How did Joseph Stalin Rise to Power?

Many believe Stalin’s rise to power began when he met Vladimir Lenin. In 1921 Stalin helped plan the invasion of Georgia which was the source for his negative policies towards the country. In 1922 he was appointed general secretary of the Bolshevik party with the help of Lenin. The main reason for this was to make life harder for Trotsky. When he first met Lenin he showed enormous support for his ideas and for the party. Lenin didn’t like the policies which Stalin had towards Georgia.

In 1922 Lenin suffered a stroke and was forced to briefly retire to Gorki, although he was still in charge. Stalin acted as Lenin’s connection with the outside world and he visited him a lot. But as Lenin’s condition grew worse, Stalin’s thirst for leadership began to bubble and he began showing signs of a dictator. After noticing Stalin’s rude behavior, addiction to power and ambition Lenin stated in his testament that Stalin should be removed from his title as general secretary and that if Stalin should inherit leadership it would be disastrous.

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Stalin went behind Lenin’s back and with the help of his new alliances with two men named Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev he was able to keep Lenin’s testament from getting to the Twelfth Party Congress in 1923. On the 21st of January 1924 Lenin died of a heart attack and, once again, Stalin’s thirst for power led to increasing conflicts with his former allies Lev and Grigory. Stalin wanted to focus on spreading communism in countries that are already controlled rather than spread the revolution. When Trotsky, Lev and Grigory began to disagree with his ideas Stalin kicked them out of the party.

Later Lev and Grigory would be return but Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union. Stalin began to increase his power and he began to take control over most of the economy, completely opposing Lenin’s former policies on the economy. He became a supreme leader among the party and his power rapidly began to grow. Like Hitler, he began set up a secret police force with spies and agents. He also had many spies giving him intelligence in other countries such as Germany, Great Britain and France. The power of his secret police was shown when in 1940 he gave permission for the assassination of Trotsky in Mexico.

Stalin used propaganda and fear to accomplish his goals for Russia. Even his rise to power was done by force. He eliminated all who opposed him in the party until he was the only one left to control the USSR. He used Lenin to get a high place in the Bolshevik party and when the time came and Lenin began to die Stalin saw his chance to take control. Joseph Stalin is considered one of the most feared dictators in world history and he was responsible for millions upon millions of deaths, even more than Hitler.

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How did Joseph Stalin Rise to Power?. (2017, Mar 24). Retrieved from