After Lenin's passing, the possibility of international revolution kept receding and the "international proletarian revolution" envisaged by him did not come about. Despite initial success one revolution after the other was defeated; the German Revolution of 1918 lasted only for one year and in Hungary and Italy too revolution was short lived. The revolutionary wave caused by the Russian Revolution of 1917, lasted only till 1923.
Trotsky, who was a key figure in the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia, second only to Vladimir Lenin in the early stages of Soviet Communist rule, had long been seen as Lenin's obvious successor. A communist theorist, a prolific writer, and leader in the 1917 Russian Revolution, he was the people's Commissar for foreign affairs under Lenin (1917-1918), and then head of the Red Army as the people's Commissar of army and navy affairs (1918-1924). He has been described as a stirring public speaker, an efficient administrator and an untiring worker.
However, in April 1922, Stalin who had been till then largely in the background, though in the inner circle of the party since 1917, came to the forefront. He was a strong supporter of Lenin, and just a month before his first stroke Lenin created a post for Stalin, making him General Secretary of the Communist Party. This position gave Stalin control over party appointments and hence tremendous influence among the party members. During Lenin's absence, due to his