10. Soviet Suspicions and the Search for Security

Soviet Union and War Communism
• The Bolsheviks had consolidated power.
• Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) organized the Red Army to
suppress both internal and foreign opposition.
– White Russian opposition could not get properly organized.
• The nation was run by Lenin from the top,
– The New Economic Plan nationalized the banks, the transport
system and heavy industry run by the gov’t
– All opposition was repressed.
– Peasants were given ability to farm for profitstabilized
The Third International
• Also called the Comintern, the Third International of
the European Socialist Movement was designed by
Lenin to promote the Bolshevik style of Socialism in
– 1920-21 conditions were imposed on any socialist party
that wanted to join.
The Stalin/Trotsky Rivalry
• After Lenin’s stroke in 1922 and his
subsequent death in 1924, a power
vacuum was left.
• Leon Trotsky was a Jew within an antiSemitic society and considered more
of an intellectual than leader
• Stalin was the secretary of the
Communist party and had much more
loyalty due to making key
• 1927—Stalin won support of party;
Trotsky flees
The Soviet Union Under Stalin
• 1928—Five Year Plan implemented—centrally
controlled plan for industrial expansion
• Farm Collectivization consolidated small farms into
– Many peasants opposed, but 12 million were
• 1933—second Five Year Plan created a boom in
Soviet industry while the West was in the depression
• 1930s10 million Russians arrested and sent gulags
(Siberian labor camps) where eventually died
• 1 million were executed as opposition to Stalin
Soviet Suspicions and the Search for
• Since the time of Peter the Great, internal
struggles had plagued Russia over her
willingness to do what?
– Westernize
• Continual conflict between pro-Westerners
and pro-Slavic roots
• Most opposition to Westernization came from
Russian fear of invasion from the West
Reasons for Stalin’s Suspicion of the
A. Versailles Conference—Russia was excluded and
lost territory
B. Russian Civil War—the U.S. supported the White
Russians against the Bolsheviks during the civil
war. U.S. sent military support in hopes of
toppling the communist regime
C. League of Nations—The Soviet Union was
excluded from the League of Nations until 1933;
Stalin viewed the West as unconcerned about
the political importance of the SU in Europe
Reasons for Stalin’s Suspicion of the
D. Locarno Agreement—France and Germany
established permanent boundaries after
WWI; Stalin saw this as an anti-Soviet bloc
E. Invasion of Manchuria—Japan invaded
Manchuria; L of N did not respond; possible
threat of invasion against SU
F. Spanish Civil War—Rise of fascism with little
support from U.S. or Britain
G. Munich Conference—Britain and France
conceded to Hitler parts of Eastern Europe;
Stalin not invited; saw fascists as a threat
H. Nazi-Soviet Pact—Hitler and Stalin signed
nonaggression pact. Stalin needed to buy
time to prepare for war.
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