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IB
History
internal
Assessment:

 
 
 
 
 
 Word
Count:
1999


“THE
WRITTEN
ACCOUNT”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 by
Rachel
Ho

Mrs.
Judy
Comrie,
Grade
11
History
HL
 
 
 
 
 
 
 18th
of
March,
2008


“To
what
extent
was
Trotsky
responsible
for
his
defeat
in
the
1924
power
struggle?”


Part
A:
Plan
of
the
Investigation

 
 
 
 
 
 
 











Word
Count:
104


In
order
to
answer
“To
what
extent
was
Trotsky
responsible
for
his
defeat
in
the
1924
power
struggle?”,
it


is
necessary
to
investigate
Trotsky’s
own
actions
during
the
power
struggle
following
the
death
of
Lenin,


along
 with
 other
 factors
 that
 may
 have
 contributed
 to
 his
 downfall.
 These
 other
 factors
 include
 the
 past


actions
 of
 Lev
 Trotsky
 that
 may
 have
 had
 repercussions
 later
 on;
 secondly,
 the
 actions
 of
 Stalin,
 as
 the


other
 main
 contender
 for
 the
 seat
 of
 power
 Lenin
 had
 left
 behind,
 and
 other
 factors
 of
 the
 times
 that


Trotsky
had
no
control
over.



Part
B:
Summary
of
Evidence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 











Word
Count:
563



Leon
 Trotsky
 has
 been
 credited
 as
 one
 of
 Bolshevism’s
 principal
 leading
 figures,
 ranked
 with
 the


likes
of
Lenin
and
Stalin.
Throughout
his
many
years
of
working
for
Communism
in
Russia,
Trotsky
secured


various
victories
and
achievements
which
in
1924
made
him
a
candidate
for
the
seat
of
power
following


Lenin’s
death,
even
so
far
as
to
be
dubbed
the
“main
opponent”
of
Stalin,
who
in
the
end
would
succeed


the
 deceased
 Lenin.1
 Among
 his
 achievements
 are
 his
 role
 of
 leadership
 in
 the
 highly
 crucial
 Petrograd


Soviet
during
1905,
his
election
to
the
Bolshevik
Central
Committee
in
the
August
of
1917—a
month
after


he
 had
 joined
 the
 Bolsheviks
 under
 Lenin.2
 In
 the
 subsequent
 September,
 Trotsky
 assembled
 the
 Red


Guards
 of
 the
 Military
 Revolutionary
 Committee,
 which
 was
 crucial
 in
 the
 victorious
 defense
 against
 the


Kornilov
attack.
The
1917
Revolution
and
the
Bolshevik
vistory
in
the
Civil
War
of
1918‐1919
has
also
been


attributed
to
Trotsky’s
leadership
of
the
Military
Revolutionary
Committee.3




Despite
his
achievements,
the
Party
was
divided
in
their
opinion
of
Trotsky;
in
his
will,
Lenin
noted


that
Stalin
and
Trotsky
represented
the
‘two
classes’
that
would
cause
a
rift
within
the
party,
and
advised


the
 Party
 to
 take
 steps
 to
 prevent
 it
 from
 happening.4
 Lenin
 was
 also
 concerned
 that
 Stalin
 was
 holding


more
power
than
he
had
wisdom
to
utilize,
and
suggested
that
he
be
removed
him
from
his
position—A


later
codicil
added
that
it
was
imperative
that
Stalin
be
removed
from
his
post
as
General
Secretary—he































































1

Margot
Morcombe
&
Mark
Fielding,
The
Spirit
of
Change:
Russia
in
Revolution.
(Australia,
McGraw‐Hill,
2000)
p
179.

2

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
73

3

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
130

4

Vladimir
Ilyich
Ulyanov,
Collected
Works.
Vol
36,
pp
594‐6

also
 noted
 Trotsky’s
 outstanding
 ability,
 and
 most
 blatantly,
 his
 “excessive
 self
 assurance”
 and
 knack
 for


the
administrative
instead
of
the
practical.5


Stalin
 played
 no
 small
 part
 in
 eliminating
 Trotsky;
 a
 great
 deal
 of
 which
 can
 be
 accredited
 to
 the


control
Stalin
had
over
the
appointment
of
officials
within
the
Party
and
therefore,
the
government6.
Stalin


