Joseph Stalin

Steven Sherman, Devin Melancon, Timmy Troung, Cydney Clark

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1930's Russia

In 1917 the Bolsheviks, a revolutionary group that was led by Lenin, overthrew the Russian Government. Joseph Stalin began taking over in the 1920s, where oppression and suffering began for many. By the 1930s Stalin had full control over the Russian government and had started the Communist Party. Stalin had a vast thirst for the industrialization of Russia.
Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was transformed from a peasant society into an industrial and military superpower. However, he ruled by terror, and millions of his own citizens died during his brutal reign.


The USSR suffered 56 to 62 million "unnatural deaths" during that period, with 34 to 49 million directly linked to Stalin. In “Europe A History,” British historian Norman Davies counted 50 million killed between 1924-1953.
Stalin held the title General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922-1953), a position that did not originally have significant influence, but through Stalin's ascendancy, became that of party leader of the Soviet Union.
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Though his popularity from his successes during World War II was strong, Stalin's health began to deteriorate in the early 1950s. After an assassination plot was uncovered, he ordered the head of the secret police to instigate a new purge of the Communist Party. Before it could be executed, however, Stalin died on March 5, 1953. He left a legacy of death and terror as he turned a backward Russia into a world superpower.

Stalin was eventually denounced by his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, in 1956. However, he has found a rekindled popularity among many of Russia's young people.