When Lenin died on January 21st, 1924, Stalin did everything he could to build his own reputation. He delivered the eulogy, had Lenin's body mummified, and saw to the building of a Lenin Library and a Lenin Museum. A photograph was created (a fake made by pasting two photos together) showing Lenin and Stalin sitting comfortably together. This picture was published in newspapers and displayed on posters everywhere.
The attack on Trotsky continued. Stalin encouraged journalists to criticize Trotsky whenever possible. According to the media, he was no Leninist (Stalin's new form of Marxism), but the father of "Trotskyism." Thousands of Trotsky's supporters were removed from their posts and replaced by Stalin loyalists. Trotsky resigned from his post as Commissar for War.
During the next few years, Stalin began to plan how he would change Russia and improve his power. In 1928, Stalin began his First Five-Year Plan.
He had decided to make Russia the greatest military power on earth, but he first had to have a rapid buildup of heavy industry: steel, machinery, oil, and hydroelectric power. This meant that old cities would expand, and new ones would be created, especially east of the Ural Mountains. He would have to feed the new factory workers who would be needed, so he decided to abolish private ownership of land, turning farming over to the government.
The Five-Year Plan was to be renewed every five years. The First Five-Year Plan fell short of its goals, but it still made great progress. Tractor factories and machine shops were created in Stalingrad and Cheliabinsk, steel mills were created at Magnitorgorsk; the Dneiper Dam, the largest in Europe, began to generate electricity; and a new canal was created to link the Baltic and White Seas.
However, machinery was not cheap. In...