was
considered
‘peasant’
and
was
perceived
as
less
intelligent
and
therefore
less
of
a
threat,
while
Trotsky


on
 the
 other
 hand,
 was
 not
 a
 crowd
 favorite,
 and
 is
 said
 to
 be
 arrogant,
 and
 that
 it
 was
 his
 fine,
 strong


qualities
that
‘alienated
and
outmanoeuvred’
him.7
He
was
adamantly
loyal
to
the
party
and
stuck
with
its


decisions
even
if
they
were
against
him,
and
this
was
viewed
as
a
weak
point
by
some
of
the
Party—Stalin


utilized
this
doubt
and
garnered
resentment
against
Trotsky.8


Another
thing
that
further
built
up
the
crowd
against
Trotsky
was
his
attitude
towards
the
NEP
after


Lenin’s
death.
The
triumvirate
of
Stalin
was
for
“socialism
in
one
country”
while
Trotsky
and
a
number
of


others
 were
 supporting
 “permanent
 revolution”.9
 Stalin
 and
 Bukharin
 noted
 that
 permanent
 revolution


was
contradictory
to
Lenin’s
idea
of
proletarian
revolution,
and
then
used
it
as
grounds
to
refute
Trotsky’s


suggestion.10
 Stalin
 had
 no
 qualms
 about
 bringing
 up
 Trotsky’s
 Menshevik
 history
 and
 roots
 in
 order
 to


destroy
him,
despite
what
is
said
in
Lenin’s
will,
and
it
was
for
no
small
reason
that
Lenin
thought
him
to
be


utmost
threat,
and
therefore
refused
to
hand
him
the
seat
of
power.
11


Part
C:
Evaluation
of
Sources
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 











Word
Count:
542



Morcombe,
Margot.
The
Spirit
of
Change:
Russia
in
Revolution.
Roseville,
Australia:
McGraw‐Hill,
2000.


[307
words]

The
 source
 is
 a
 secondary
 source
 as
 it
 is
 a
 textbook
 on
 the
 Russian
 Revolution
 and
 discusses
 the


history
 surrounding
 the
 revolutions
 of
 1905
 and
 1917.
 Published
 in
 Australia
 in
 2000,
 the
 book
 was


compiled
and
jointly
written
by
Margot
Morcombe
and
Mark
Fielding,
who,
based
on
the
expertise
put
to


practice
in
making
the
book,
are
most
probably
historians.
The
book
is
intended
for
high
school
students


studying
 Russian
 history
 for
 entrance
 examinations.12
 As
 the
 book
 intends
 to
 instruct
 the
 readers
 in
 the
































































5

Ulyanov,
pp
594‐6

6

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
180

7

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
179

8

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
180

9

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
183

10

Morcombe
and
Fielding,
p
183

11

Ulyanov,
pp
594‐6.

11

Ulyanov,
pp
594‐6.
 

12

Morcombe
&
Fielding,
p
ix.
 

skills
 of
 “raising
 questions,
 investigating
 primary
 sources
 and
 then
 drawing
 conclusions”13,
 the
 steps


outlined
in
each
of
the
analyses
in
the
book
are
thorough
and
neatly
done.



Based
on
the
origin
and
purpose
of
the
source,
it
is
valuable
in
the
hindsight
that
is
present,
as
well


as
the
wider
scope
that
provides
information
on
the
entirety
of
the
Russian
Revolution.
The
source
is
also


post‐1991,
which
is
when
the
Soviet
archives
were
opened
to
public,
meaning
that
the
information
in
the


book
 is
 most
 likely
 more
 reliable
 than
 a
 pre‐1991
 publication.
 However,
 the
 source
 is
 limited
 by
 the


broadness
of
general
topic
explored,
which
means
there
is
little
detail
and
less
in‐depth
exploration
of
each


historical
 aspect.
 Because
 the
 book
 seeks
 to
 explore
 the
 entire
 topic
 of
 Russian
 Revolution,
 it
 is
 not


especially
 valuable
 in
 investigating
 Trotsky.
 Also,
 the
 book
 concentrates
 on
 the
 development
 of
 analysis


skills
 instead
 of
 simply
 laying
 out
 facts,
 which
 again
 limits
 the
 amount
 of
 information
 available
 in
 it.
 The


book
 is
 meant
 for
 high
 school
 students
 and
 may
 therefore
 be
 limited
 by
 the
 level
 of
 vocabulary
 that
 is


used.
 Having
 to
 use
 simpler
 words
 means
 that
 the
 information
 presented
 may
 not
 be
 communicated
 as


well
as
it
could
be
using
an
alternative
vocabulary
and
writing
style.



