'the Truth Is That Trotsky Refrained from Attacking Stalin Because He Felt

In: Historical Events

Submitted By simba1991
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After Lenin’s death, a power struggle ensued that resulted in a shift from collective leadership in the Soviet Union to Josef Stalin emerging and establishing his position as the individual leader of the state. To the majority of the Communist Party this was an improbable development as it was thought Trotsky would succeed Lenin. Trotsky had originally affirmed allegiance to the Mensheviks after the spilt of the social democrats in 1903, nevertheless the outbreak of revolution in 1917 witnessed Trotsky joining the Bolshevik party and playing a crucial part in the communist takeover that followed. He began his time in government as the foreign commissar and was principle negotiator in the peace terms with Germany; he then became war commissar and played a vital role in the preservation of the Bolshevik regime by leading the red army to victory against the whites in the civil war. It was down to these factors that Trotsky was seen as the evident heir of Lenin. As well as this Stalin had never posed any threat, Kamenev had described Stalin as ‘a small town politician… a man with no ideas or ambitions’ . However, Trotsky and other leading politicians such as Kamenev and Zinoviev underestimated Stalin’s abilities. Trotsky especially, felt secure as the next successor to Lenin and so when opportunities arose to eradicate Stalin from the party he made the mistake of not taking hold of them. For example, Lenin’s last testament called for the removal of Stalin however Trotsky failed to publish it as he felt it would damage party unity . It could therefore be said that it was the failures and mistakes of Stalin’s opponents notably Trotsky that led to his rise to power. However this is a limited analysis and an examination of Stalin’s skill and indeed luck and good timing will lead to a more balanced appraisal. After Lenin’s death Stalin also used his own political and…...

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