Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin's Influence on Communism

Updated: 12/23/2016
Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin's Influence on Communism
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communism Lesson Plans

Communism and the Russian Revolution

Lesson Plans by John Gillis

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Russia and China faced a number of internal struggles. Dissatisfaction with leadership and a large, unhappy peasant class created instability in both regions. A European ideology developed by Karl Marx, the Communist Manifesto, offered a solution for both societies. According to Marx, communism was a political theory based on the sharing of resources “communally”. These activities offer an in-depth understanding of global communism for students. They are designed to help students understand the links between history and our world today.


Communism and the Russian Revolution

Storyboard Description

Communism in Russia Lesson Plan - Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky

Storyboard Text

  • Early Soviet Union Communist Leaders
  • Leon Trotsky
  • Vladimir Lenin
  • Joseph Stalin
  • WWI was disastrous for Russia. The German military was too powerful.
  • AMMO
  • AMMO
  • AMMO
  • The German government smuggled Lenin into Russia to further disrupt Russian society.
  • I will get Russia out of WWI... I will give you PEACE, LAND, and BREAD!
  • Lenin led the Red Army against the White Army.
  • The Reds wanted Communism
  • The Whites wanted the Czar
  • How did these three men transform Russia from a monarchy to a communist dictatorship?
  • Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky worked to develop the new communist Russia.
  • Russian soldiers were ill-equipped. Soldiers often shared rifles or lacked ammunition. Frustration with Czar Nicholas II reached a boiling point.
  • Lenin died.
  • Lenin's arrival in Russia by train had almost mythological status. The German plan worked. Russia ended its involvement in WWI in March of 1918.
  • Trotsky to Replace Lenin?
  • You are not true to the Revolution!
  • A bloody civil war between the Reds (The Communists) and the Whites (Czarists and allies) ended with a victory for Lenin and the Bolshevik party.
  • Stalin sent agents to kill Trotsky in Mexico.
  • With Lenin leading, the three men made progress. Unfortunately, conflicting interpretations of what the ideal communist state should look like led to trouble.
  • After suffering a number of strokes, Lenin died in 1924. Two potential successors, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, had very different characteristics.
  • Intellectual, aloof
  • Trotsky
  • Shrewd, paranoid
  • Stalin
  • Stalin maneuvered to strip Trotsky of his communist party membership. Fearing for his life, Trotsky fled into exile.
  • Stalin sent his agents after Trotsky while he was in exile in Mexico. They killed him with an ice pick at the home of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
  • Stalin's Industrial Plans
  • Stalin's Agricultural Plans
  • These have been family farms for generations!
  • Stalin's Purges
  • GUILTY!
  • Totalitarian Government
  • Dictatorship
  • Government control of business, art, housing...
  • Secret Police
  • No individual liberties
  • Totalitarianism
  • Ideology guides everything
  • Anti-religious
  • State before person!
  • Indoctrination through education
  • Stalin's five-year industrial plans produced real results, but put workers under tremendous stress.
  • Steel Production
  • Coal Production
  • Collective, state-owned farms replaced privately owned farms. Wealthy peasant landowners resisted and were killed. Wheat production doubled in 10 years!
  • Stalin periodically removed any potential threats to his power. Thousands of loyal communist party members were executed or sent to labor camps during these purges.
  • GUILTY!
  • GUILTY!
  • GUILTY!
  • Stalin's totalitarian government featured total control over all aspects of individuals' lives. Neither Lenin nor Trotsky envisioned this kind of state.