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Joseph Stalin’s Reign of Terror

Joseph Stalin

Stalin was a dictator of the U.S.S.R from 1929 until 1953. He rose from bitter poverty to become ruler of the country that covered one sixth of all the land area in the world. Stalin ruled by terror for most of his years in office. He didn’t allow anybody to say anything about his ideas. Stalin killed all who had helped him rise to power because he thought they would threaten his rules.

Stalin was responsible for millions of deaths of Soviet peasants who discrased with his program called “Collective Agriculture” (government control of farms). Under Stalin’s commands, the Soviet Union operated a world wide network of communist parties. By the time Stalin died, communism had spread to other countries. His style of rule became known as “Stalinism” and continued to influence many other countries.

The people of the soviet union began to hate Stalin, and most of the world was afraid of him. He changed the Soviet Union from once one of the most undeveloped countries to one of the most industrial nations. It became one of the military powers in the orld. During World War II, Stalin was an ally of Hitler, but Hitler betrayed Stalin, even before the end of the cold war, when non-communist countries joined together to try to stop communism.

Stalin was born on December 21, 1879, in Gori, a town near Tbilisi, in Georgia, a mountainous area in the southwestern part of the Russian empire. Stalin’s real name was Losif Vissarionovich Djugshvil. In 19 12 he was adopted by a family with the last name of Stalin, which means “man of steel”.

Stalin’s father who’s name was Vissarino Ivonovion Diugshvil. His profession was a local shoe maker. Stalin’s mother who’s name was Ekaterina Gheladze Djugashvil, worked as a washday. They lived in a small shack. Their first three children had died at birth, so Stalin grew as an only child. Stalin got small pox at the age of six which scared his face for life.

In 1888 Stalin’s parents sent him to a little church school in Gori. He spent five years there, and became very intelligent child. Stalin got a scholarship to go to the religious seminary in Tbilisi. Stalin entered to study for the priesthood in the Georgian Orthodox Church.

When Czar Alexander III died, his son Nicholas II, became Czar. Alexander ruled with complete power. He closely controlled the press, restricted education, and forbade student organizations. Nicholas continued his fathers policies, and Russia made important economic and social progress. However it was difficult to solve this countries problems. The peasants where demanding more land, and all the small farms could not produce enough food for the millions of people that would die from starvation. The growth of factory workers went down because of long hours and little pay.

In 1889 Stalin joined a secret Marxist revolutionary group. The Tbilisi seminary, like many other schools was a center for the forbidden revolutionary ideas. In May 1899, Stalin was expelled for not showing up for an examination interest. His interest in Marxim probably played a part in his dismissal.

After Stalin left the seminary he got a job as a desk clerk. Within a year Stalin began his career as an active revolutionist. In 1900, Stalin helped organize a small May Day demonstration near Tbilisi. The demonstration was held to protest working conditions. In March 1901, the czar’s police stormed Stalin’s house. Stalin was not there so he escaped arrest. He left his job and joined the Marxist revolutionary underground movement that was getting popular in Russia.

Stalin got a job writing for a newspaper called “The Struggle”. In 1882 Stalin got arrested and jailed for his revolutionary activities. Later Stalin got exiled to Siberia. Stalin escaped Siberia in January 1904. He returned to The Bolshevike.

Germany declared war in Russia in 1914 at the beginning of World War II. By the end of 1916 Russia was suffering bad because of the war. Finally on march 15, 1917 Cxar Nicholas II gave up the throne. A temporary government was set up by the liberals the next day. Lenin had a major campaign and became dictator of Russia.

When the Bolsheviks won the civil war in 1920 they started to rebuild the wreckage of the war. Lenin was not aware of Stalin’s secret plan. By 1922 Stalin’s growth became disturbing to Lenin. Lenin wrote a note to his secretary saying that Stalin must be removed from office. Lenin wrote that Stalin is too “rude” and disturbed personal relations, and abused the power of his office. Because Lenin’s illness he was unable to remove Stalin. Lenin died in 1924.

The leading Bolsheviks finally learned of the note warning against Stalin, but they did not care. They believed Stalin that he would improve his behavior. Instead Stalin continued to build his own power. He cleverly used this power to destroy his enemies. In December 1929, the party praised Stalin on his 50th birthday. He became dictator.

In 1920 Stalin started the first five year plan to develop Russia economically. When the government began closing privet buisness and the production of the farm equipment became more vital. In 1929 Stalin ended private farming, and all the farms, arm equipment, and livestock were put under control of the government. But the farmers did not obey and destroyed most of the USSR’s livestock and much of it’s produce. As punishment Stalin sent many family’s into exile, and killed millions more. The destruction of livestock and grain caused major starvation throughout out Russia. The economy move forward, but at the cost of millions of lives.

Stalin ruled U.S.S.R by terror. Stalin set up a system where millions of people where sent to exile or killed without trial. Stalin also turned over many industry to the police, who forced prisoners to work for them. Fear spread throughout U.S.S.R as neighbors where forced to spy on each other.

By the late 1930’s Hitler was ready to take over Europe. On August 23, 1939, the U.S.S.R signed a treaty with Germany agreeing to go to war with each other. On September 1, 1939 Hitler attacked Poland, while the Soviet Union attacked the eastern half. The Soviet Union invaded Finland and November 30, 1939 and took over most of it.

By December 1940, Hitler decided to attack the Soviet Union. In two years the Germans unexpently attacked the Soviet Union. Just before winter, Stalin stalled the German army just before Moscow.

During early in 1953, Stalin prepared to replace the top ten men in the Soviet government. Apparently he was planning another great attack on Germany. Then on March 4, 1953 the Central Committee of the Communist Party said that Stalin had suffered a brain hemorrhage on March 1. Stalin died in Moscow on March 15, 1953

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