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How far do you agree that Stalins Five-Year Plans (1929-1941) improved the Russian economy?

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How far do you agree that Stalin?s Five-Year Plans (1929-1941) improved the Russian economy? Stalin?s five year plans did improve the Russian economy due to heavy industry increased the production of steel, iron, oil and coal. However, the five year plan was unsuccessful in terms of consumer goods and labour productivity. Additionally, the plans did not fully succeed in fulfilling Stalin?s targets for war preparation. Heavy industry was successful in improving the economy primarily due to the first three five year plans. Evidently, Industries like coal steel and iron grew enormously. For instance Coal production in 1928 prior to the five year plan was 36million tonnes, and in 1932 it was 65 million tonnes. Furthermore, Magnitogorsk which was constructed during the first five year plan aided the trebling of steel production during the second year plan. ...read more.


Additionally, even though in the early 1934 bread rationing ended, in comparison to the 1920?s food was available on the open market. However, living standards did improve for Stakhanovite workers, they were rewarded with ?top secret? shops but very few workers were given these luxuries. Noticeably, the consumer economy only benefited a few workers, whilst the majority had suffered resulting in the black market. The five year plan had little success in improving labour productivity. During the first five year plan the majority of Stalin?s industrial labour forces were unskilled peasants who had only recently left the countryside. Similarly, much of what was achieved during the plan was achieved by the slave labour of workers in the gulag. Consequently, workers did not produce high quality goods and they had unrealistic targets to meet. However, during the second five year plan incentives were introduced in order to increase labour productivity. ...read more.


The third year plan initiated a number of important innovations in Soviet military technology. For example in 1939 Gosplan ordered the construction of nine new aircraft factories. Additionally, the central committee had decreed that all of the countries resources should be mobilized in preparation of war. However, much of which was produced was of such low quality that it was practically useless. Notably, the war economy did improve partially due to increase in defence spending, but it did come at the expense of consumer goods. In conclusion, Stalin?s plans did succeed in improving the economy to some extent. Heavy industry grew largely and aided the economy to grow by 14% per year. On the other hand, consumer goods were failing to improve. In order to increase spending on defence, Stalin further cut spending on consumer goods which led to the uncontrollable black market. Even though the Soviet industry was able to produce large amounts of military equipment, it was of such low quality due to the lack of motivation in labour productivity. ...read more.

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