Why did Stalin rather than Trotsky emerge as the leader of the USSR after Lenin's death?

Essay by dkmpunkerHigh School, 11th grade October 2003

download word file, 7 pages 4.3

Downloaded 71 times

'In 1293 Stalin had been on the point of political ruin... six years later he would be in unchallenged power' (Conquest). To see how such a dramatic change, and such an unpredictable defeat of Trotsky, happen you have to look at key figure's personalities, political skill, and or mistakes. You will also have to look at the situation each figure is in, the situation of the country and the political scene in general which is holding the 'left' verses the 'right'. And lastly I will look at the effects of luck which played in his victory.

'Trotsky could fire masses of men to acclaim and follow him. But he had no talent for leadership among equals' (Carr)

This is a key factor of why Stalin had become dictator. Trotsky's weaknesses lead directly to his own downfall and his underestimation of Stalin is also a key part of Trotsky's arrogant nature.

Trotsky was not scared to speak his mind and his overconfidence lead him to assert his point of view even if all other members didn't agree, this created an image of the most likely person to cause a split in the party. A view magnified by the fact that Trotsky only joined the party in August 1917 after defecting from the Mensheviks. Trotsky kept a lot of his Menshevik policies to hart and especially the topic of 'international revolution' heightened the distrust of Trotsky, as many did not see him as a loyal member of the Bolshevik Party. Due to his very strong views that he refused to back down from he was seen as the most likely to try and establish a dictatorship

As well as Trotsky's inability in political intrigue he also made multiple mistakes. The fact that he did not...