Joseph Stalin's Legacy

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After Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, died in 1924, there was no obvious successor to carry on his legacy, initiating a power struggle. Many believed Lev Trotsky would carry that mantle as he was a brilliant speaker, political thinker and had organized the Bolshevik Revolution. But only a few Russian Communists thought Joseph Stalin, one of the six members of the Central Committee, would be leader. No other candidate saw him as a real threat, although later he outmaneuvered his opponents and established his authority over the Party. However, it took him five years to become the complete leader of the USSR, and not only is that attributable to luck and his control over the party organization, but most notably his personal characteristics.…show more content…
Stalin, outmaneuvering rivals, used Lenin’s funeral to advance position. He tricked Trotsky into not attending the funeral, appearing as chief mourner, and took on the mantle of Leninism to transfer Lenin’s prestige to himself. Lenin favored Trotsky more, but by tricking Trotsky, it set a bad impression. He was able to devise a plan to gain favor. Although childish, it was survival of the fittest, which helped Stalin gain a head start. Less high-minded, more down to earth and practical than others, Stalin was suited to managing the bureaucratic and centralized party that developed. Being agreeable with the majority and with these traits, he proved himself to be a leader and a doer, worthy of Lenin’s mantle. He was strategic as well, staying in the background pretending to be a moderate peacemaker, quietly building power in the party. No one realized he was playing his opponents off against each other leading them to underestimate him. A political skill of eliminating his opponents first requires patience and strategy. If Stalin was head strong, Stalin wouldn’t have survived the struggle since everyone would have attacked him, not giving him a chance to build his power base. His characteristics are what propelled him into the race of this power struggle and topple his rivals. This was the foundation of what was to come since Lenin’s death because this is one thing that was mandatory for him to be a

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