History of Russia

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Date Submitted: 10/01/2012 12:06 AM

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Modern Russia Final Paper

Looking throughout the history of Russia, it is shocking to realize how many regime changes and economic statuses the country went through just within a century. Beginning with tsars and serfs, skipping into communism and supposed equality, but being cut short with purges and mass class cleansing, rising to the second most powerful country in the world, only to shatter into an unnoticed and economically crumbled nation.

There is much debate on why exactly the Soviet Union had failed as a socialistically communist nation; ranging from poor living conditions, to corruption in the central government and lack of freedoms, to unbalanced and failing economy.

The first, and possibly the biggest reason why the USSR had failed were because of the unequal and ineffective balance of power. According to the structure of the Soviet Government, the power was to be appointed by the common people and to be built up from the bottom up, all the way to the Politburo and Council of Ministers. However, most of that had failed causing the Secretariat to place his own supporters into the committees and councils; thus, creating a constant battle to higher positions. A classic example of that would be Stalin’s rivalry with Trotsky. With Lenin’s death, the fight for leadership between Stalin and Trotsky would be a long battle. Stalin slowly, and behind-the-scenes, built up power by creating relationships and connections in the State government, armed forces, and the secret police. When Stalin gathered enough power and support within the Party and the Politburo, he knew that he could not only dismiss Trotsky as an opponent, but also send him away into exile. This constant fear that Stalin had of others becoming stronger and more powerful then him trickled down to the common man, causing millions of people to become victims of the gulag. A mass wave of purges turned the party on itself revealing the corruption, hidden rivalries, and oppositions. Thus, in...