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How far do you agree that the economic position of the peasantry in Russiawas stronger in the period between the Emancipation and the Revolution than it was under Lenin and Stalin?

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Introduction

Thursday, 3rd October 2003 Jad Salfiti A2 History Coursework: Unit 5c 'The Making of Modern Russia', 1856-1964 b) How far do you agree that the economic position of the peasantry in Russia was stronger in the period between the Emancipation and the Revolution than it was under Lenin and Stalin? Agricultural policy in Russia throughout Russia between 1856 and 1964 has always been characterised by a hidden agenda. The Tsars used agricultural policy to obstruct a revolution, while Stalin used agricultural policy to facilitate industrialisation. The peasantry were limited in reaping the benefits from agricultural policies introduced by either regime. However, while both governments used agricultural policies to sustain their power, the Communist regime under Lenin and Stalin was significantly more ruthless than the former. The Tsarist regime needed the peasants on side in order to block latent revolutionary threat. Therefore, it can be said the peasants were in a better economic position under the Tsars than the Communist regime. Additionally after the emancipation, the peasantry no longer existed because of egalitarianism. In 1861 Tsar Alexander II introduced the first economic policy 'intended' to benefit the peasantry. The Emancipation Edict was a mechanism implemented to free all serfs, who made up more than one third of the total population. ...read more.

Middle

As a result of the NEP, production revived quickly, industrial production reaching the pre-war level by 1926, and although more slowly, agricultural production grew. Moreover, peasants were even allowed to sell some surplus and pay tax; some peasants became rich such as the Kulaks as a result of the removal of state requisitioning. As a result, this policy restored some prosperity and improved the economic position of the peasants by encouraging new small businesses. Experts were brought in to increase production in nationalised industries (coal, iron, steel & railways). However, although this policy was aimed at providing more grain to feed the towns, it did improve the economic position of the peasants by giving the people the chance to make money. However it is debateable as to whether it was only intended as a temporary measure to repair a severely damaged economy. There were problems that prevented the peasantry to benefit economically from the policy. The first problem was that the surplus grain produced by peasants couldn't be traded for industrial goods easily as industry did not grow as rapidly as agriculture had. This meant the peasants did not benefit as much as they could have with their increased supply of grain. ...read more.

Conclusion

http://www.marx2mao.org//Stalin/Index.html For similarities you could consider some of the following points: 1. the central control by the Tsars and by Stalin 2. the secret police under both regimes 3. terror 4. total control of the government over the economy 5. total control of the government over education 6. the adoration of the leaders by the people, giving them a godlike status 7. Both regimes relied on a large number of supporters in order to carry out the work of the leader. For differences, you might consider some of the following points: 1. different political doctrines 2. the way in which they achieved power 3. attempts by the two last Tsars to give the people some democracy was not matched by Stalin 4. the Tsarist regimes knew that they would have to move on if they were to keep people happy. Stalin was not interested in the people's happiness. He just wanted the power. 5. Industrialisation 6. Class structure 7. Different types of people in power. Not just the Tsars and Stalin but all the other people that helped maintain the regimes. For each of the points you wish to write about you need to make your comparison and then support it with some factual evidence. . Some historians argue that Stolypin and his "wager on the strong" was the last chance the Tsar had to help Russia develop into a democratic society, and to keep his throne. ...read more.

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