The Life Of Joseph Stalin Essay, Research Paper
Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was an unknown man in the small town of Gori, Georgia. After years of revolutionary activity and many times exiled to Siberia, he changed his name. A name that would threaten the Germans, ally with the Americans, and help the North Koreans. A name that came from the Russian word for steel, Joseph Stalin . Joseph Stalin was born on 21 December 1877 to Ekaterina Georgievna and Vissarion Ivanovitch Dzhugashvili .Vissarion, Stalin s father, was a drunkard and very cruel to his young son. Ekaterina, Stalin s mother, was a washer women to support the family. The first three of Vissarion and Ekaterina s kids had died shortly after their birth, so Stalin grew up as an only child. When Stalin was still a young boy he got small pox, which left his face scared forever. His first school was a little church school in Gori . Gori was full of socialist movements and the Czarist government wanted to educate priests to fight the revolutionary ideas. Stalin s mother, therefore, a dedicated member of the Orthodox Church, entered her son into the Seminary at Tifilis . He entered the school in 1894 for the study of priesthood in the Georgian Orthodox Church and on the birthday of Czar Alexander III, Stalin sung a solo in an Orthodox Church . Soon Marxist ideas reached him. He knew little about Marx s theories and the revolution, but never the less it amazed him. He soon started to get involved. He joined the forbidden revolutionary moment when he was fifteen and three years later he was secretly leading a Marxist circle. In May of 1899, he was expelled from the school for missing an examination but Official Communist literature says that he was expelled for political balance . He soon joined the Tiflis branch of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party and it was not long before he was a professional agitator. In 1900 and 1901 he led strikes and demonstrations in Tifilis and Batum. In 1901 the Czar s secret police searched Stalin s room but he had gone and joined the underground movement that was springing up throughout Russia. He worked for a number of newspapers and on September of 1901 he officially became accepted into the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. Stalin was arrested and exiled to Eastern Siberia, seven times between April 1902 and March 1913, for revolutionary activity. He escaped numerous times to come back and wreak havoc upon the Czarist government. In late 1905, he traveled as a Caucasian delegate to the secret Bolshevik conference in Finland. It was there that he first met Lenin, later on he started to carry out orders for Lenin. Stalin soon became Lenin s most trusted lieutenants, he also became good at raising money for the Party. He supposedly helped with the successful attack on the Tifilis bank convoy. He wrote articles for newspapers such as the Zvesda (The Star) and Pravada (The Truth). Some say it was about this time when he started calling himself Joseph Stalin. In 1914 Germany declared war on Russia and France. World War I had erupted. Stalin was in exile were he stayed until 1917. Russia was suffering badly and many people were starving. Riots and demonstrations broke out through the cities and on March 15, 1917 Czar Nicholas III gave up his throne to a provisional government mostly lead by Mensheviks. The provisional government freed all political prisoners. Stalin returned to Petrograd to help direct the Bolsheviks before Lenin s return from Switzerland. When Lenin returned he opposed the new government and again began to lead a revolution with Stalin supporting him the whole way. While Lenin and other revolutionaries were forced to live underground, Stalin stayed in Petrograd. Where he helped organize a coup which would take place on October 25, 1917 . Lenin then launched a radical program to overthrow the Provisional Government. Then on the month of October, on the old Russian calendar, the Bolsheviks seized power and took over the provisional government. This take over is often called the October Revolution . The new government, headed by Lenin, experienced some small uprisings which grew into a civil war. After a small dispute with Trotsky, Stalin was given an independent command, of some troops, and drove Kenikin s troops back to the Black Sea. He was given the Order of the Soviet Banner, which is the highest military distinction in all of Russia. He also led his troops to many other victories. During the civil war the Russian Social Democratic Party changed their names to the Russian Communist Party. Stalin became one of the five members of the newly formed Politburo (Political Bureau), the leaders of the Central Committee. In 1922, the Central Committee elected Stalin as its Secretary General. At the end of May 1922, Lenin suffered a major stroke. So without Lenin in Moscow the Politburo had its hands full and didn t pay attention to what Stalin did with his new post. He was making decisions that affected the whole Party. Stalin started to slowly move up in the ranks of the Politburo and the succession of Lenin. They placed Lenin under the control of Stalin, so that Lenin couldn t stress himself into another stroke. Stalin reported to the Politburo on a regular bases.
