Premium Essay

Lenin, Stalin, and Gorbachev: Their Impact on Russia's History

In: Historical Events

Submitted By theladyogrady
Words 2713
Pages 11
Lauren O'Grady

Lenin, Stalin, and Gorbachev: Their Impact on Russia's History

Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, and Mikhail Gorbachev all played remarkable roles in

Russia's history, although in very different ways. Though each could be criticized or praised for

various different policies, these three leaders were perhaps undeniably the most influential leaders

of Russia's history in the last hundred years.

Vladimir Lenin's influence on Russia started with the release of his book What's to be

Done? In 1902. When the leaders of Russian Marxism gathered for a meeting in 1903, Lenin's

ideas clashed with Iuli Martov's idea of a looser, more democratic workers' party. Due to this

disagreement, was complicated by other conflicts, and from this meeting Russian Marxism was

split into two factions (Simkin). Lenin's faction was called the Bolsheviks (majority) while the

other referred to themselves as the Mensheviks (minority).

When the Revolution of 1905 occurred in Russia, widespread revolt against the czar's

government spread throughout the country. However, it was eventually demolished by the

government. This revolt surprised all Russian leaders, including the Bolsheviks, Lenin managed

to return to Russia only in November, when the defeat of the revolution was pretty much certain

(Talbot). Over the next twelve years, Bolshevism, with Lenin at it's head, gradually emerged as an

independent party that had cut it's ties with all other Russian Marxists. Since about 1905, the

international socialist movement had also begun to discuss the possibility of a major war breaking

out among European nations (Talbot). Lenin urged active opposition to the war effort and a

transformation of any war into a proletarian revolution. When WWI broke out, most socialist

leaders in the countries involved supported the war effort. For…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Joseph Stalin

...Joseph Stalin (1879 - 1953) was not the major player of the October Revolution of 1917, however, he later grew through the ranks of the Bolshevik party and became one of the most powerful dictators that the world had ever encountered. His path to the dictator of the Soviet Union began when he was appointed to the position of the general secretary of the Communist Party in 1922. A lot of Bolsheviks criticize Stalin in the 1920s, but this did not prevent him from getting the power. Lenin was the first Bolshevik’s leader who foreshadowed Stalin’s dictatorship inclination by writing in his “Testament”: “Comrade Stalin … has concentrated an enormous power in his hand; and I am not sure that he always know how to use that power with sufficient caution.” (CP I, 64) Further in the testament Lenin suggested to remove Stalin from the post: “I propose to the comrades to find the way to remove Stalin from that position and appoint to it another man…”(CP I, 64) After the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin started to destroy his opponents. Stalin was very skillful in maneuvering around situation to make his opponents look bad. Also, he was constantly changing his theory depends on whom he needed to destroy. The first Stalin’s target was Trotsky who wrote “theory of permanent revolution” where he elaborated on his concerns that the Soviet regime, being unsupported by international revolution, was in threat of losing its social qualities. Stalin criticized Trotsky’s publication and accused...

Words: 660 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Party States Leaders Ilaria Matiassich History SL Analyze the conditions that enabled one left-wing leader to become the ruler of a single-party state. Joseph Stalin was one of the most important leaders that was at the head of the USSR. He established the political and economic structure that remained in place until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. As Bruce Pawley states, “The Politburo, the Party’s leading organ, had become his rubber stamp. Now, at last, he no longer had to play the role of a moderate”[1], Stalin was very sly and gained his position by “stabbing in the back” his rivals, of any type. Historians all agree that the conditions that enabled Stalin’s rise to power were mainly three; Stalin and Lenin’s relationship combined to Lenin’s death (1924), the unpopularity of Trotsky and ultimately his ability as persuader. Stalin success in rising to power could be mostly attributed to Lenin’s decision and to his death in 1924. In 1917, Stalin – not yet a full member of the Communist party leadership – was appointed Commissar for Nationalities. Stalin had supported the idea of gaining control in October and had been an old member of the Bolshevik Party. However, Stalin started to disagree with Lenin when he gained the title of National Commissar. Lenin alleged that republics of Russian Empire were able to clasp a communist revolution and could be trusted in joining the Soviet Union. However, Stalin had a more pragmatic view. He wanted to......

