During this time to end the Russian Revolution, he would be captured by the secret police and sent to prison camps in Siberia, where he escaped every time. After the last successful escape, Stalin went to Saint Petersburg and was able to take control of the newspaper Pravda. Over the course of time, this position would allow Stalin to become closer to Lenin, as he would be able to protect and support the Revolution when all seemed lost. To achieve these objectives, he formed alliances with political allies and then would go after his enemies. Once the communists came to power, this approach was used to destroy the former Czarist elements in Russian army and force the peasants in the country side to support these changes through intimidation. After Lenin died, Stalin was able to use these tactics to gain power. This would create a state that was based on his personality and control, involving collectivization along with central planning. During the 1930's, the severe economic depression would force Stalin to purge his military ranks and party loyalists. Then, in 1939 he would sign a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany, who would invade the Soviet Union in 1940. During World War II, he would play a vital part in the Allies victory, but wanted to increase his overall control of the territories that were seized from the Nazis. This would create a Soviet dominated zone in Eastern and Central Europe. During 1950, he would help equip and arm the North Koreans to invade the South, as their leader Kim Il Sung was a former Soviet military officer during World War II. (Haugen, 2006) ("Joseph Stalin ") the lasting impact of Stalin's rule is: one of death, fear and intimidation, as the state would tighten its grip over the people. This is significant, because it shows how Stalin's own insecurities and experiences that he would have earlier in life, would affect the way he ruled.
Stalin was an oppressive leader who would engage in a number of different actions, to instill loyalty among the general population. The most notable would be: the purges during the 1930's. This is when Stalin would go after military officers and civilians that he believed were involved in subversive activities. The reason why, is because there was information that was obtained from the secret files of Czarist police, which identified Stalin as double agent who worked with both sides. When this information was discovered by the Red Army, Stalin began his purges as a way to control the population and put down any possible coups against him. (Mawdesly, 2004) This would result in the deaths of millions and would spark a famine, at the beginning of World War II. This is significant because it underscores, how Stalin would rule based upon his own personality, where various incidents in the past and his own personal conflicts would lead to the purges.
In 1952 and 1953, Stalin was going to have a series of trails of Jewish doctors, who were considered to be collaborators with the West. He subsequently was treated by the cousin of his personal physician, who he had arrested as a part of the new purge. However, these trials would never take place, as Stalin would suffer a stroke and die of a cerebral hemorrhage on March 5, 1953. Like in life his death is clouded in mystery, as it was shown that he was poisoned using waraffin (a type of rat poison that causes cerebral hemorrhages). (Zuehlke, 2006) This is a controversial theory that may never fully be examined, making Stalin's death an enigma. The legacy that he leaves behind is one of brutality, death, destruction and oppression. This highlights the overall personality and leadership style; that Joseph Stalin would use when ruling the Soviet Union. As a result, his life experiences would shape him into a brutal dictator that was interested in his own self-interest at any cost.
"Joseph Stalin." PBS. 1999. Web. 2 Jun. 2010.
Haugen, Brenda. Joseph Stalin. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2006. Print.