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Stalin s Russia 1924 - 1953 Year 12 Stalin in 1945 Under his leadership the USSR had won WWII (1945 adopted the title Generalissimo to stress his part in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stalin

Stalins Russia1924 - 1953
  • Year 12

The Rise of StalinStalins Character Early
  • Had ruthless determination to do whatever was
    necessary to further the cause of the Bolshevik
    Party, e.g. crime - rob banks trains endure
    repeated imprisonment torture in Siberia.
  • Devoted to ideals of Communism Bolshevik Party,
    e.g. turned his back on early religious
    education saw Marxism as offering genuine hope
    of freedom, equality prosperity for the working
    class, unlike Christianity, Tsarism or Capitalism
    (he was born in 1879 into miserable poverty in
    Georgia (conquered territory of Russian Empire)).
  • Steadily rose up through Bolshevik Party
    eventually became part of its leadership member
    of Central Executive Committee editor of Pravda
    (party newspaper) after revolution - member of
    Sovnarkom (Commissar for National Minorities) and
    Politburo of Communist Party (General Secretary)
    organised defence of town of Tsaritsyn against
    Whites during Civil War took part in
    Russo-Polish War (1920-21) BUT he had favoured
    some kind of political deal with Mensheviks and
    Social Revolutionaries in Spring 1917 (opposed by
    Lenin), supported the ill-conceived July Days
    uprising and played only a minor role in the
    Bolshevik Revolution (unlike Trotsky) in
    Oct./Nov. 1917 the Bolshevik Partys greatest

The Rise of StalinThe Struggle for Power (1924
over Permanent Revolution (Trotsky)/ Socialism
in One Country continuation of NEP to
discredit rivals present himself as a
reasonable politician who wanted best for USSR
Communist Party.
alliances because Politburo members more worried
about threat of others gaining power Stalin not
seen as credible successor to Lenin by them.
SUPPORT As General Secretary, controlled all
appointments put own supporters into key posts
while removing/ demoting those loyal to his
How did Stalin become the leader of the USSR?
STALINS PERSONALITY ruthless, determined,
cunning, treacherous, manipulative.
RIVALS ONE AFTER ANOTHER initially allied with
Kamenev Zinoviev against Trotsky switched to
Rykov Bukharin against K Z finally could
rely on own supporters now members of Politburo
thanks to Stalin against R B ( last futile
alliance of K, Z T too weak when finally
allied against Stalin).
used supporters talents (for writing books,
speeches newspapers) to discredit rivals
present him as Lenins successor.
Stalins aims 1928 -1953
  • Modernise Soviet society economy - creating a
    truly Communist and prosperous society
  • Ensure the national security of the USSR (After
    the death of Lenin Stalin had called for
    Socialism in One Country )
  • Maintain his position as leader

What were Stalins main policies 1928 - 53?
  • Collectivisation
  • The Five Year Plans
  • The Cultural Revolution (inc. the cult of
    personality policies towards women, religion,
    education young people)
  • The Purges
  • Leading USSR during The Great Patriotic War

The Five Year Plans (1928 1941)
  • Devised by GOSPLAN, the State Planning Commission
    for economic development since 1921, acting under
    Stalins orders.
  • Three Five Year Plans between 1928 and 1942
  • 1928-32 - coal iron steel oil
    hydro-electricity farming
  • 1933-37 - as above manufacturing
  • 1938-42 as above consumer goods BUT shifted
    to rearmament early on interrupted by Nazi
    invasion (1941).
  • The 4th (1945-50) and 5th (1951-55) Five Year
    Plans were launched after WWII - re-build
    industry agriculture.

