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Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili was born on December 18th 1878.

was born into a very poor family and was an only child. He was beaten almost
daily by his drunken father. As he grew, this made him angry and he began to
rebel. When he was a young boy, Josef started to get involved in the
revolutionary politics, as well as criminal activity. In his teen years, he became
interested in reading the work of German social philosopher and communist
manifesto Karl Marx. When Josef turned 30, he changed his name to Joseph
Stalin. In German, this means man of steel. In 1912, Vladimir Lenin, who was
the dictator of the Soviet Union at the time, appointed Stalin to serve on the first
central committee of the Bolshevik party. In 1917, Stalin was part of the
Bolsheviks rgime that seized power in Russia. During the years of Lenins
control, Stalin was making a name for himself in politics and kept moving up the
political party ladder. By 1922, he became secretary general of the central
committee of the communist party. With this job, he was able to appoint his allies
to different government jobs and grow stronger political support. A few years
later, when Lenin died, Stalin was able to outmaneuver his rivals due to his
strong political support and in the late 1920s became dictator. Right away he
launched a five year plan to change the Soviet Union from a peasant society to
an industrial and military powerhouse. Stalin listed five objectives of his plan. #1,
no man, no problem which meant to kill his opponent Leon Trotsky. #2, every
person had a quota of food they must grow and harvest which was nearly
impossible for the people to achieve. #3, Bombard workers with propaganda,

posters, slogans, and radio broadcasts to promote communism. #4, Workers

were fined if they did not meet their quota and were sent to a labor camp. #5,
Have a stronger industry that manufactured more goods to boost economy.
The five year plan brought horror to the peasant society. Collectivization of
farms led to widespread famine, killing millions. Stalin ruled by terror to maintain
complete control and would eliminate anyone who might oppose him. He
expanded his control of the secret police, encouraging citizens to spy on one
another. In order to eliminate all he saw as a threat, he initiated The Great
Purge. It was a series of campaigns designed to rid the communist party, the
military and other parts of the Soviet Society from those he saw as threats.
Stalin was very self-centered. He renamed cities in his honor as well as rewrote
history books to give him a more prominent role. He was the subject of art
paintings, statues and songs. He even became a part of the Soviet nation
In 1939, the day before WWII began; Stalin met with Adolph Hitler, the
leader of the German Army. They signed a nonaggression pact but that was
quickly broken when Hitlers German Army attacked the Soviets. Stalin was not
prepared for war but the Soviet Red Army was able to drive Germany out of
Russia. Stalin then gained an alliance with the United States and Great Britain
and had a major part in defeating Germany in WWII.

After WWII, Stalin grew increasingly paranoid and was convinced the
western countries wanted to invade the Soviet Union. He built up large
stockpiles of military supplies which was the start of the Cold War. He did not
mellow with age though. During his later years, he hoped to establish communist
governments throughout Europe. In 1949, Stalin led the Soviets into a nuclear
age by exploding an atomic bomb. Stalin even helped start the Korean War by
persuading North Korea to attack South Korea. As he grew older, his paranoia
continued to grow. On March 5th, 1953, at the age of 74, he died of a stroke.

"Joseph Stalin." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
"Stalin's Rise to Power." - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
The History Textbook