How Did Stalin Come to Power?

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Stalin came to power when Lenin died in 1924 by outmaneuvering his rivals to become the head of the Communist Party and then the dictator of the Soviet Union. Lenin was exiled in Switzerland in 1912 when he appointed Joseph Stalin to serve for the Bolshevik Party on the first Central Committee.

Three years after the formation of the first Central Committee, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia. The Soviet Union was founded five years later in 1922, and Lenin was chosen as the first leader. Stalin stayed within the Bolshevik group during this time and rose up the party ladder. In 1922, he was made the secretary general of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. This new role allowed him to give his allies government jobs. This, in turn, grew his political support base.

Lenin died in 1924, and this is when Stalin seized his high-power position of the leader of the Communist party and the director of the Soviet Union. During his reign, Stalin launched a series of five-year plans. These plans were set to transform the Soviet Union from a peasant, weak country to an industrial, national power country. His plan relied on government control of the economy and forced the collectivization of Soviet agriculture. This led to a famine as many farmers refused to cooperate and were either shot or exiled. The famine killed millions.