How has Joseph Stalin been a significant influence in the history of the world?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Few people in the history of the world have had an influence on history that has been as significant and as negative as that which Stalin had.  Stalin ruled the Soviet Union from the 1920s until his death in 1953.  His actions helped to cause millions of deaths and they helped to bring the Cold War about. 

Stalin’s influence was not all bad.  Stalin was the leader of the USSR during World War II.  As such, he was very important in holding that country together and allowing it to fight as well as it did against the Germans.  While the Soviet regime was bad, the Nazi regime was, most people would say, worse.  Therefore, Stalin helped the world by playing a major role in defeating Hitler and the Nazis.

However, Stalin had a very significant malign influence on the world.  His actions in bringing about a totalitarian state in the Soviet Union caused millions to die.  They died through being executed, worked to death in prison camps, or starved by Stalin’s policies.  Those who lived had their human rights trampled upon.  Stalin also helped to bring about the Cold War, which led to many unnecessary deaths as well as generations of insecurity in the West and the Soviet Union.

Thus, Stalin had a tremendous impact on the world in every decade from the 1930s up through at least the 1990s.

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