Stalin’s Dictatorship USSR, 1924-1941

Stalin’s Dictatorship: USSR, 1924-1941

GCSE History Revision Notes

By Dane O’ Neill

© 2014.

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Stalin’s Dictatorship: USSR, 1924-1941


Introduction 5

Key Words: 6

The Rise of a Personal Dictator: Joseph Stalin 6

The Background of Stalin and Trotsky 6

The Death and Funeral of Lenin 7

Stalin vs. Trotsky – The Struggle for Power 7

Stalin vs. Trotsky – Differences in policies 7

Lenin’s Funeral: Stalin Tricks Trotsky 7

Stalin’s rise to Power in Russia, 1920s 8

Stalin gains total control of Russia: Censorship, Propaganda, and Government in the late 1920s. 9

What is Totalitarianism? 9

Stalin and the one-party government 9

Propaganda: Developing Stalin’s ‘Cult of Personality’ 9

Stalin Suppresses Lenin’s Testament 10

Censorship 10

Apparatchiks 10

Secret Police (OGPU) 11

Stalin controls the military 11

The control of the Communist Party over the government in the 1930s 12

The Soviet Constitution (1936), AKA the Stalin Constitution 12

Government Structure 12

Problems with the structure of government 12

The Purges 13

The Purges: Causes 13

The First Purges, 1930-1933 13

Causes: ‘Collectivisation’ 13

Problems with Collectivisation: Kulaks resist 13

The Great Purges, 1936-1939 14

Causes: The assassination of Kirov, 1934 14

The Purges escalate: The Great Purges; Show Trials; 14

‘The Great Purges’ in Depth: The Show Trials 15

Show Trials: Overview 15

Show Trial #1: The Trial of Kamenev, Zinoviev, & 16 other ‘Old Bolsheviks’ (August 1936) 16

Show Trial#2: Radek, Pyatakov, & 17 other ‘Old Bolsheviks’ (1937) 16

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