His mother, Yekaterina, wanted him to be a priest and would usually beat her son if he son whenever he misbehaved. These beatings were never as bad as those received from his father, Vissarion. Vissarion would frequently beat Stalin and his mother until they finally had enough and Yekaterina kicked Vissarion out. In 1894, at the age of 16, Stalin attended the Tiflis Seminary on a full scholarship. At the school, in 1899, he joined an underground Marxist revolutionary group. Because of his membership in this group, him and other revolutionaries were arrested and sent to Siberia.
Two years later, Stalin escaped from Siberia. On his return, he joined the RSDLP or Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. Later, when the RSDLP split because of differences, he joined the Bolsheviks half under the control of Vladimir Lenin. With the Bolsheviks, Stalin helped with many revolutions. The first was the take down of Tsar Nicholas II and the Russian Tsarist government. With the tsarist takedown, Russia set up a new provisional government. It worked at first but then it started going downhill.
Since fleeing the country in fear of arrest, Lenin put Stalin in charge of the central committee of the Bolsheviks Party. Unimpressed by Stalins compromising with the Provisional government, Lenin started writing hate letters to the provisional government. Most, if not all, of these letters were published in Stalins communist newspaper, Pravda. The Pravda was one of the ways the Bolsheviks spread the communist revolt. The Russians loss in the Russo-Japanese war was the another way that they got the public to turn against the provisional government and strengthen the communist revolt.
The revolt got stronger and stronger until the Bolsheviks finally revolted and took down the Russian Provisional Government. Because of this, civil war erupted all over the country. At the end of this war, in 1920, the Bolsheviks set up the USSR, or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, under control of Vladimir Lenin. When Lenin died, Stalin aggressively worked his way up until he was the leader of the USSR. In his control, Stalin set up a 5 year plan to advance the Russian economy from just farming to also having industry.
In this plan, he would also advance the military and cleanse the country of villains or those he saw as villains. To cleanse the country, Stalin would have unfair trials that would have many on trial at once. These were called his Show Trials. The majority, if not all, of these people were found guilty and sent for execution. They were executed all at once, and the executions were called the Purges. To advance the Russian economy, Stalin would work the farmers to death¦ literally. When the farmers revolted, Stalin stopped sending them food and even more died from starvation.
On the last of the purges, 16 men were put on trial and accused of acts of terrorism towards Stalin and the Soviet government. Two of them were Stalins allies after Lenins death, Zinovyev and Kamenev. All 16 of them confessed although none they were innocent. One of the accused that wasnt sent to execution was Robert Eikhe. Eikhe wrote a letter to Stalin saying that Stalin was wrong and shouldnt have executed those men. Furious, Stalin demanded that Eikhe was shot to death. Not too long after, Stalins wife died.
With that, Stalin will never truly trust anyone or ever be the same. In Europe, there was another leader rising to power, Germanys Adolf Hitler. Stalin admired Hitler and, in WW2, hoped they wouldnt have to fight, so the USSR and Germany signed a Nonaggression Pact to avoid battle between them. It wasnt too long until Hitler broke the Pact and attacked Ukraine. During the invasion, the Soviet air force was wiped out. Feeling surprised and betrayed, Stalin had a mental breakdown. Stalin finally pulled himself together and set up a Scorched Earth policy.
He had both soldier and citizen initiate this scorched earth policy by destroying everything the Germans needed in their area and push out the invading Germans from Ukraine, which was taken under German control. Many were killed in the invasion; the Germans captured four million and killed three million people. Then the Soviets started fighting back. In that winter, many Germans died because of harsh weather and lack of supplies. Towards the end, Roosevelt sent weapons, equipment, and food to the Soviet Union. Stalin launched his final attack on the Germans in Stalingrad.
At the end of WW2, Germany was left with nothing and no one in control. The big three (The United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Britains Winston Churchill) met in Yalta, Ukraine. In Yalta, they discussed many topics. One of them was about Germany. They split Germany into four parts. The four parts were under control of the USSR, USA, Britain, and France. They also talked about Roosevelts preposition and set up the United Nations. The effects WW2 had on the Soviet Union were drastic. People would have their houses destroyed and had to live in their caves.
The food rationings for the poor would continue for a while. Stalin knew nothing about it. It got worse when the United States stopped sending supplies. Because of this, Stalin declared war on the United States and its allies. This war would was called the Cold War. At that, the Soviet Union started developing nuclear technology and tension escaladed. Not too long after, United States President Harry Truman set up the Marshal Plan which had no trade sent to the Soviet Union or any other communist country. A little after that, Germany was officially split into two parts, East and West.
East Germany and East Berlin was under Soviet Control. West Germany and West Berlin was under United States, British, and French control. Stalin blockaded East Berlin from the West. Knowing the end of this life was near, Stalin did many things to make sure he would be remembered. He wrote a 16 volume set of books, and he built canals and bridges to show his control over nature. Many of the projects were unfinished, though. Not too long before his death, Stalin accused seven doctors of planning to kill him and other governmental officials that were their patients, and put all seven on trial.
On March 1st, 1952, Stalin suffered a stroke caused by a burst blood vessel in his brain in his mansion outside Moscow. He died four days later. After his death, Stalin still had many supporters. The Supporters mourned the loss of their great leader. They disregarded the millions of murders or say that they were for the better of the country. They also believed that some of the negative information was fake and still remain loyal to him. Other people that were non-loyal to Stalin were glad that hes gone. The non-supporters renamed the bridges and streets he named after himself.
They also renamed Stalingrad to Volgograd. The propaganda Stalin used didnt completely work. He tried having history books rewritten to make him look peaceful because despite the terror, he wanted peace to be part of his remembrance. Stalin would have picture taken and paintings made of him doing good or kind things. He would also say things to make it look like his murders were okay. In one of his speeches, he said A great danger hangs over our country. (Stalin, Joseph 1878-1952 205) He says this for his multiple 5 Year Plans and his Purges.
Joseph Stalin will always be known as the man who changed Russia. He evolved the working class country into an industrial, Military-strong country. His goals for Russia and the Union were good, but the ways he reached those goals werent so good and thats why many people didnt like him. The opinion of Stalin that I had was that he was a terrible ruler and that he thought for the worst; that changed. I learned that he wanted to advance Russian economy from farming to more industrial factories and that gave me more respect towards him, but I still think he could have done better.