Rapid Industrialization and Collectivization of
  • One feature of the history of old Russia was the
    continual beatings she suffered because of her
    backwardness. She was beaten by the Mongol
    khans. She was beaten by the Turkish beys. She
    was beaten by the Swedish feudal rules. She was
    beaten by the Lithuanian gentry. She was beaten
    by the British and French capitalists. She was
    beaten by the Japanese barons. All beat her
    because of her backwardness, because of her
    military backwardness, cultural backwardness,
    political backwardness, industrial backwardness,
    agricultural backwardness We are fifty or a
    hundred years behind the advanced countries. We
    must make good this distance in in ten years.
    Either we do it or we will perish.
  • - Joseph Stalin, 1931

(No Transcript)
Why Was the NEP Abandoned?
  • Strong, lingering opposition to the NEP among
    many Communists.
  • The persistence of capitalism, the
    continuation of poverty, the visible social
    presence of petty capitalists in the cities
    (NEPmen) and rich peasants in the countryside
    (kulaks) angered many.
  • Un-heroic gradualism frustrated many.

Economic Development The First Five-Year Plan
  • Rapid industrialization was necessary to protect
    the Soviet state from hostile enemies
  • - The rise of Nazi Germany in Europe
  • - The rise of militarist Japan in the Far

The Effects of the Cultural Revolution (1928
  • Peasantry After the NEP (1921-28) with the
    implementation of Collectivisation (1928-33 and
    onwards) the peasants found themselves the
    victims of increasing state control famine.
    They became a smaller proportion of the
    population as industrialisation progressed and
    were effectively restored to the miserable status
    at the bottom of society that they had
    experienced under Tsarism.
  • Industrial Working Class Grew as a class due to
    the success of the Five Year Plans their
    achievements in the service of the USSR were
    celebrated over other groups. Workers education
    programmes offered further ways to improve their
    position in society and fostered the idea of the
    New Soviet Man the model working class
    citizen. Living and working conditions improved
    after the initial horrors of rapid
    industrialisation, but remained of a relatively
    low standard. Healthcare services for all
    improved (hospitals, sanatoria, clinics, training
    for doctors, nurses midwives) but never came
    close to the claims the Communists made for them
    from the moment they set up a state-run health
    service in 1917 and never adequate to meet the
    demands of a population experiencing rapid
    industrialisation and total war.

The Effects of the Cultural Revolution (1928
  • Women ( Families) Experienced some
    liberation in their lives after 1917 more
    freedom of choice in marriage, divorce
    childbirth (abortion) and their interests
    represented by Zhenotdel (1917-30) in the
    Communist Party the family and womens
    obligations to it were rejected as instruments of
    Bourgeois Capitalist Oppression.
  • Cultural Revolution essentially reversed this
    trend, especially after the Great Retreat (1934
    onwards) when womens traditional role in the
    family and society was promoted in the face of
    growing anxiety over the social breakdown
    caused by rapid industrialisation (e.g. 1936
    strict enforcement of marriage registration
    divorce abortion restricted family defined as
    basic unit of Soviet society homosexuality
    outlawed). This traditional role was reinforced
    by the Family Law (1944), which furthered
    encouraged motherhood to restore the population
    after WWII.
  • In the long term, women did benefit from
    increased opportunities in the industrial
    workforce and the education programmes which went
    with these due to the demand for labour in the
    Five Year Plans and during WWII (500,000 served
    in Red Army), but an equal status to men in
    society was never achieved.

The Effects of the Cultural Revolution (1928
  • Young People Education Initially hailed as
    the young heroes of the new Soviet society and
    encouraged to actively challenge the ideas of the
    older generation (e.g. many orphans after Russian
    Civil War state orphanages taught young people
    loyalty to Communist Party, not families old
    textbooks destroyed exams abolished). The
    Communist Party youth organisation, Komsomol
    (formed 1926), was used as a powerful instrument
    of propaganda and was in the forefront of the
    persecution of the Church in the 1920s.
  • With the Great Retreat a more traditional role
    for young people was promoted emphasis on
    traditional respect for authority figures and
    improvement in academic standards in education as
    society was transformed by rapid
    industrialisation (e.g. 10 years compulsory
    schooling official curriculum textbooks state
    run exams uniforms). Stalin Communist Party
    more interested in creating an obedient
    educated workforce rather than idealistic, but
    unruly possibly insubordinate, young people
    (e.g. 1926 to 1940 literacy rate of pop. - 51
    to 88 school attendance 12 to 35 million).

