Trotsky VS Stalin
The leadership struggle began with Stalin's appointment as secretary general. Seen as an unimportant position, party members agreed with his placement. The position of secretary was merely seen as being Lenin's mouthpiece. However when the health of Lenin lost his ability to speak as Lenin's mouthpiece, Stalin had become extremely important.
Trotsky was incapacitated by a mystery illness that gave Stalin the opportunity he was waiting for. Trotsky could do nothing as Stalin made personal attacks at Trotsky and undermined support for him. He began to expel supporters of Trotsky in the Party Congress. After a disagreement between Lenin and Stalin, Lenin asked Trotsky for support. After Stalin made an abusive phone-call to Lenin's wife Nadezhda, Lenin wrote a last testament intended for the Politburo asking for Stalin to be removed. By the time the letter reached the council in 1924 it was too late.
At Lenin's death Trotsky was the one seen to take his place however he had some key weaknesses against his character.
Stalin was able to create an alliance with Trotsky's fellow leftists (Zinoviev and Kaminev) called the Troika in order to counter the influence of Trotsky. Both these men had reason to believe that Trotsky would dismiss them from power once he became leader. With all his supporters Stalin was able to exploit Trotsky's weaknesses.
Trotsky was seen as unstable as he had originally supported the Mensheviks and had not joined the Bolsheviks until late 1917. Some claimed he had no right to power because he was a new member. He was considered arrogant and Trotsky was seen as over confident of himself. His stubbornness also led to his downfall. He didn't budge on his views and the theory of permanent revolution that he supported was unpopular, dismissed by...