Complete the following Chart
General Reason for Stalin’s
Rise to Power
Historian’s argument
Robert C. Tucker/Robert
Power Politics
Stalin wanted to gain supreme
power by gaining power over
factions—and portraying himself
as a revolutionary like Lenin
Robert Daniels
Structualist Explanations
Stalin is a product of Russian
history and the administration
bureaucracy of the CP
Shelia Fitzpatrick
Socio-Cultural Explanations
Many Russians became angry
about Foreign intervention &
peasants joined the party—these
people didn’t know Marxism,
allowing them to turn to Stalin
E.H. Carr, Alexander Erlich
and Moshe Lewin
Ideological Explanations
Stalin’s policies were a dramatic
change from the chaos of the civil
war years and the NEP
Review of Stalin’s Rise to Power
What role did ideology play in Stalin’s
rise to power?
• Stalin served in mostly
administrative role
– Editor
– Fundraiser
– General Secretary
• Lenin death brought a
power struggle
Trotsky vs. Stalin: Ideology
• Permanent Revolution
• Internationalism
• Argued that Soviet Union
was too economically and
culturally behindneeded
help from other nations
• Socialism in one country
• Other nations not
• Focus on building up
U.S.S.R economy and
Review Source A, a source from Issac Deutscher
• What was Lenin’s plan for permanent revolution?
• Why did Stalin develop a policy of “Socialism in one country”
Push back against Trotsky
• Opponents of Trotsky argued that constant
revolution would anger other capitalist
– Lead to a risk of foreign intervention
– Socialism in one nation provided more stability
• New members of the party were
peasants/workers with no knowledge of
• Stalin created Marxism-Leninism orthodoxy
(very anti-Trotsky)
• Internationalist
• Capitalism increased
productivityled to
global economy
• Capitalism also leads to
class struggle
• Socialism then
• Society could jump a
stage—but ONLY with
support of another nation
• Argued that factions (or
• Socialism in one country
platforms) should exist— • Destroyed the “Old
“democratic centralism”
Guard” Bolsheviks
• BUT b/c of Tsarist Russia’s • Aruged that Trotsky had
lack of democracy the
no faith in Russian people
party had to be
• Revolutionary stages
could occur very quickly
• Believed that outside
assistance was needed
What is the nature of the Stalinist
• How would you define the nature of the
Stalinist state?
• Was Stalin’s government a progress of
society? Why or why not?
• Looking at qualities of Totalitarianism, was
Stalin’s state a totalitarian state?