The Abuse of Power

In the last lesson, we touched on how some leaders in history have used their powers to violate the rights of others. Some examples of these include:

Joseph Stalin, who took part in the Russian Revolution, then worked his way up to become leader of Russia by the end of the 1920s. He executed anyone who opposed him and started aggressive agricultural and industrial programs that left many thousands of Russian peasants dead. Land was forcefully taken from the peasants who owned it, and these people were either executed or forced to work on collective farms. When Stalin took power, Russia was not an industrialized nation. He started 5 year plans aimed at improving industry all around the country. These plans included how much each collective farm was supposed to produce. Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced Stalin in a secret speech that is now famous



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