Make a list of positives and negatives during Stalin's rule. 

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One major benefit of Stalin's rule was the Soviet Union's survival during WWII. The Soviet Union brought the Nazi blitzkrieg to a halt, even though many of the West's military experts thought the nation would collapse. Under Stalin's rule, the Soviet Union was able to create a buffer zone between it and the West. While this was horrible for people living behind the Iron Curtain, it did ensure the Soviet Union's survival for most of the twentieth century. Stalin also developed the Soviet Union's nuclear capability. In time, nuclear energy would find peaceful uses in the Soviet Union.

The negatives far outweigh the positives of Stalin's rule. Stalinist purges wiped out most of the competent military leadership of the Soviet Union before the Nazi invasion; some historians believe that if Stalin would have spared his best generals, the Nazis would not have had some of their early successes in their invasion. Stalin's secret police cracked down on dissenters and religious activists, killing...

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