Words: 1816 - Pages: 8

Free Essay


...The Life of Mikhail Gorbachev Abstract Mikhail Gorbachev was a Soviet politician. He was the general secretary of the Communist Party from 1985-1991 and the president of the Soviet Union from 1990-1991. For most of his life he was proponent on communist ideals, who learned these views at an early age from his grandfather. Gorbachev would later understand in order to strengthen the Soviet Union; he would need to democratize the country’s political system. He would see lead the end of Soviet communism and the end of the Soviet Union’s postwar domination of Eastern Europe. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931 in Privolye, Stavropol kray, Russia. Gorbachev was born of Russian peasant in the Straropol territory (kray). At a vey young age, fifteen, he joined the Komsomol (Young Communist League) and worked on a state farm until his early twenties. He was a very promising member of the Komsomol and entered law school at Moscow State University. During his time at Moscow State he became a member of the Communist Party. In 1955 he graduated with his law degree and held various important post in the Komsomol and regular party organizations in Stavropol, where he became the first secretary of the regional party committee in 1970. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012) Mikhail Gorbachev’s ideals were molded at a very young age. Gorbachev’s grandfather, Pantelei Yefimovich Gopkalo, was a devoted member of the Communist Party. In 1937 Gopkalo was arrested by the...

Words: 1219 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Berlin's Impact on European History

...Berlin is Impact on European History The city of Berlin is central to twentieth century European History. It has been the grounds for many historic events that have shaped the way things are in Europe today both for good and bad reasons. Berlin played a significant role in European history though the sequence of events from 1945 to the late 1990`s that were end of World War Two, through the rise and fall of the Berlin wall, and the birth of the Eurozone. The events covered during this time all interlinked with each other and where the cause for what Europe looks like today. At the end of World War two the USA, France, Britain, and the Soviet Union gathered together to see how Europe should be divided after the war. After it was all divided it came out that the Soviet Union should get most of the countries that Nazi Germany controlled, which were the eastern part of Europe. The division gave East Germany to the capitalist states, and West Germany to the socialist, with Berlin also divided into the two sides. Berlin was on the western side claimed by the USSR, but the city was divided into east and west just like the country had. This division of the capital happened pretty much over night and many were separated from their families and friends. The USSR built the Berlin Wall that would separate all contact with the east side. This forced a Socialist way of living that in the long run created many conflicts of Socialism against Capitalism. The Berlin Wall was eventually......

Words: 1857 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay


...The tensions that existed between the USSR and the USA in the 1920s and 30s Communism was viewed as an unstable force that threatened social and political order and Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, was to represent this. Allied countries Britain, France, USA and Japan had sent help to Bolshevik enemies during the Civil War therefore there were some hostile feelings towards them even after the war. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918) was a result of Russia withdrawing from the war, leading to a feeling of betrayal amongst the allies who were left to fight Germany alone. Communist groups in Spain and France grew in strength in the 1930s in response to the hardships of the Great Depression which placed strains on the USA. Britain’s appeasement policy towards Germany under Hitler’s leadership led to Stalin seeing it as an attempt to placate Hitler and a sign of Britain’s lack of enthusiasm for halting Nazi foreign policy. This meant mutual mistrust and hostility remained between the countries. The strains that existed in the Grand Alliance during World War 2 Despite the meeting at Tehran in November 1943 there were divisions amongst the Big Three. The opening of the Second Front against Germany, Stalin’s way of securing the stability of the USSR, was met with British and US refusal caused Stalin to be suspicious of their motives. The issue of Poland emerged and strains developed during talks of its future. Unit 2: How did the Cold War develop between......

