History Model Answer on How Stalin Controlled the USSR


"Stalin's use of terror was the main tool in consolidating his power in the Soviet Union." How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. [12]



When historians looked back at how Stalin controlled the Soviet Union, most of them would arrive at the conclusion that he did use terror to a large extend to rule the country. But he was also a propaganda master and an effective industrialist that brought numerous benefits to the people of the USSR. The use of terror tools like the NKVD, the Gulags and purges were able to help him rapidly eliminate those who were dangerous around him. But at the same time, he was able to keep his people under the illusion that he was doing something right by his propaganda tools. Many of the show trials and media outputs that were used as propaganda tools turned his cruel suppression of his opponents into victorious moments for him that garnered him more adoration and support of his people. Along with this, he did also deliver higher living standards of living as well as advancing his country from a predominantly agrarian society to one of the strongest military and industrial power in a very short time. Hence, I think that the mixed of these three strategies worked in unison for him but his use of terror was most significant in the end.

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