The Effects of the Cultural Revolution (1928
  • Religion the Church was the object of
    persecution by Lenin and Stalin the Communist
    Party Stalin saw it as a rival for peoples
    loyalties an obstacle to spreading Marxs
    teachings, e.g. 1918 Church lost state support
    By 1924 300 bishops executed 10000 priests
    imprisoned 1928 onwards peasant resistance to
    damage to church property (icons bells) in
    rural areas was blamed on Kulaks . During WWII
    (1941-45) there was a suspension of this campaign
    for propaganda purposes the Communists were
    prepared to use any means to stiffen resistance
    to the Nazis and encourage self-sacrifice on the
    part of the population, e.g. churches in USSR
    1940 - 500 1953 25000. After WWII the
    Christian Church was only tolerated by the
    government as long as it avoided becoming the
    focus of any form of political opposition against

The Effects of the Cultural Revolution (1928
  • The Cult of Personality Stalin himself
    benefited the most from the Cultural Revolution
    the cult of personality, which was propagated
    by it, strengthened his position as leader.

The Arts Media and the Cultural Revolution
  • Architecture
  • Festivals
  • Radio
  • Komsomol Education
  • Posters, Place Names Statues
  • Science
  • Socialist Realism
  • Cinema
  • Newspapers
  • Literature Union of Soviet Writers, 1932 onwards
  • Performing Arts Music Theatre Opera Ballet
  • Art

The Cultural Revolution (1928 onwards)
  • Did it totally transform Soviet society
    culture? Not really True Communism was not
    achieved, but the Cultural Revolution did
    cultivate a new sense of national identity for
    the Soviet peoples, presenting an image of Soviet
    society which was appealing to many serving the
    needs of Stalins major policies the Five Year
    Plans, winning the Great Patriotic War and
    maintaining his position as leader.
  • Many cultural producers did collaborate with
    the regime, willingly unwillingly, BUT many did
    not remarkable degree of variety in what was
    produced given the repressive nature of Stalins
  • Successfully promoted the cult of Stalins
    leadership and drummed up Russian nationalism
    during WWII ultimately it was another factor
    for the survival of the Stalinist USSR as a state.

The Purges
  • From 1934 to 1938 Stalin conducted a series of
    purges of the Communist Party, Red Army and other
    sections of Soviet society millions died in
    labour camps, executions or mass killings.
  • The instrument for this was the secret police
    NKVD under first Yagoda (1934-36) and later
    Yezhov, the poisoned dwarf, (1937-38) (later
    part of the policy against ordinary citizens in
    the localities is sometimes known as the
  • 01/12/34 Decree against Terrorist Acts gave
    NKVD unlimited power to hunt down enemies of the
    state (on the same day as Kirovs murder which
    triggered the Purges).
  • A product of Stalins paranoia and the result of
    the tensions awakened by the drastic
    agricultural, industrial and cultural policies
    pursued by Stalin, which made Stalin vulnerable
    to criticism.
  • A series of show trials of prominent Communists
    and military leaders justified the purges
    Kamenev, Zinoviev, Rykov and Bukharin all
    admitted to plotting against the Stalin and the
    Party, becoming Trotskyite scapegoats for the
    USSRs troubles. Trotsky himself (in exile since
    1929) was finally assassinated on Stalins orders
    in 1940 in Mexico.

