Introduction, Key Questions, Key Personalities   INTRODUCTION
Russian Revolution, October Revolution, Background to Communism, Key terms, timeline
Dictatorship of the Proletariat, War Communism Policy, The Succession to Lenin
Economic Policies, The Planned Economy: Agriculture, The Planned Economy: Indrustry
The Purges, Stalin's Cultural Revolution
WWII, The Cold War, Post War USSR
Stalin's Death, The Doctors Plot, The Twentieth Party Congress, Destroying the Idol

Josef (Joseph) Stalin was the Communist leader of the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1928 until his death in 1953. The topic "Josef Stalin: Revolutionary leadership in Russia, 1924-57", is taught in History in New Zealand at form five (year 11, NCEA Level 1) and covers the New Zealand School's curriculum. The full topic that is covered here spans from the October Revolution in 1917 to The Twentieth Party Conference in 1957.

Focus Questions

  1. What style of leadership did Stalin establish in the 1920s
      The development and effect of Stalin's style of leadership
      - The struggle for leadership on Lenin's death
      - Stalin's leadership, concept and practice: collectivisation, industrialisation, totalisation leadership
  2. How did Stalin maintain his power 1930-45?
      - Suppression of opposition and challenges of war
      - The suppression of opposition during the 1930s, the purges & trials
      - WWII - a test for Stalin's leadership; the human cost
  3. Why was Stalin's leadership style challenged & rejected?
      Responses to Stalin's leadership in post war society
      - Reimposition of Communist Party controls; Stalin the war hero
      - The Twentieth Party Congress and reaction to the 'cult of personality'

Key Personalities

Name: Vladimir Lenin
Position: Leader of the Bolsheviks
Years: 1917-24
Actions: Organised the October Revolution, Head of Communist Government 1917-24
Name: Leon Trotsky
Positions: War Commissar, Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Years: 1917-40
Actions: Negotiated peace with Germany in 1918, created the Red Army in the Civil War, Rival for Stalin in 1924, Exiled in 1929
Name: Sergi Kirov
Positions: Politburo Member, Chief of Leningrad Soviet
Years: 1924-34
Actions: Close supporter of Stalin; Assassinated in 1924
Name: Josef Stalin
Position: Leader of the Soviet Union (USSR)
Years: 1924-53
Actions: Established the policy of "Socialism in One Country". Introduced the Five-Year Plans for Collectivisation and Industrialisation. Purged all possible opponents in the 1930s. Led Russia through WWII, established the USSR as a superpower
Name: Lavrenti Beria
Position: N.K.V.D Head Years: 1938-53 Actions: Controlled internal security in the USSR, reinforced Soviet control during WWII and in Eastern European countries after 1945
Name: Nikita Khrushchev
Position & Years: Politburo member (1938-53), Party Secretary (1953-57), Premier (1957-64)
Actions: Directed second part of the second five year plan. Took control after Stalin's death. Denounced Stalin at the Twentieth Party Conference

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