Ulyanov,
Vladimir
Ilyich
‘Lenin’.
Lenin’s
Testament
and
Codicil.

[235
words]

The
document
used
is
a
primary
source,
as
it
is
an
excerpt
from
the
Lenin’s
last
will
and
testament.


The
document
is
intended
to
be
read
out
to
the
Party
and
its
contents
to
be
carried
out
for
the
good
of
the


party.
One
of
the
most
important
parts
of
the
testament
is
Lenin’s
opinion
regarding
his
successor
as
it
is


crucial
 in
 affecting
 the
 general
 perception
 of
 each
 candidate
 for
 power,
 which
 is
 considered
 the
 main


purpose
of
the
document.
Considering
the
origin
and
purpose
of
the
document,
it
has
to
be
noted
that
the


document
 is
 obviously
 biased
 as
 it
 represents
 Lenin’s
 individual
 opinion.
 However,
 in
 the
 case
 of
 this


investigation,
the
document’s
bias
can
be
considered
a
value,
because
through
it,
historians
studying
the


character
of
Trotsky
may
find
it
useful
in
its
ability
to
show
what
Lenin
himself—the
head
of
the
Party
and


one
of
Trotsky’s
closest
colleagues
and
friend—thought
of
Lev
Trotsky.


Despite
its
values,
the
source
still
has
limitations;
one
of
which
is
the
bias
of
the
document,
along


with
its
narrow
scope.
The
document
is
only
capable
of
showing
historians
what
Lenin
thought
of
Trotsky,


and
may
not
necessarily
reflect
the
opinions
of
other
people
on
him.
Lenin’s
view
on
Trotsky
too,
may
not
































































13

Morcombe
&
Fielding,
p
ix

be
completely
or
reasonably
objective.
However,
considering
the
purpose
of
the
investigation,
the
bias
of


the
document
is
negligible
and
even
advantageous.


Part
D:
Analysis
of
Information
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 











Word
Count:
790


Lev
Trotsky
was
undoubtedly
a
fine
politician
and
a
strong
military
figure,
which
is
why
it
is
difficult


to
comprehend
how
Trotsky
with
his
brilliant
achievements
lost
to
Stalin,
who
was
at
the
time
considered


to
 be
 ‘peasant’
 and
 seemed
 unlikely
 competition
 to
 the
 notable
 Trotsky.
 In
 contemplating
 the
 widely


accepted
 belief
 that
 Stalin
 was
 inferior
 to
 Trotsky,
 it
 is
 therefore
 possible
 that
 it
 was
 Trotsky’s
 own
 fault


that
he
failed
to
secure
the
seat
of
power
that
seemed
meant
for
him
when
Lenin
died
and
left
it
empty.


One
 of
 the
 great
 ironies
 of
 Trotsky’s
 fall
 is
 that
 it
 was
 not
 only
 caused
 by
 his
 shortcomings
 and


faults.
Instead,
it
was
mainly
his
victories
and
successful
war
tactics
that
led
to
the
perception
of
Trotsky
as


a
Bonapartist
threat
in
the
Bolshevik
party,
so
that
his
achievements
inspired
the
Party’s
fear
and
suspicion


instead
of
commanding
respect.



Another
 main
 cause
 in
 Trotsky’s
 ‘political
 suicide’
 is
 the
 attitude
 he
 took
 towards
 the
 Party,
 its


members,
and
the
decisions
it
made.
Brilliant
as
he
was,
Trotsky
was
very
confident
in
his
own
abilities
and


came
across
as
a
highly
arrogant
person,
which
distanced
other
party
members
from
and
caused
support


for
him
to
wane.
He
also
had
disagreements
with
other
members
of
the
Party
regarding
the
decisions
that


they
 should
 make,
 the
 most
 prominent
 of
 which
 is
 the
 conflict
 between
 Stalin’s
 triumvirate
 and
 Trotsky


with
a
few
others,
who
argued
about
the
steps
that
should
be
taken
and
the
policy
to
be
implemented
to


replace
the
NEP.



