. He appointed Yezhov Commissar of Water Transport in April a similar thing had happened to Yezhov's predecessor, Yagoda, shortly before he was fired. Yezhov was executed on 4 February From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. History of the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist party. See also: Stalin's cult of personality. Main article: Great Purge. Aggravation of class struggle under socialism Anti-revisionism Collectivization Cult of personality Great Break Marxism—Leninism Popular front Self-criticism Socialism in one country Soviet socialist patriotism. Theoretical works. Related topics.

See also: Bibliography of Stalinism and the Soviet Union. Stalin: A Biography. Soviet Studies , Vol. Comparative Studies in Society and History , Vol. Knopf Inc. China in war and revolution, — Volume 1 of Asia's transformations illustrated ed. Psychology Press. ISBN Retrieved 1 January Moscow and Chinese Communists 2 ed. Stanford University Press. A history of Russia: Since Volume 2 of A History of Russia 2, illustrated ed. Anthem Press. Famous Picture. Retrieved Washington Post. Retrieved 21 February Joseph Stalin. Categories : Joseph Stalin Rises to prominence by individual. Hidden categories: Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from August CS1 errors: extra text: volume CS1: long volume value Articles with short description Short description matches Wikidata.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Every American was motivated differently, but the vast majority, if asked, would have named one of a few reasons for why they supported the war and even chose to risk their life to fight in it. Larger historical forces eventually brought the United States to the brink of World War II, but the direct and immediate cause that led it to officially entering the war was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This blindside assault came in the early morning of December 7, when Japanese Imperial bombers flew over the Hawaiin naval base and dumped their payloads full of destruction and death. They killed 2, Americans, wounding 1, more; sunk four battleships, damaged two others, and wrecked countless other ships and planes stationed at the base.

The vast majority of the U. At the time of the attack, nine civilian aircraft were flying in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor. Of these, three were shot down. Nagumo, however, decided to withdraw as he did not have enough resources to pull off a third wave of attack. The tragedy of the Pearl Harbor attack, along with its treacherous nature, infuriated the American public — which had been growing increasingly skeptical of Japan due to its expansion in the Pacific throughout As a result, after the attacks, America was nearly in complete agreement about seeking vengeance through war.

In Congress, the feeling was equally as strong. Just one person from both houses, a woman named Jeanette Rankin, voted against it. Once back in Washington, she was the sole dissenter in an even more popular vote on war, claiming President Roosevelt wanted the conflict to promote his business interests and also that her pacifist views prevented her from supporting the idea. She was ridiculed for this position and accused of being an enemy sympathizer. The carnage and cost that comes with war no longer mattered, and neutrality, which was the preferred approach just two years earlier, ceased to be an option. Throughout the war, Pearl Harbor was frequently used in American propaganda. The nation had been attacked in its own territory, and someone had to pay.

Those who stood in the way were cast aside, and the United States prepared to exact its revenge. These promises unceremoniously devolved into fascism, allowing for the formation of one of the most brutal regimes in history: the Nazis. He cared solely about conquest and domination, and he was unconcerned about the cost. His actions spoke of his view that human life and basic decency meant nothing. Clearly, the rise of such an evil across the pond was troubling to most Americans, and ignoring what was happening became a moral impossibility. Then, in , France fell to the Nazis in a matter of weeks. The political collapse of such a powerful nation in such a short period of time shook the world and made everyone wake up to the severity of the threat posed by Hitler. As a result, public support for the war grew throughout and This idea that the United States was going to war in Europe to stop Hitler and fascism from spreading and threatening the American way of life was a powerful motivator and helped make the war a popular thing in the early s.

In addition, it pushed millions of Americans to volunteer for service. A deeply nationalist nation, United States society treated those who served as patriotic and honorable, and those who were fighting felt they were standing up to the evil spreading in Europe in defense of the democratic ideals that America embodied. While World War II had its roots in the corrupt political ambitions of dictators, it was fought by regular people from all over the world.

