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Word Count: 1,990
Joseph Stalin is undoubtedly one of the most notorious characters in history He has been called The greatest criminal in history and a 20th century Ivan the Terrible He ruled as a supreme dictator and was responsible for the deaths of millions during collectivization through slave labour camps and through grave mistakes during WW2 He isolated the Soviet Union from most of the world keeping his people inside and keeping foreigners out He created an entire society based purely on terror one that no citizen could escape and finally he created a new privileged class in Russia that exploited the rest of the population However all this evil did have a purpose Stalin turned Russia from a backward mainly agricultural country to an industrial superpower He created the worlds first and largest collectivized farming system He also created the worlds first state socialist system and probably the main thing he successfully defended Russia from all foreign invaders Russia was extremely vulnerable and needed somebody like Stalin to modernize her otherwise she would be crushed To give an overview of Russia in 1930 pre-Stalin The First World War the revolution and the civil war had taken its toll on Russia The country was just starting to recover and the introduction of the New Economic Policy NEP meant that workers now had incentives to work harder Between 1918-1922 Russia had been invaded by many countries including Germany France and Britain The Red Army was weak had almost no modern equipment and lacked leadership Over 90 of the Russian population lived on small farms Farming was primitive and this meant Russia had no money to spend Russian industry was concentrated in only a few cities including Leningrad and Moscow Output was well below 1913 levels The government was weak and the socialist dream seemed farther away than ever If Russia was going to defend herself from invading armies she needed somebody who was truly dedicated to her survival
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