Genrikh YagodaNKVD chiefwhen failed to initiate
purges in the scale Stalin expected he was shot
Yezhov and other party thugs
Mikhail TukhacheskyThe soviet marshal and hero
of the civil warshot in 1937
The first five Marshals of the Soviet Union in
November 1935. Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Semyon
Budyonny, Kliment Voroshilov, Vasily Blyukher,
Aleksandr Yegorov. Only Voroshilov and Budyonny
survived the Great Purge.
The Purges
  • By 1938 Stalin had turned on Yezhov (replaced by
    Beria) and the NKVD itself all opposition had
    been erased and Stalin was again seeking
    popularity and focusing on the national security
    of the USSR. (By this point 1 in 8 citizens had
    been arrested at some point in the purges
    almost every family had lost at least 1 of its
    members as a victim of the terror the fear
    suspicion generated by the purges in society had
    secured Stalins hold on power but now threatened
    to cripple the USSR.)
  • The Purges had secured Stalins hold on power,
    generated more labour for the GULAG system and
    brought the Red Army to heal, but they did
    immense damage to the operational capability of
    USSRs armed forces 1938 Red Army was in an
    appalling state on the eve of WWII, (highlighted
    by its poor performance in The Winter War
    (1939-40) with Finland, in spite of outnumbering
    Finns 4 to 1 (800 Soviet tanks vs. 100 Finnish
    ones 27,000 Red Army troops killed in first
    month of fighting only won in March after a
    change of commander by sending in overwhelming
    force against the Finns).

Lavrenti BeriaHe succeeded Yezhov as NKVD chief.
He was shot soon after Stalin died in 1953
Foreign Policy 1918 - 1936
  • Under Lenin and his Commissar for Foreign
    Affairs, Chicherin, Soviet foreign policy
    followed 2 contradictory strands
  • Fomenting of World Revolution Comintern
    founded (1919) USSR won back much of land lost
    in 1918 during Russian Civil War up to 1921.
  • Pragmatic agreements with other states Treaty
    of Rapallo with Germany (1922).
  • This continued under Stalin, although less
    emphasis was placed on World Revolution as
    Stalin had called for Socialism in One Country
    in other words peaceful co-existence with
    Capitalist countries for the immediate future
    (Comintern not disbanded under Stalin).

Foreign Policy 1924 - 1941
  • Chicherin remained as Commissar for Foreign
    Affairs until 1930 replaced by Litvinov (had
    been largely leading policy since 1926)
  • Litvinov attempted to establish good relations
    with other states through treaties compromises
    which would safeguard USSR against foreign
    aggression, especially Nazi Germany after 1933
  • 1931 Japan invades Manchuria (northern China)
    USSR sold its railway there to the Japanese,
    rather than make this a cause of future conflict.
  • 1934 USSR joined League of Nations
  • 1935 Franco-Soviet Pact both agreed to assist
    Czechoslovakia if it was attacked Comintern
    recommended Socialists Communists abroad form
    political alliances with other parties for the
    first time

Foreign Policy 1936 - 1939
  • However-
  • Traditional suspicion of the USSR got in the way
    of closer diplomatic relations with Britain
    France which could have blocked Nazi aggression
  • 1936-38 Britain France appeased Hitler rather
    than opposing him outright.
  • 1936 USSR gave aid to the Republicans in the
    Spanish Civil War Britain France remained
  • 1936 Anti-Comintern Pact Germany Japan, and
    later Italy (1938) allied against the threat of
    the USSR.
  • Sept. 1938 Stalin not invited to the Munich
    Conference (Britain, France, Italy Germany) to
    discuss the fate of Czechoslovakia
    diplomatically isolated.
  • 1938 Rearmament became the aim of 3rd Five Year
  • April 1939 Following the invasion of
    Czechoslovakia, negotiations with Britain
    France to form an alliance against Germany came
    to nothing.

Foreign Policy 1939 - 1941
  • 1939 1941 a new direction in foreign policy
  • May 1939 Litvinov (took over from Chicherin in
    1930) replaced by Molotov Stalin now wanted an
    understanding with Nazi Germany (sworn enemies of
    Communism) to protect the USSR in the short term.
  • 23rd August 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
    secret protocols in the treaty allow the USSR
  • Partition Poland with Germany (Sept. 1939)
  • Occupy parts of Finland (March 1940) and the
    Baltic States (July 1940)
  • Stalin also seized northern Bukovina Bessarabia
    from Romania (June 1940) whilst Hitler was taken
    up with the war in France (May July 1940) not
    part of the Pact!
  • Stalin had taken back most of the land lost in
    the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918), making a
    buffer zone facing Germany