In the United States alone, a little more than 16 million people served in the military, with 11 million serving in the army. These numbers are even more dramatic when we consider that the American military had less than , soldiers in The draft, also known as the Selective Service, helped swell the ranks, but volunteers, as previously mentioned, made up a large part of the American military and contributed significantly to their numbers.

The United States required such a massive military as it essentially had to fight two wars — one in Europe against Nazi Germany and to a lesser extent, Italy and another in the Pacific against Japan. Both enemies had enormous military and industrial capacity, so the US needed to match and exceed this force to even have a chance at winning. And because the US was left free from bombings and other attempts to derail industrial production both Japan and Nazi Germany struggled in the later years of the war to keep their militaries supplied and replenished due to diminishing capacity at home , it was able to build a distinct advantage that ultimately allowed it to be successful.

However, as the US worked to match — in just a few short years — the production efforts Germany and Japan had spent the previous decade developing, there was little delay to the fighting. By , the US was in full engagements with first Japan, and then later Germany. Early in the war, draftees and volunteers were typically sent to the Pacific, but as the conflict went on and the Allied forces began planning an invasion of Germany, more and more soldiers were sent to Europe. These two theaters were very different from one another and tested the United States and its citizens in different ways. Victories were costly, and they came slowly. But a commitment to fighting and an unprecedented military mobilization put the US in a good position for success. On Jan.

From then until early August, German U-boats dominated the waters off the East Coast, sinking fuel tankers and cargo ships with impunity and often within sight of shore. However, the United States would not begin fighting the German forces until November , with the launch of Operation Torch. But with Hitler trying to invade the Soviet Union, both sides knew that working together would help each other separately, as it would split the German war machine in two and make it easier to overcome. There was much debate as to where the second front should be, but commanders of the Allied forces eventually agreed on North Africa, which was secured by the end of This put Allied forces on mainland Europe for the first time since France had fallen to Germany back in and essentially marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

It would take two more years and millions more human lives for Hitler and his cronies to accept this truth, giving up in their quest to terrorize the free world into submitting to their heinous, hate-filled, and genocidal regime. The next major American-led offensive was the invasion of France, also known as Operation Overlord. This is because the fall of France had made the US realize the seriousness of the situation in Europe and dramatically increase the appetite for war. As a result, when formal declarations first came in December , the goal was always to invade and regain France before crashing into the German mainland and starving the Nazis of their source of power.

This made D-Day the much-anticipated beginning of what many believed would be the final phase of the war. After securing a costly victory at Normandy, the Allied forces were finally on mainland Europe, and throughout the summer of , Americans — working with large contingents of British and Canadian soldiers — fought their way through France, into Belgium and the Netherlands. Stopping Hitler, though, allowed Allied forces to move further east into Germany, and when the Soviets entered Berlin in , Hitler committed suicide and the German forces issued their formal, unconditional surrender on May 7th of that year.

While most American soldiers would soon return home, many remained in Germany as an occupying force while peace terms were negotiated, and many more remained in the Pacific hoping to soon bring the other war — the one still being waged against Japan — to a similar conclusion. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, thrust the United States into war with Japan, but most people at the time believed victory would be had quickly and without too heavy a cost.

This turned out to be a gross miscalculation of both the capabilities of the Japanese military and its zealous commitment to fight. Victory, as it happened, would only come after the blood of millions had been spilled into the royal blue waters of the South Pacific. This first became clear in the months following Pearl Harbor. Japan managed to follow up their surprise attack on the American naval base in Hawaii with several other victories throughout the Pacific, specifically at Guam and the Philippines — both American territories at the time. The fight over the Philippines was an embarrassing defeat for the US — some , Filipinos died or were captured, and around 23, Americans were killed — and demonstrated that defeating the Japanese was going to be more challenging and costly than anyone had predicted.