Despite
Trotsky’s
strongly
advocating
his
own
policies,
once
a
decision
was
made
by
the
Party,
he


supported
it
completely.
While
this
may
be
viewed
as
a
sign
of
uncompromising
fealty
to
the
Party,
others


took
it
to
mean
that
he
was
quick
to
change
his
mind,
even
about
things
that
he
seemed
to
invest
a
lot
of


support
 in.
 Along
with
 his
 record
of
having
disengaged
 himself
from
the
Menshevik
party,
where
he
had


originally
 placed
 his
 loyalty,
 there
 certainly
 seemed
 to
 be
 solid
 grounds
 on
 which
 these
 beliefs
 were


founded.
However,
it
must
be
brought
to
attention
that
the
one
who
brought
up
Trotsky’s
non‐Bolshevik


origins
and
used
it
to
manipulate
public
opinion
against
Trotsky
was
Joseph
Stalin.


Stalin
had
no
doubt
had
a
hand
in
causing
Trotsky’s
defeat.
As
Trotsky’s
main
competitor
for
the


seat
 of
 power,
 it
 was
 only
 natural
 that
 Stalin
 did
 what
 he
 could
 to
 ensure
 that
 Trotsky
 would
 be

disadvantaged
 in
 the
 power
 struggle.
 He
 used
 the
 influence
 he
 had
 garnered
 over
 his
 years
 as
 General


Secretary—whose
 job
 it
 was
 to
 recruit
 people
 into
 the
 Bolshevik
 Party—in
 order
 to
 secure
 the
 seat
 of


power
for
himself.
In
doing
so,
he
established
a
tactic
by
which
he
would
eliminate
his
competitors,
one
of


which
was
Trotsky.


The
 disagreement
 between
 Stalin
 and
 Trotsky
 regarding
 the
 next
 policy
 to
 follow
 the
 NEP
 may


have
been
honestly
and
naturally
precipitated
by
the
crisis
and
conditions
of
the
time,
but
the
rivalry
that


ensued
from
it
was
further
aggravated
by
Stalin,
who
used
it
as
a
ploy
to
present
Trotsky
as
someone
who


was
 unfaithful
 to
 Leninist
 dogma,
 as
 it
 contradicted
 Lenin’s
 NEP.
 Any
 public
 opinion
 against
 Trotsky
 was


fueled
 by
 Stalin’s
 efforts
 to
 defeat
 Trotsky
 as
 the
 main
 contender
 for
 the
 position
 Lenin
 left
 behind
 him,


such
 as
 the
 belief
 that
 Trotsky’s
 adamant
 support
 for
 any
 Party
 decision
 despite
 his
 own
 contradictory


opinion
was
not
a
sign
of
loyalty,
but
rather
inability
to
stand
fast
with
his
own
decisions.


Stalin
was
also
the
one
who
brought
up
how
Trotsky
was
originally
a
Menshevik,
and
thus
it
was


possible
that
his
loyalties
did
not
lie
completely
within
the
Bolshevik
party.
He
did
this
despite
the
direct


statement
in
Lenin’s
last
will
and
testament
that
instructed
the
Party
to
set
aside
this
fact
and
look
upon


Lev
Trotsky
objectively
as
a
fellow
comrade
under
the
Bolshevik
Party.


Trotsky’s
arrogance
turned
individual
Party
members
against
him.
His
stubbornness
in
maintaining


his
 opinions,
 his
 misinterpreted
 loyalty
 to
 the
 Party,
 even
 his
 political
 and
 military
 victories,
 all
 came


together
to
create
a
strong
solid
personality
which
Stalin
warped
to
an
extent
and
utilized
to
bring
about


the
 defeat
 of
 the
 great
 Leon
 Trotsky.
 Stalin
 certainly
 played
 a
 part
 when
 he
 used
 his
 power
 base
 to


influence
other
people’s
opinions
of
Trotsky,
but
it
was
necessary
for
the
basic
facts
to
be
true
in
order
for


Stalin
to
develop
believable
lies
and
exaggerations.
All
things
considered,
though
Stalin
may
have
played
a


significant
 hand
 in
 bringing
 about
 Trotsky’s
 defeat
 in
 the
 1924
 power
 struggle,
 to
 a
 great
 extent
 it
 was


Trotsky
himself—his
shortcomings,
and
even
his
virtues—who
was
the
main
reason
behind
his
defeat.