Foreign Policy 1924 - 1941
  • Had Stalins foreign policy been a success?
  • 1926 1939 Litvinov maintained peaceful
    relations with other states Socialism in One
    Country Five Year Plans modernised the economy.
  • 1939 1941 Extended Soviet territory.
  • When USSR was attacked in 1941 Germany was
    already at war with Britain.
  • BUT
  • USSR had become diplomatically isolated again.
  • A devastating (and potentially disastrous) war
    with Nazi Germany had not been avoided.

Foreign Policy 1941
  • 1941 Stalin was confident that Germany would
    not attack the USSR in the immediate future
    because Germany would be preoccupied with its war
    with the British Empire, but
  • Autumn 1940 Nazi invasion of Britain postponed
    German land forces not tied up, Hitler turned
    his attention east.
  • Soviet moves against Finland and Romania
    (Germanys main oil supplier) alarmed Hitler.
  • The Winter War with Finland (Nov.1939 March
    1940) highlighted the limitations of the Red Army
    120,000 soldiers killed, compared to 22,000
    Finns Hitler was confident the USSR could be
    defeated easily.
  • USSR had no allies ejected from the League of
    Nations in 1939 over the invasion of Finland.
  • Hitlers deep hatred of Communism came to the
    surface again.
  • (Stalin continued to believe there was no
    immediate danger right up to the German invasion,
    rejecting a great deal of intelligence to the
    contrary about a German military build up on the
    USSRs borders (e.g. reports from Richard Sorge
    in Japan USSRs most successful spy). As a
    result when the invasion came Stalins nerve
    temporarily broke and he fell into deep
    despondency, leaving the USSR effectively
    leaderless at the outset of the fighting.)

The USSR and the Nazi Invasion
  • The history of the old Russia has consisted in
    being beaten again and againbecause of
    herbackwardness, military backwardness,
    industrial backwardness, agricultural
    backwardness. She was beaten because to beat her
    has paid off and because people have been able to
    get away with it. If you are backward and weak
    then you are in the wrong and may be beaten and
    enslaved. But if you are powerfulpeople must
    beware of you. We are fifty to a hundred years
    behind the advanced countries. We must make up
    this gap in ten years. Either we do this or they
    crush us.
  • From a speech by Stalin, 1931
  • Lenin left us a great legacy and we have fucked
    it up.
  • Stalin addressing the Politburo at the start of
    the Nazi invasion, June 1941
  • The issue is one of life and death for the
    peoples of the USSR. We must mobilise ourselves
    and reorganise all our work on a new wartime
    footing, where there can be no mercy to the
    enemy. In areas occupied by the enemy, sabotage
    groups must be organised to combat enemy units,
    to foment guerrilla warfare everywhere, to blow
    up bridges and roads, damage telephone and
    telegraph lines, to set fire to forests, stores
    and transports. In occupied regions, conditions
    must be made unbearable for the enemy.
  • From Stalins radio broadcast, 3rd July 1941

The USSR in World War II
  • Nazi invasion in Summer 1941 Operation
  • Objective Archangel-Astrakhan Line
  • Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev the Ukraine all to be
    captured political, communication economic
    systems effectively would be seized in a
    lightning campaign which would wipe out the Red
    Army in the field (3 army groups attacked along a
    1000 mile front) .
  • Failed in spite of dramatic initial gains
    (Zhukovs counter-offensive before Moscow)
    re-launched as Operation Blue in Summer 1942.
  • Objectives reach the River Volga and swing north
    to encircle Moscow seize Soviet oilfields in the
    south Caucasus Mountains.
  • Failed (Zhukovs counter-offensive before
    Stalingrad) Operation Citadel launched in
    Summer 1943 to trap and destroy massed Soviet
    forces in the Kursk Salient, following retreat
    from Stalingrad.
  • Failed - Nazis are forced gradually to retreat
    out of USSR and the Balkan peninsula (1943-44) by
    series of costly Red Army rolling offensives
    (Soviet forces shifting focus of attacks when
    Germans moved to reinforce embattled area)
    masterminded by Zhukov (Romanian oilfields taken
    Oct. 1944). UK US forces advancing from west
    after D-Day (June 1944) massive pincers.
  • January May 1945 USSR launches the last great
    offensive of the war in Europe which drives Nazis
    out of Poland and all the way back to Berlin.
  • August 1945 USSR declares war on Japan
    invades Manchuria and destroys Japanese forces

