Taking you through AQA A2 History of the Soviet Union in as little time and as little pain as possible... see you on results day!


16 June 2010, AM

4 June 2010

Unit Two - Destalinisation (part one)

Emergence of new leaders after Stalin's death

A joint leadership existed for a time, but new leaders rapidly fought their corner.

- down to Earth
- took initiative
- power-base
- listened to and respected
- visited provinces and met people
- lucky
- crude and unsophisticated
- over estimated himself
- not good at seeing the "bigger picture"

- educated
- friendly with Stalin
- promised higher living standards
- friendly with Beria
- less concerned with limelight
- hated by some important colleagues
- errors of judgement

- prominent in party
- lacked political skill
- powerful enemies

- hated
- ruthless

Which leader had the better qualities for leadership at this point?

Power struggle

- collective leadership took over after Stalin's death, with Beria and Malenkov in positions of greatest power
- Beria brought down in a coup while in Berlin; lack of power-base made him an easy target and he was arrested and shot in June 1953
- Khrushchev used party roles to seize initiative
- left Khrushchev and Malenkov to secure power

- Malenkov in state and government administration
- Khrushchev in party and used power-base to ensure party dominated government
- different economic approaches - Khrushchev's was more Stalinist and thus what the party wanted
- Khrushchev more ambitious than Malenkov
- Feb 1955, Malenkov resigns, and Khrushchev establishes dominance

To what extent does Khrushchev's rise to power echo Stalin's?

Secret Speech, 20th Congress of the CPSU, 1956

- Khrushchev needed to consolidate his leadership and this was an easy way to do it
- 20th Congress, 1956, closed speech to delegates only

- denounced excesses of Stalinism
- Stalin's behaviour declared to be out of touch with Marxism-Leninism
- Limitaions - wrong-doings pre 1934 ignored, focus on Stalin not the party, no suggestion of flaws in the system, not blue-print for the future, accepted 'correctness' of major policies

- 1/2 1956 CC admitted post 1952; new members admitted to make up for anti-Khrushchev reactions
- LAVER: "The essential features of Stalinism survived intact"

What impact was the Secret Speech to have?

Breaking Destalinisation down to save us all from dying of boredom! Have a break; have a coffee; eat a biscuit and see you soon! :)

- HistGrrl x

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