How was Stalin able to emerge as leader of Soviet Russia in 1929?
In 1929 Stalin successfully took the post as leader of Soviet Russia after Lenin’s death. Lenin had left no leader in charge of Russia so there were a number of people in contention to take his post. By 1929, Joseph Stalin was able to emerge as leader of the USSR ahead of other rivals, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev. He was able to do this because of a number of reasons like using his personal factors, Lenin’s legacy, tactical maneuvering, ideological factors and institutional factors.
An important reason Stalin emerged as leader of Soviet Russia was Institutional factors and the position of Stalin and his rivals within the Party. For example Stalin’s role as General Secretary which made him responsible for various branches of party bureaucracy. He was also responsible for recruitment appointment and promotion of thousands of party workers across the USSR. Having this powerful position in the party made people scared of him and that he sack them so they stayed very loyal to him. On the other hand his rivals, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev had little power in the Party. Trotsky did have a lot of power in the Red Army but none within the Party. This shows how important Stalin’s Party position was in him emerging as leader of Soviet Russia in 1929.
Another very important reason in why Stalin emerged as leader was Tactical maneuvering of Stalin and his making and breaking of alliances. Stalin was so determined to take power he was quite prepared to use dishonourable tactics in his bid for power and started a campaign against his strongest rival, Bukharin. He attacked Bukharin’s followers at lower levels of the Party. He also was very good at manipulating the Party for instance telling Trotsky the wrong date for Lenin’s funeral to reduce his popularity. This helped him seize power as it made he made his opponents weaker in the Party therefore making himself stronger.