Why was the USSR victorious?
  • Outnumbered Axis forces
  • Russian winter repeatedly upset Nazi plans
    (1941 - 42, 1942 43)
  • Resilience determination of the Russian people
    (over 17 million killed, but they still fought
    on!) Borodino spirit fostered by Stalins
    successful propaganda campaigns to raise morale,
    inc. not persecuting the Church (prepared to use
    any means to give the Russians the will to fight
  • Strong leadership Stalin (civil) Zhukov
    (military) Zhukov was largely given a free hand
    by Stalin in conducting the war, unlike Hitler
    who constantly meddled in military plans - Red
    Army reorganised effectively into modern fighting
    force with specialist units - Tank Armies
    Shock Armies partisans behind enemy lines
    massed artillery formations - after damage of the
    Purges, Winter War initial disaster of 1941.
  • Terror among civilians and soldiers enforced by
    the NKVD Death to Spies ultimately the Soviet
    peoples had to fight even if they did not want
  • Hatred of Nazis (sworn enemies of Communism)
    especially after the atrocities committed against
    Soviet civilians.
  • T34 tank a decisive weapon mass-produced
    best tank of the war
  • Industrial production continued in the east
    1300 factories moved from the war zone to the new
    industrial areas beyond the Urals e.g.
  • Aid from the western allies intelligence
    reports from UK, (code-breaking carried out by
    ULTRA) and industrial products from USA
    (Lend-Lease Agreement from 1941) maintained
    Soviet war production.

Stalin in 1945
  • Under his leadership the USSR had won WWII (1945
    adopted the title Generalissimo to stress his
    part in ultimate victory). The Red Army had
    advanced into the heart of Europe How did
    Stalins priorities now change?
  • Creating a truly Communist society remained the
    stated goal of the USSR, but the entrenched power
    of Stalin the Communist Party made this
  • Socialism in One Country could no longer be
    the rationale for Soviet policy the USSRs
    conquest of much of eastern and central Europe
    meant it was no longer the only Socialist state
    in the world. It had become a superpower whose
    military might made it a far greater threat to
    its Capitalist neighbours than the USSR of the
    1920s and 30s.
  • A huge amount of Soviet territory had been
    devastated by the Nazi invasion. Reconstruction
    of the Soviet economy was now necessary.
  • Stalins position as leader was secure (although
    he was no less paranoid) he no longer exercised
    strict control over political appointments
    (everyone in high office owed their position to
    him anyway), but he maintained his supremacy
    through intrigue, cold-bloodedly fostering
    suspicion, fear and rivalry among his

millions of tonnes 1937 1945 1950
Coal 128 147.3 261.1
Oil 28.5 19.4 37.9
Steel 17.7 12.3 27.3
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Post War Reconstruction
  • Two more Five Year Plans were launched to
    re-build the Soviet economy after WWII
  • 1945-50 - re-build industry agriculture
  • 1951-55 - prestige projects - made regime look
    good, but achieved little economically
  • Remarkable progress was made because
  • The first three Five Year Plans had given the
    USSR an industrial infrastructure to build upon
    trained workers communication networks
    industrial plant - much of the chaos of the Plans
    in the 1930s could be avoided.
  • The USSR was able to economically exploit its new
    political sphere of influence in eastern Europe,
    e.g. stripping German industry of machinery.
  • Armaments production continued after WWII as the
    USSR sought to maintain its superpower status in
    the Cold War - stimulated the industrial economy.
  • Agriculture did not recover as well as industry
    remained relatively backward - the peasantry
    remained the second class citizens of the USSR.

