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Lenin's Death as the Beginning of a Period of Struggle for Leadership between the Leading Bolsheviks

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Lenin's Death as the Beginning of a Period of Struggle for Leadership between the Leading Bolsheviks Lenin’s death marked the beginning of a period of struggle for
leadership between the leading Bolsheviks, at the end of which Stalin
emerged as the undisputed and unchallenged dictator. Divisions in the
party over the future of the Revolution enabled Stalin to position
himself in a place of power, providing him with opportunities to rid
the party of his opponents from the left and the right.

The situation that the party found itself in 1924 was better suited to
Stalin’s personality for a number of reasons. Stalin was very
practical minded, even though he was not an intellectual like his
rival Trotsky. He was able to adapt to situations to suit his motives,
which is clearly seen when he presented himself as Lenin’s chief
mourner and closest friend at his funeral by reading out the eulogy
and carrying Lenin’s coffin. He therefore presented himself as the
heir to Lenin’s legacy. Moreover, Stalin, though not a theorist, was
an effective and shrewd administrator, a quality that earned him the
nickname ‘Comrade Card-Index’. While his comrades underestimated him,
Stalin was able to use his administrative skills to build a large bank
of information against his opponents, giving him the ability to
blackmail people to follow his orders. Stalin had obviously realised
the potential power in the post of General Secretary in an
increasingly bureaucratic party, as others had rejected the job as
dull and uninteresting. This was a position he had held since 1922 and
it was ...


... middle of paper ...


...ful that without this post Stalin would have
been able to outmanoeuvre his rivals in such a way, as controlling the
votes and securing his support allowed him to assure the majority
beforehand to ensure success. Stalin’s personality was most suited to
organising the down fall of his opponents and though the issues that
divided the Bolshevik party were not deeply ideological and
irreconcilable, Stalin magnified them so that he was able to remove
his rivals in the struggle for power. The personality of his
opponents, such as Trotsky, did not suit to winning the struggle, and
a mixture of Stalin’s strengths and his opponents’ weaknesses allowed
him to succeed. The result of his efforts was that the coalition
formed in 1924 ceased to exist and Stalin stood as a single dictator,
free to implement his policies unchallenged.


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