Lenin was slowly getting better and he was allowed to have a few visitors. One day Kamenev let slip that Stalin and Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin s wife) had an argument. Lenin was furious and had his secretary write a letter to Stalin demanding an apology. Stalin apologized but Lenin had another stroke before he could receive it. In late 1922, Zinoviev proposed that Stalin be made secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and was re-elected until he died. In early May of 1923 Stalin claimed his first victim, Sultan-Galiyev. Stalin had sent Sultan-Gaiyev to the Tatar Republic of the Crimea as an observer. He started to attract a following, one that was so big he imagined himself as the leader of the Tatar Republic free from Soviet Rule. Stalin had his secret police forge documents that proved that Sultan-Galiyev had connections to various resistance groups, even to the leader of Turkey. After the arrest even more false evidence was found. Stalin wanted him shot but the Politburo would not allow it, he had to settle with him from being expelled from the party. After years of re-organizing the party to his favor and destroying the Old Bolsheviks, Stalin became a dictator. Trotsky had been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1929 and the other members of the Politburo had been executed. Nobody had enough power to stop Stalin now. He started what he called the five year plan. Stalin eliminated private business, the production of machinery and farm equipment became more important. He put farming under government control. The farmers resisted by destroying their stock and produce. He exiled millions of families and many others died of starvation. When his plan did not work he staged trials of factory managers and buearucrats, who were made to read false confessions. The great purges were beginning. Stalin set up a police force that was worst than the czars. Millions of people were executed or sent to labor camps. The secret police forced the slaves to work in government owned industries. Neighbors were ordered to spy on each other, families were torn apart, and children were ordered to tell on parents. People were forced to read confessions moments before they were shot. Stalin ordered the death of anyone who threatened his power including Party members and army officers. War looked inevitable for the world and Stalin was not prepared. He tried, So Stalin was forced to sign an non-aggression pact and a trade treaty with Nazi Germany. On September 1, 1939 Germany marched into western Poland and Russia marched into eastern Poland. The signed a treaty which divided Poland in half. Soon Hitler made a sneak attack on Russia, which Stalin and his army were not prepared for. The German army marched on Moscow with in months, but the Russians finally started to push the German army back. It was at this time that Stalin reached the height of his popularity. The allies and Russia then worked together until Germany was defeated. After the defeat of Germany in 1945, Stalin slowly cut communication with the western world. He converted goverments in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania over to communism. These countries later became known as the iron curtain, a group of countries that served as barriers from the west. Many non-communist nations joined against Stalin and The Soviet Union, to halt the spread of communism. The tension filled the air as the Cold War began. Stalin s policies lead the western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), to protect each other or any nation being threatned by communism. This lead to the Korean war, for Stalin supported North Korea and the USA supported South Korea. The US felt that the communist nation of North Korea was threatening South Korea. So to stop the spread of communism America placed troops in South Korea. Later on Russia and the USA withdrew their troops from the two countries. The North Korean troops later on attacked South Korea to join the country by force. The war ended soon after Stalin s death. Early in 1953, Stalin was planning another great purge. Then on March 4, 1953 the Central Committee announced that Stalin had suffered a brain hemorrhage on March 1. On March 5, 1953 Stalin died in Moscow. Joseph Stalin lived through the hard times and some good times. He did some bad things for his country and some good things. He industrialized Russia and made them a world power. He went through one World War and led his country into another. The number of people that died in his purges is unkown but some estimate around 70 million. ISO Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was truly a man of steel.