Stalin’s Emergence as Leader of Russia Essay

It took four years for Stalin to emerge as undisputed leader of the Russian Empire and in 1928, at the very beginning of his reign; he was faced with many challenges. For one, living up to the God like image of his predecessor would be a difficult task. Lenin was such a powerful figure that it was impossible for the Russian people not to make comparisons between the two. However, through vast forms of propaganda including posters, statues and films, an idolisation of Stalin was quickly contagious.

At the time the USSR was years behind other countries like Britain and America in terms of industrialisation, and because Stalin was going with, “socialism in one country,” they needed to industrialise very quickly in order to both defend themselves and create a more efficient economy. Rapid industrialisation was forced through with slave labour and the idolisation of Stalin. Workers were made to work terrible hours and in horrific conditions, yet through various forms of propaganda they were filled with a desire to see Russia emerge as the nation leading all others in terms of industrialisation.

Another task Stalin was faced with was the collectivisation of the countryside. The farmers could barely make enough food for the whole of Russia. With industrialisation this was improved due to machinery making it far easier for the farmers to produce crops. The Kulaks were another issue that Stalin tackled. The Kulaks were farmers who could afford a horse, or who were able to employ their cousin to help them in the field. These were still very poor people but were seen as middle class as they were richer than most.

In a Communist state everyone is equal and so there were no place for the Kulaks. They would be rounded up, striped of their possessions and either killed or taken to a camp where they would most likely die quite soon because of starvation. Even though around 10 million Kulaks died and probable millions of other Russians who worked in the factories Stalins plans were working, and as he said himself, “death solves all problems. “