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Word Count: 668
Rise to Power Stalin first became interested in politics when as a theology student he began reading illegal the works of political philosopher Karl Marx He eventually gave up his religious education to devote his time to the revolutionary movement against the Russian monarchy After becoming involved in the movement Stalin joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party When the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party split into the Menshevik and Bolshevik factions Stalin was drawn to the more militant Bolsheviks who were led by Vladimir Lenin Upon the Bolsheviks upheaval of the monarchy Stalin became an active member of the new government and held many different influential positions He was eventually elected a member of the Communist Partys highest decision making body the Politurbo and the Central Committees Orgburo Organizational Bureau The Orgburo supervised the work of local party committees It was the next body in the Communist Party hierarchy after the Politurbo In 1922 after Lenin suffered a stroke Stalin was elected general secretary of the Communist Party a position that gave him control over appointments and established a base for his political power Opposition and Rivals Stalins aggressive behavior brought him into conflict with Lenin who shortly before his death wrote a testament in which he voiced misgivings about Stalin Basically the testament expressed Lenins doubt that Stalin would use his authority with sufficient caution In the testament he called for Stalins removal from the post of general secretary Through political maneuvering Stalin was able to discount and suppress Lenins testament as well as join with Kamenev and Zinoviev to gain control of the party Stalins main reason for the collaborating with Kamenev and Zinoviev was to form a strong opposition against Trotsky who was Stalins long time rival and a candidate to succeed Lenin as head of the Bolshevik party Trotsky was a strong supporter of Marxism
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