Words: 7667 - Pages: 31

Premium Essay


...3. Assess the impact that Stalin had on Russia and the Russian people During his rule of Russia from 1928 until 1953, Joseph Stalin made decisions and had characteristics that left both long term and short term impact on the country and its people. One of the biggest impacts made by Stalin on Russia was the Industrialisation of the country; Stalin’s reasons for doing this were mainly down to the fact that Russia was still a backwards, poor, impoverished country when he came to power in 1928. Stalin wanted to change this, and make Russia into a modern, industrial and high power nation. In order to fulfil his aims, Stalin introduced new industrial areas in places such as Kusbass and the Fergana Valley, which were previously not industrial areas, where new industries electric power stations, coal mines, oil fields, machine building and metal processing factories were developed and built. During Stalin’s rule, Magnitogorsk was built, leaving a lasting impact on the USSR’s development as an industrial country In order for these new areas to make a difference to Russia’s development and economy, the state run industries worked in order to live up to the newly adopted 5-Year Plans. These plans set production aims that industries had to meet within the 5 year deadline they were initially set. Over time Russia did build up its industry, and this left a long term impact on Russia, as well as Stalin’s 5-Year Plans being used to make improvements within the Soviet Union until its......

Words: 795 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Joseph Stalin became the most important figure in the political direction of one-third of the people of the world. He was one of a group of hard revolutionaries that established the first important Marxist state and, as its dictator, he carried forward its socialization and industrialization with vigour and ruthlessness. During the second World War, Stalin personally led his country's vast armed forces to victory. When Germany was defeated, he pushed his country's frontiers to their greatest extent and fostered the creation of a buffer belt of Marxist-oriented satellite states from Korea to the Baltic Sea. Probably no other man ever exercised so much influence over so wide a region. In the late Nineteen Forties, when a world, predominantly non-Communist, saw no end to the rapid advance of the Soviet Union, there was a frightened grouping of forces to form a battle line against the Marxist advance. Stalin stood tall, grand and bold, completely alone. Opposed to him stood the United States, keystone in the arch of non-Marxist states. Stalin took and kept the power in his country through a mixture of character, intelligence and bravery. He outlasted his country's intellectuals, if indeed, he did not contrive to have them shot. He could exercise great charm when he wanted to. President Harry Truman once said in an unguarded moment: "I like old Joe. Joe is a decent fellow, but he is a prisoner of the Politburo." But the Stalin that the world knew best was hard,......

Words: 457 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

History Since 1945 Essay

...shocked the world to a huge extent[1].Since then, there have been heated debates and discussion about what caused the demise of the Soviet Union. Some scholars think that internal factors such as social crisis and growing domestic unrest led to the end of the Soviet Union while others believe external factors like the policies of the US and Western Europe resulted in the end of the Soviet Union. This essay strongly agrees that the demise of the Soviet Union was caused principally by growing domestic unrest across the Eastern bloc rather than American policies. The Soviet Union was a multi-ethnic country built on the ruins of the Czarist Russia characterized by its nation. The ethnic issue of the Soviet Union was longstanding. During the history of more than 370 years starting from Moscow Grand Duke Ivan IV declared him to be Czar and established the Czarist Russia in 1547 until the Czarist Russia was overthrown in 1917, the Czarist Russia merged Transcaucasia, Central Asia, the Baltic countries, Siberia and the Far East one after another[2]. As a result, its territory expanded 8 times of its original one and it conquered more than 120 nations. To consolidate its brutal rule, every Czar implemented cruel oppression and enslavement in the conquered nations. In addition, every Czar tried their best to promote the Great Russian Chauvinism, instigating the Russian people to despise, hate and oppress the non-Russian nationalities. What’s more, the Czarist Russia government......

Words: 3185 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Economic History

...Government Slide 6: 1917 – October Revolution • Lenin returns from exile with the purpose to end with Liberalism and to impose Communism. • Lenin joins Trotsky and both lead a group of Bolsheviks that assault the parliament. • Through force, the Bolshevik Party dissolved the parliament (violence will accompany the Soviet Revolution until its end). • Bolsheviks, dissatisfied with the liberal regime of Kerensky, make a revolution killing the Tsar and the imperial family. Slide 7: Interim Government -» Proletarian Dictatorship (Lenin) Slide 8: Climate of oppression • According to the ideals of Marxist-Leninist theory, it is necessary to remove the population’s resistance against Communism to install a more just and prosperous regime. • To remove the population’s resistance against Communism and to oppress the enemies of the revolution, Lenin creates the Tcheka (Bolshevik Secret Police). • In December of 1917, the Bolshevik Party loses the elections and ends up with the parliament. • The climate of oppression intensified. Slide 9: 1918 – Treaty of Brest-Litovsk • At the end of the First World War, with the surrender of Germany, it was signed a peace treaty between Germany and Russia. Slide 10: Civil War (1918-1921) War between the Tsarists (coalition between the liberal and royalist) – White Army – and the Bolsheviks lead by Trotsky – Red Army. • Lenin starts the first phase of the......