After the Philippines, the Japanese, as most ambitious imperial countries who have experienced success would do, began trying to expand their influence. They aimed to control more and more of the islands of the South Pacific, and plans even included an invasion of Hawaii itself. Up until this moment, the United States had failed to stop its enemy. But this was not the case at Midway. This set the stage for a series of United States victories that would turn the tide of war in favor of the Americans. The next major American victory came at the Battle of Guadalcanal , also known as the Guadalcanal Campaign, which was fought over the course of the fall of and winter of These victories allowed the United States to march slowly north towards Japan, reducing its influence and making an invasion possible.

But the nature of these victories made the idea of invading the Japanese mainland a terrifying thought. More than , Americans had died fighting the Japanese throughout the Pacific, and part of the reason for these high casualty numbers was because almost all battles — which took place on small islands and atolls scattered throughout the South Pacific — were fought using amphibious warfare, meaning soldiers had to charge onto a beach after landing a boat near the shore, a maneuver that left them completely exposed to enemy fire. Doing this on the shores of Japan would cost an unfathomable number of American lives.

Plus, the tropical climate of the Pacific made life miserable, and soldiers had to deal with a wide range of diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever. It was the perseverance and success of these soldiers in spite of such conditions that helped the Marine Corps gain prominence in the eyes of American military commanders; eventually leading to the creation of the Marines as a distinct branch of the United States Armed Forces. All of these factors meant that in the spring and early summer of , American commanders were seeking an alternative to an invasion that would bring World War II to a hasty close. Options included a conditional surrender — something few wanted as this was seen as being too lenient on the Japanese — or the continued firebombing of Japanese cities.

But advances in technology had given rise to a new type of weapon — one that was far more powerful than anything ever used before in history, and by , American leaders were seriously discussing using it to try and close the book on the war with Japan. One of the most prominent and pressing things that made the war in the Pacific so challenging was the Japanese manner of fighting. Kamikaze pilots defied all ideas of self-preservation by committing suicide via ramming their planes into American ships — causing tremendous damage and leaving American sailors to live in constant fear.

To put it in perspective, more than 2 million Japanese soldiers died in their many campaigns across the Pacific. As a result, American officials knew that to win the war in the Pacific, they had to break the will of the people and their desire to fight. And the best way they could think to do this was to bomb Japanese cities to smithereens, killing civilians and hopefully pushing them to get their leaders to sue for peace. Japanese cities at the time were constructed mainly using wood, and so napalm and other incendiary weapons had a tremendous effect.

This approach, which was carried out over the course of nine months in —, after the United States had moved far enough North in the Pacific to support bomber raids on the mainland, produced some , Japanese civilian casualties. Insanely, this massive loss of human life did not seem to phase Japanese leadership, many of whom believed death not their own, obviously , but those of Japanese subjects was the ultimate sacrifice to be made for the emperor. So, despite this bombing campaign and a weakening military, Japan in mid showed no signs of surrendering. The United States, eager as ever to end the war as quickly as possible, elected to use atomic weapons — bombs possessing never-before-seen destructive potential — on two Japanese cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

They killed , people immediately and tens of thousands more in the years after the bombings — as it turns out nuclear weapons have rather long-lasting effects, and by dropping them, the United States subjected residents of these cities and surrounding areas to death and despair for decades after the war. Considering that the bombings took place on August 6th and August 8th, , and Japan indicated its desire to surrender only days later, on August 15th, , this narrative appears to check out. The ends had justified the means. We can suspect something fishy largely because the United States wound up accepting a conditional surrender from Japan that allowed the emperor to retain his title something the Allies had said was completely off the table before the bombings , and also because the Japanese were likely far more concerned about a Soviet Invasion in Manchuria a region in China , which was an initiative that began in the days between the two bombings.

Some historians have even argued that this was what really forced Japan to surrender — not the bombs — meaning this ghastly targeting of innocent human beings had pretty much no impact on the outcome of the war at all. Instead, it merely served to make the rest of the world scared of post-World War II America — a reality that still, very much, exists today. The reach and scope of World War II meant that practically no one could escape its influence, even safe at home, thousands of miles away from the nearest front. This influence manifested itself in many ways, some good and some bad, and is an important part of understanding the United States during this pivotal moment in world history.

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