The History Learning Site, 25 May
Leonid Brezhnev had the second longest reign. The Soviet Union was a world superpower that helped to shape and define almost the whole 20th century.
This article will analyze the lives, achievements, and criticisms of the nine men who led the Soviet Union. He founded the Communist Party inbut he spent years leading up to the Russian Revolution in exile abroad before Germany arranged for him to go back to Russia to get them out of World War One.
From there Lenin led the October Revolution to overthrow the provisional government that had overthrown the monarchy during the February Revolution. Lenin and the Communists then quickly consolidated power and eventually won the Russian Civil War Lenin then spent the last few years of his life trying to shape the future of the Soviet Union.
Josef Stalin Lenin's warning in his final years about the unchecked power of party members went unheeded, however, and this led to a power struggle for control following his death, Joseph Stalin was born in Gori, Georgia inwhich was then a part of the Russian Empire.
Like Lenin, Stalin was in exile leading up to the Russian Revolution. During this period Stalin clashed with Lenin and other Soviet Leaders over ideology, strategy, and his violent tendencies. After Lenin's death Stalin accumulated power, eventually become the unquestioned leader by Stalin then spent years leading up to World War Two pushing his economic policy of Collectivization and trying to industrialize the country.
Stalin also spent this time purging, executing and deporting his enemies to Siberia. The Soviets and the Germans signed a non-aggression pact and agreed to split up Eastern Europe but then Hitler violated it and invaded the Soviet Union.
Relations with the West deteriorated and the Cold War started in Stalin died a few years later in His advancement through the party was advance by his family connections with Lenin and later under the watchful eye of Stalin.
He was heavily involved in Stalin's purging of his enemies in the 's, gaining Stalin's favor and avoiding his wrath. Upon Stalin's death, Malenkov became the leader of the Soviet Union.
However, Malenkov had a reformist streak as he called for cuts in military spending and easing up on political repression. This fact led to his undoing as a few weeks later Nikita Khrushchev organized a coalition as him and undercut all of his authority as leader.
By Malenkov was no longer the leader of the Soviet Union. Inhe joined a failed coup attempt against Khrushchev and was expelled from the Communist Party.
Malenkov was then sent to Kazakhstan to serve as manager of a hydroelectric plant to spend the rest of his life in disgrace. He died in Khrushchev rose quickly through the ranks of the Communist Party during the 's and 40's. Shortly after taking over the leadership of the Soviet Union from Malenkov, Khrushchev gave a speech where he denounced the excesses under Stalin.
This speech was the start of his policy of de-Stalinization, which resulted in protests in Poland and Hungary that were put down. Khrushchev relaxed restrictions on free expression, released political prisoners and launched bold but ultimately unattainable agricultural goals.
He largely tried to pursue a policy of peaceful coexistence with the West but at the same time started the Cuban Missile Crisis and started construction on the Berlin Wall.
Poor economic growth, deteriorating relations with China and other issues eventually led to Khrushchev being ousted from power by "retiring" due to his health. Khrushchev spent his remaining years at his estate, dying in He joined the Komsomol political youth organization in and in became a full member of the Communist party.
Brezhnev fought in World War Two, reaching the rank of major general and in became a member of the Central Committee. Brezhnev took over as the leader for Khrushchev and ended his cultural reforms by clamping down on the cultural freedom and he gave the KGB back some of their former powers they had under Stalin.
The Soviet economy grew under Khrushchev at a rate that was on pace to catch up with America but by the mid's entered an era of stagnation and never recovered.
Brezhnev also built up the Soviet Union's military at the cost of their economy. During the 's Brezhnev pursued a policy of detente with the West trying to normalize relations but the Soviet's costly decision to invade Afghanistan in ended the detente policy.
In his last few years, Brezhnev's health deteriorated, and he was mostly a figured head. Andropov joined the Communist Party inand his superiors quickly noticed his abilities making him head of the Komsomol.
After being transferred to Moscow inhe was assigned to the Secretariat staff and then became ambassador to Hungary from After returning to Moscow from his ambassadorship he rose quickly through the party ranks and became head of the KGB in Andropov started positioning himself for succession as leader of the Soviet Union with Brezhnev in poor health.The following picture shows Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov, head of the NKVD during much of the Great Purge, crushing a reptilian creature with three humand heads and .
Feb 04, · The Soviet press has left little unsaid about Stalin's shortcomings, probing into sacred myths like his conduct of World War II, likening him to Hitler, dissecting his cruelties period by period.
Stalin was without doubt one of the most ruthless world leaders of the 20th Century, responsible for millions upon millions of deaths.
But estimates of the number of deaths he caused vary wildly – from 3 million to 60 million. Joseph Stalin, who died 60 years ago in Moscow, was a small man -- no more than 5-foot The abused son of a poor, alcoholic Georgian cobbler, Josef Vissarionovich Djughashvili (the future Stalin.
Another earlier study estimated million unnatural deaths were brought about by the Great Purge during – based on the demographic study on unnatural deaths in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
Joseph Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; 18 December – 5 March ) was a Soviet revolutionary and politician of Georgian ethnicity.
He ruled the Soviet Union from the mids until his death in , holding the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from to and the nation's Premier from to