Joseph Stalin

Influence

Joseph Stalin 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 years as dictator.

After leader Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) died, Stalin outmaneuvered his rivals for control of the party. Once in power, he organized farming and had potential enemies executed or sent to forced labor camps. Stalin aligned with the United States and Britain in World War II (1939-1945) but afterward joined in an increasingly tense relationship with the West known as the Cold War (1946-1991).


Facts


- It is estimated that Stalin killed 20-40 million people.

- Many of those people were his own citizens.



"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas."

-Joseph Stalin

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