millions of tonnes 1937 1945 1950
Coal 128 147.3 261.1
Oil 28.5 19.4 37.9
Steel 17.7 12.3 27.3
Foreign Policy 1945-53
  • After the war Stalin was unwilling to sacrifice
    or compromise upon any of the diplomatic
    military gains the USSR had made during WWII
    his confrontational foreign policy was to create
    the opening phase of the Cold War conflict and
    was only mitigated by the USSRs economic
    limitations and the threat of atomic war with the
  • Yalta Potsdam Conferences (1945) Stalin used
    these to assert Soviet claims over occupied
    Europe made few concessions to the USA (Truman)
    UK (Churchill), who soon came to see Stalin as
    a menace to liberty in Europe Churchills Iron
    Curtain speech (1946) Truman Doctrine (1947)
    aid states resisting Communism.
  • Comintern had been abolished in 1943 but its
    subversive role was taken effectively taken over
    by NKVD (replaced by KGB after Stalins death).
    Cold War subversion pursued in professional way.
  • Satellite States were set up the leadership of
    the new Communist states in eastern Europe were
    all loyal to the USSR thanks to Comintern. Stalin
    increased the USSRs influence over them through
    Comecon (1949) economic cooperation Cominform
    (1947) political coordination.

Foreign Policy 1945-53
  • Berlin Blockade (1948 - May 1949) Stalin
    attempted to force the western allies out of West
    Berlin as relations between the former allies
    soured. Forced to give way when the western trade
    embargo on the USSR proved damaging to economic
    reconstruction a permanent rift between Stalin
    and the West now opened up the closest Stalin
    came to starting WWIII! (but also shows the
    limits to his aggressive foreign policy).
  • Atomic Bomb (Aug. 1949) by developing atomic
    military capability the USSR could challenge the
    only other superpower, the USA, on its own terms
    ensured that the Cold War deadlock and
    particularly the ideological division of Europe
    would continue.
  • The USSRs military occupation of Manchuria
    North Korea (1945) greatly assisted the setting
    up of Communist regimes in North Korea (1948)
    China (1949), leading in turn to the
  • Korean War (1950-53) whilst the USSR did not
    intervene in this war directly, Stalin provided
    economic and diplomatic support to North Korea
    and China in the first open conflict of the Cold
    War at Stalins death, the Cold War deadlock had
    also spread to Asia Stalin had advanced the
    cause of Communism unreservedly and hedged the
    USSR with ideological allies.

Stalins Last Years
  • Stalins Personal Rule
  • Stalin remained paranoid about maintaining his
    position to the end of his life, e.g. The
    Leningrad Affair (1949) another purge of
    Communist Party to root out potential rivals
    included those with distinguished war record.
  • Regularly humiliating and undermining the other
    members of the Politburo reinforced his political
    psychological authority over them.
  • Jewish Doctors Plot (1953) In the last months
    of his life Stalin was preparing to undertake
    another major purge of the government it was
    alleged that a plot against his life and the
    Communist Party was being orchestrated by the
    Jews doctors were trying to poison him. As a
    result Stalin refused any kind of medical
    treatment when he fell ill. Before the plot could
    be unmasked, Stalin died of a stroke, aged 73.

Stalins Legacy
  • Entrenched power of the Communist Party and the
    demands of the Cold War made reform of the USSR
    almost impossible.
  • Khrushchev 1955 - 1964 - reformer
  • Brezhnev 1964 - 1982
  • Andropov 1982 - 1984
  • Chernenko 1984 - 1985
  • Gorbachev 1985 1991 - reformer
  • Gorbachevs attempt to liberalise the regime
    after 1985 ultimately led to the end of the Cold
    War, the fall of Communism and the end of the
    USSR its empire by 1991.
  • The effects of Stalins policies are still
    evident in Russian economy society today.

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