Why Was It That Stalin Emerged as Lenin's Successor By 1929?.
After Lenin died in 1924, the seven members of the Communist Party Politburo declared that they would share power. They were, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin, Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky. The truth is that a power struggle took place between them. .
After 1921 anyone who stood up to Lenin and the Communist Party was treated as an outlaw. Inside the party Lenin banned arguments and splits. The Central Executive Committee ruled the party. Inside it a small group close to Lenin, the Politburo, took the important decisions. Another group, the Orgburo, was responsible for organisation, and the Secretariat carried out the decisions, making sure that the Government, Sovnarkom, did what the communist Party told it to do. Lenin was Chairman of Sovnarkom and appointed leading members of the party to it. .
In 1924, however, Lenin died. At his funeral people wept and queued in their thousands to pay their last respects. Stalin helped to carry the coffin. Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in his memory.
The favourite to replace Lenin was Trotsky. He was on sick leave when Lenin died and missed the funeral. He claimed that Stalin had tricked him by giving him the wrong date. Other Bolshevik leaders like Kamenev and Zinoviev hated Trotsky and did not want him as their leader. Kamenev read Lenin's Testament (the document containing his wishes) to the leaders of the party in secret before the opening of the Twelfth Congress of Soviets. The leaders decided to let Stalin stay in position. It was to be a fateful decision.
Stalin has been compared to the ruthless Tsar; his methods, like the Tsar's, were autocratic and cruel. He was determined to make the Russian Empire into a Communist State and a great world power. There were two problems for Stalin to solve after Lenin's death; the peasants were not producing enough food to feed the Soviet Union to enable investment in industry, which was not growing fast enough.