A portrait of Joseph Stalin drawn by a Russian artist.
A portrait of Joseph Stalin drawn by a Russian artist.



Early Life


Young Joseph Stalin
Young Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin born Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili on December 18, 1878, in the small town of Gori Georgia a part of the Russian Empire; although he later invented a new birthday for himself which was December 21, 1879. When in his 30's he changed his name to Stalin which when translated from Russian means Man of Steel.Growing up poor and an only child Stalin's father was a shoemaker and alcoholic, who used to beat him, his mother was a laundress. He contracted small pox as a boy and due to this he had scares on his face for the rest of his life. As a teenager he was given a scholarship to attend a seminary in the city of Tblisi to study to become a priest in the Gregorian Orthodox Church. After leaving the school Joseph Stalin became and underground agitator, he then joined the Bolshevik party whose leader was Vladimir Lenin.

After joining the party he became involved with many crimes that included a Bank Heist, in which they used the money to help fund the Bolshevik party. During his criminal days he was arrested multiple times between 1902 and 1913. He was later exiled to Siberia.


Rise to Power


Joseph Stalin Poster
Joseph Stalin Poster

As Vladimir Lenin was exiled in Switzerland, he appointed Joseph Stalin the general secretary of the Communist party an insignificant post but it allowed Stalin to build his base as he controlled all party member appointments. He used this to his advantage as many of the members of central command owed their position to him. Lenin suffered strokes in May and December of 1922 which forced him to semi retire. Lenin later died on January 21 1923 and thus began a power struggle for leadership of the Communist party. Out maneuvering his rivals Stalin took control of the Bolshevik party. He had many people of power removed from the party through bureaucratic shuffling and denunciations. He also had many others exiled abroad to Europe and the Americas, including Leon Trotsky the presumed successor of Vladimir Lenin. Paranoia began to come into the minds of the people as Stalin was having potential rivals arrested during the night and being accused of aligning with capitalists nations.


The Soviet Union Under Joseph Stalin


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Under the Control of Joseph Stalin the Soviet Union under went a five year plan intended to transform the state from a peasant society into an industrial superpower. These plans were centered on government control of the economy and had a forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture. As the rule of forced collectivization was put into place the Soviet government took control of many farms, but their were still farmers who refused to cooperate, and Stalin had them exiled or executed as punishment. The governments control over the economy and farms caused a mass famine across the country which killed millions of people.

Joseph Stalin ruled with a totalitarian grip and with terror striking fear in the citizens as well as people who might oppose him. He encouraged his people to spy on one another resulting in him having millions of people killed or sent to the Gulag system of forced labor camps. Then during the 1930's he had instituted the Great Purge designed to rid the communist party, the military and other parts of Soviet society from the people he deemed a threat.







Non-Aggression Pact


A picture of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
A picture of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin

Before the start of World War Two Joseph Stalin wanted nothing to do with the war. So to make sure he was not part of it he signed a pact with Adolf Hitler called the non aggression pact. This surprised the world as Germany and The Soviet Union were enemies. What it did was it had the two countries Germany and Soviet Union agree to take no military action against each other for ten years.Stalin saw the war coming and thought of it as a good way to stay on peaceful terms with the Germans, giving him enough time to build up the Soviet army. The pact also had an agreement that when the war was over Germany and Soviet Union would divide Eastern Europe between the two.

Then on June 22 1941 Hitler broke the pact and invaded The Soviet Union.









Soviet Union Joins the War


Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill
Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill

After Hitler broke the non aggression pact by invading the Soviet Union, Stalin had no choice but to fight back. He joined the Allies but had demands telling the British first that they must help the Soviets and second that the Soviet Union would gain the territories in countries that it had taken pursuant to its division of Eastern Europe with Hitler. The British agreed to the first terms but not the second. in November 1943 Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill all met in Tehran to discuss a Britain and American invasion through the French channel in May 1944. The Soviet army made huge advancements in 1944 in Eastern Europe toward Germany.





Ending to the War

The Infamous Red Army
The Infamous Red Army


A Soviet officer waves their flag after a battle that has been won
A Soviet officer waves their flag after a battle that has been won

In April 1945 the Red Army totaling 6.4 million soldiers fought Eastward to Berlin the German Capital. The Soviets arrived there first finding Adolf Hitlers body along with Eva Braun. Though Joseph Stalin refused to believe that his old enemy was actually dead, this was a thought that he had for several years after the war. The war did take a toll on Stalin's people with military casualties upwards of 28 million and civilian casualties upward of 11 million people.








Legacy and Death


TIME magazine Person of the Year: Joseph Stalin
TIME magazine Person of the Year: Joseph Stalin

During the war Joseph Stalin was named Person of the Year twice by TIME magazine and they even wanted to make him TIME person of
One of many Infamous Joseph Stalin Quotes
One of many Infamous Joseph Stalin Quotes

the century. Stalin was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 and 1948. After the war Stalin did not cool down, he continued to prosecute people he felt that were a threat to his government. Stalin also suppressed any Western Influence and built Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe. In 1950 gave North Korea's communist leader Kim IL Sung permission to invade South Korea w
ho was backed by the United States, this triggered the Korean war. Joseph Stalin died on March 5 1953 at the age of 74 from a stroke and was buried in Lenin's mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square. Then in 1961 his body was moved and buried near the Kremlin walls as part of the de-Stalinization process.