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Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953. Joseph Stalin rose to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party in Russia, becoming a Soviet dictator after the death of Vladimir Lenin. In 1925, the Russian city of Tsaritsyn was renamed Stalingrad. He served as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953. PLAY. At the beginning of the 20th century, Russia was a very poor country. Ivan the Terrible was the first tsar of all Russia. By 1928 he had removed all of his enemies and became the sole leader of the Soviet Union. Russia was renamed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). After Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) died, Stalin outmaneuvered his rivals for control of the party. In February 1945, the three leaders met again at the Yalta Conference in the Crimea. Thanks to his position of General Secretary, Stalin had ultimate control over the party. He made shrewd appointments and consolidated his power so that eventually nearly all members of the central command owed their position to him. He shrewdly moved his followers into strategic government offices. After seeing action in the Siege of Paris, he was a military engineer in Indochina, West Africa and Madagascar. Spell. You should have started in childhood. But it was Stalin who employed them to their most hideous and at least semi-effective ends. We strive for accuracy and fairness. He expanded the powers of the secret police, encouraged citizens to spy on one another and had millions of people killed or sent to the Gulag system of forced labor camps. The post of General Secretary of the party, which was held by Stalin, became the most important post in the Soviet hierarchy. By the next year, the Soviet Army was liberating countries in Eastern Europe, even before the Allies had mounted a serious challenge against Hitler at D-Day. Convinced of the Allies' hostility toward the Soviet Union, Stalin became obsessed with the threat of an invasion from the West. Stalin ruled by terror and with a totalitarian grip in order to eliminate anyone who might oppose him. Some of the members were socialists who introduced him to the writings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Born into poverty, Stalin became involved in revolutionary politics, as well as criminal activities, as a young man. Many were ...read more, During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the prospect of communist subversion at home and abroad seemed frighteningly real to many people in the United States. The other village children treated him cruelly, instilling in him a sense of inferiority. Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953. Joseph Stalin was a Georgian born student radical who became a member and eventually became leader of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. The couple had one son, Yakov (1907-1943), who died as a prisoner in Germany during World War II. But like many people in higher politics, he was at the same time quite ordinary — a small man placed in extraordinary circumstances. As the General Secretary, he built his power base while marking out the potential rivals and those who looked down on him since he was not as educated as his fellow colleagues in Lenin's Government. READ MORE: How Joseph Stalin Starved Millions in the Ukrainian Famine. Match. By March, the tsar had abdicated the throne and was placed under house arrest. Though never a strong orator like Vladimir Lenin or an intellectual like Leon Trotsky, Stalin excelled in the mundane operations of the revolution, calling meetings, publishing leaflets and organizing strikes and demonstrations. He soon joined Bolshevism, the precursor of Russian communism. In 1912, Vladimir Lenin, one of the founders of Bolshevism, chose Stalin to join the Bolshevik’s Central Committee. Stalin Becomes Dictator. Most of the people were peasants, and there was very little industry. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! His iron will and deft political skills enabled him to play the loyal ally while never abandoning his vision of an expanded postwar Soviet empire. Though not a significant post at the time, it gave Stalin control over all party member appointments, which allowed him to build his base. They had two children, a boy and a girl (his only daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, caused an international scandal when she defected to the United States in 1967). In his time, he was one of the most powerful U.S. journalists. It's also speculated he was asked to leave due to his political views challenging the tsarist regime of Nicholas II. madisontriolo. What started in 1917 Russia, became a global revolution, taking ...read more, The question of where Russia begins and ends—and who constitutes the Russian people—has preoccupied Russian thinkers for centuries. Once in power, he collectivized farming and had potential enemies executed or sent to forced labor camps. For a time, he found work as a tutor and later as a clerk at the Tiflis Observatory. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin terrorised his own people, but for the first time a survey suggests that most Russians view him favourably. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. After leaving school, Stalin became an underground political agitator, taking part in labor demonstrations and strikes. Stalin Becomes Dictator. Stalin suffered another foreign policy defeat after he encouraged North Korean Communist leader Kim Il Sung to invade South Korea, believing the United States would not interfere. World Studies World War II. In 1901, he joined the Social Democratic Labor Party and worked full-time for the revolutionary movement. Write. By the time Stalin regained his resolve, German armies occupied all of the Ukraine and Belarus, and its artillery surrounded Leningrad. Stalin gained infamy being associated with the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, which resulted in several deaths and 250,000 rubles stolen (approximately $3.4 million in U.S. dollars). After his expulsion from school, Stalin became involved in underground political movements, participating in various rallies and protests. His government also controlled the Soviet media. 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