Joseph Stalin ruled over the Soviet Union for more than 20 years. On the one side he instituted terror, on the other side he modernized Russia and helped to defeat Nazism. But how did he become so powerful?
Stalin was born on December 18th, 1879, in Gori, Georgia. He was the son of a cobbler and a washerwoman. At the age of 7 he suffered underneath the smallpox which left scares in his face and slightly deformed his left arm. During his childhood he was made fun of and felt left out; he seeked for respect and greatness.
Stalin planned on becoming a priest. During college he got into contact with the socialist writings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, which made him join the socialist group in 1898. In 1901 Stalin joined the Social Democratic Labor Party and started focusing on a revolutionary movement. Only a year later he got arrested for his contribution in a labor strike. This was his first of many arrests throughout the Russian Revolution. During that time he received the name “Stalin”, Russian for steel.
In 1922, Stalin was named the new general secretary of the Communist Party. It gave him power over all party member meetings; this was his source to massive influence. Stalin consolidated his authority so that more or less every member of the central command was under his influence. The members realized the betrayal, but by that time it was already too late. Stalin had power over pretty much all Russia and maintained in that position for decades.
"Joseph Stalin." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.