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Extended Essay Final Draft - Stalin’s Rise to Power

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  1. Explain why Stalin was able to defeat his main opponents and succeed in the power struggle by 1929.

Thesis: Stalin’s rise to power can be attributed to a mix of several mistakes of his opponents, vast economic problems and smart moves by him.

Topic sentence 1: Stalin was able to defeat his main rivals because they committed some crucial mistakes, of which perhaps the greatest on was to underestimate him.

  • They let him become General-secretary, thinking that he wasn’t strong/smart enough for anything else.
  • Zinoviev and Kamenev joined sides with him to get rid of Trotsky…later they looked for an alliance with Trotsky. Had they allied in the first place, they might have stopped Stalin.
  • Not publishing Stalin’s testament from the beginning was a big mistake, it could have weakened him.

Topic sentence 2: The weak economy of post-world and civil war Soviet Russia also played in the hands of Stalin, who with smart course changes managed to isolate and then remove his opponents.

  • Define war communism, NEP and Socialism in one country.
  • First Stalin supported NEP to remove Zinoviev and Kamenev, but then when they heard he was going to abandon it, Kamenev and Zinoviev quit the United Opposition.
  • Stalin moved away from NEP, now he could defeat Bukharin.

Topic sentence 3: Stalin has had luck in his rise to power, but he also was an opportunist who used every opportunity he could find to demolish his opponents.

  • Lenin’s wrong death date to Trotsky
  • The publishing of Lenin’s testament, letting him remove Trotsky for not obeying orders.
  • The United opposition, which he could destroy due to the ban on factions in 1921.

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