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How successful were the Five- Year Plans in transforming Russian industry in the years to 1941?

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Introduction

´╗┐How successful were the Five- Year Plans in transforming Russian industry in the years to 1941? By Gabriella Pink Stalin made three five-year plans spanning from 1928 to 1941. He had very different aims for each of the plans and had some very optimistic targets for the achievements of these plans. An over riding theme of each of the plans was industry. Stalin wanted to restore Russia?s hold on industry and make it a great trading power once again. The five year plans were very successful in helping building up the Russian industry. They did this through many ways, each contributing in a different manner. The production of raw materials increased dramatically thought eh five-year plans and industry on a whole became a lot more efficient. This can be seen through statistics that show the production in tonnes. Such materials as; coal, iron and steel, all rose in production quite dramatically. Iron rose from 4.2 million tonnes to 6.2 million tonnes, coal from 29.1 million tonnes to 64.3 million tonnes and steel from 4.0 million tonnes to 5.9 million tonnes. These were huge increases at that time. For an country that was struggling as much as Russia was at that time, it was an achievement. ...read more.

Middle

Having said this, the town was built and the steel works did help boost steel production massively. Overall, the town of Magnitogorsk was an achievement for Russia and it did help boost Russian economy through the huge steel works built there. Even if the community that Stalin had wanted to build was never actually created. The five year plans were not whole a success though and they didn?t always help the Russian economy. The quality of the goods being made by the Russian workers was dramatically affected by the five year plans. Stalin pushed the workers to reach production targets and this had a counter effect on the quality of goods and materials produced. Workers desperately tried to reach the targets and earn rewards etc that they were focussing mainly on the numbers they were making and not if what they were producing was up to scratch. This was not helpful to the Russian industry. The quality of goods was very important to the sales and exports. Having this drop was not what Stalin wanted and therefore, this was not what he had planned. He focussed on the numbers and there was no quality control in place. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall, the conditions Stalin imposed upon his workers were not helpful to the improvement of the Russian industry and didn?t help reach the goals Stalin had set. In conclusion, the five year plans, although not fully, did help in transforming the Russian economy leading to the year 1941. They did this through many ways but the main ones being stains targets and the encouragement and pressure he imposed upon his workers. The pressure he imposed on them through punishments and targets that needed to be met was extreme. The workers feared if they did not maintain the standards that Stalin was after and if they did not reach the targets he had set. The workers were treated badly but were expected to work extremely hard at a very fast pace of work. This had very good results for the industry of Russia as production of raw materials etc rocketed and the targets Stalin had set, although not reached, were bought closer. Everything increased by a sizeable margin and this was an achievement. It made the Russian industry grow and strengthen. For these reasons, the five year plans were indeed successful in transforming Russian industry to the year 1941. ...read more.

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This is a well written and well structured response that shows good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Stalin's five year plans. Perhaps individual plans could have been focused on more specifically and some examples would have enhanced the argument. 4 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 06/06/2013

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