Words: 2199 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Bio of Stalin

...birth: Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili Ruthless and ambitious, Joseph Stalin grabbed control of the Soviet Union after the death of V.I. Lenin in 1924. As a member of the Bolshevik party, Joseph Stalin (his adopted name, meaning "Man of Steel") had an active role in Russia's October Revolution in 1917. He maneuvered his way up the communist party hierarchy, and in 1922 was named General Secretary of the Central Committee. By the end of the 1920s, Joseph Stalin had expelled his rival Leon Trotsky, consolidated power, and was the de facto dictator of the Soviet Union. In the 1930s Stalin executed his political enemies and started aggressive industrial and agricultural programs that were supposed to lead to miraculous improvements in production, but instead left untold thousands of peasants dead. During World War II, Joseph Stalin was the commander of the Soviet military, first making a non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler (1939) and then joining the Allies after Germany invaded Russia in 1941.  Stalin attended the postwar conferences at Yalta, Teheran and Potsdam that determined the shape of the postwar world. He endured as maximum leader until his death in 1953; years later he was denounced by his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, and "Stalinism" was officially condemned.  Brief Bio Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was transformed from a peasant society into an......

Words: 1542 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...The Edexcel International GCSE in History Schemes of work We are happy to provide these new enhanced schemes of work for you to amend and adapt to suit your teaching purposes. We hope you find them useful. Practical support to help you deliver this specification Schemes of work These schemes of work have been produced to help you implement this Edexcel specification. They are offered as examples of possible models that you should feel free to adapt to meet your needs and are not intended to be in any way prescriptive. It is in editable word format to make adaptation as easy as possible. These schemes of work give guidance for: * Content to be covered * Approximate time to spend on different key themes * Ideas for incorporating and developing the assessment skills related to each unit. Suggested teaching time This is based on a two year teaching course of five and a half terms with one and a half hours of history teaching each week. This would be a seventy week course with total teaching time of approximately 100 hours. The schemes suggest the following timescale for the different sections: * Paper 1: 20 hours for each of the two topics: Total 40 hours. * Paper 2 Section A: 20 hours for the topic: Total 20 hours. * Paper 2 Section B: 25 hours for the topic since it covers a longer period in time. Total 25 hours. * Revision: 15 hours. Possible options for those with less teaching time * 20 hours for Section Paper 2 Section......

Words: 19278 - Pages: 78

Free Essay


..."After the death of Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist for 24 years. Stalin rarely appeared to be what he really was and consistently was underestimated by his opponents. Stalin pushed the Solviet Union into world power, but with this power he forced his nation upon one of the most ruthless reigns in history. He was born as Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili on December 21, 1879, in the Georgian hill town of Gori. His father was a very poor and very unsuccessful shoemaker. He was an alcoholic and constantly beat his son. His father died in a fight when Stalin was 11 years old. Ekaterina, Stalin's mother, was a washer woman who hoped her son would grow up to be a priest. Although his parents spoke no Russian, he was forced to learn it because it was the language taught at the Gori Church School that he attended. Stalin was the best pupil in his school and at the age of 14 he earned a full scholarship to the Tbilisi Theological Seminary. During the year of 1898, he became involved in radical political activity. The following year he left the Tbilisi Theological Seminary without graduating and became a full-time revolutionary organizer. By 1901, Stalin became a member of the Georgian branch of the Social Democratic Party. Stalin was always helping with strikes, and spreading socialist literature. Stalin did not have a strong voice or charisma, but had a practical talent at organizing activities." Source:......

Words: 259 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Joseph Stalin: Man of Steel

...Joseph Stalin: Man of Steel Only a few years after the end of World War I, a new leader came to power in Russia. This man quickly became a threat to any potential enemies of the Soviet Union by showing his competence militarily. His military leadership would prove itself more admirable in World War II. Also, being a leader in a leader in an underground revolutionary group and a member of the Bolsheviks could only add to his intimidating persona. The name most commonly matched to said persona is that of an important, tyrannical former leader of the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin’s political reign is that of violence and war, but his story still influences politics today and influenced the decisions of other world leaders along the way. Joseph Stalin lived a fairly normal early life. He was born on December 21, 1879. His birthplace was Gori, a small town in the Russian province Georgia. Only later did he adopt the surname ‘Stalin’. His actual birth name was Joseph Vissarianovich Dzhugashvili (Schlesinger 14). So how does a boy from a small town grow up to kill millions in a military dictatorship? Stalin is the perfect example of someone being influenced by the media. One particular book made a huge influence on his future and his feelings towards Russia. When Stalin was young, he read a book about a character by the name of Koba, a Georgian equivalent to Robin Hood. This Robin Hood-like character despised Russians and how they treated the people of Georgia (Schlesinger 16).......

Words: 2127 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Josef Stalin

...1878 would have a profound impact on the Soviet Union throughout his time as supreme leader (Brent, 2008, pg 8). Born the son of a Georgian shoemaker, he was always reading and studying hard which earned him a scholarship to the Theological seminary in Tbilisi, Georgia (Marrin, 1988, pg. 10). This man stood only five feet four inches tall and had a severely withered left arm which made his left hand nearly useless (Brent, 2008, pg. 19). While at the seminary, he became heavily involved in Marxist teachings. He led demonstrations and private meetings where he taught Marxist ideals inside the seminaries locked gates. In 1912, Josef Vissarionvich Djugashivili changed his name and became Joseph Stalin, Russia’s “Man of Steel” (Brent, 2008, pg. 72). Heavily influenced by his Marxist teachings and the mentorship of Lenin, he became the most revered and the most feared leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union during hard economic times when their industries were fifty years behind other nations. Stalin implemented a series of five year plans to help bring the Soviet Union up to date with the rest of the World. Although is five year plans helped the Soviet Union industrialize quickly, they had a severe impact on his countries citizens. Stalin wanted to be the one and only leader of the Soviet Union and persecuted anyone who did not remain totally loyal to him or his philosophy. The policies of Joseph Stalin had a severe impact on the Soviet Union......

Words: 2179 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Joseph Stalin

...Joseph (Dzhughashvili) Stalin accomplished many achievements for the Russia people during his life time, unfortunately at the expense of many lives, and others he sent into exile, in gulag camps in Siberia. He was born in Gori, Georgia, the son of a poor shoemaker in 1879. Like most young Russian men, of Stalin time, he struggled to find his way, but after much hardship in Georgia. He grew to be anti-government and the Marxist ideas were his new found believes. Stalin elected President after Lenin death in 1924. “The Russian Revolution was a war between the Bolshevik (Red Guard), communist, and Mensheviks (White Guard)”, Frazee, C. A. p179. Joseph Stalin fought in the civil war Bolshevik, standing strong on his ideals of socialism was the only way Russian would survive. His authoritarian rule forced the Russian people to believe as he did that socialism the right way and capitalism was wrong. While Stalin was in power, his ruling strategies industrialized the country, communized their agriculture, and he made Russia a more active country on international affairs, he lead his country to a superpower. The early years of Stalin were the foundational years that gave him the true since of poverty, “an uptown boy, he distinguished himself in fighting, in Russian of the late 1880 and early 1890, Stalin at the age of fifteen adopted the Marxist ways” Davies, S. and Harris J P30. The ideas of Marxism, in the beginning, remained blind to the majority of Georgian’s country men. He......

Words: 1341 - Pages: 6

Daddy Yankee - Limbo. | Eason Chan | The Quirk-duce season 07 episode 06