• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

“Collectivisation was a political success but an economic failure and a human disaster” discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Collectivisation was a political success but an economic failure and a human disaster" discuss. Well, where does one begin to discuss three views that are completely open to interpretation, and with one of those views being as extreme to say that the human cost was a 'disaster', at least it is going to be easier to write about collectivisation in retrospect than I'm sure it was for Stalin who had to deal with the problem head on there and then. To open this essay first I feel it important that everyone knows what exactly the term collectivisation is. The Merriam-Webmaster Online dictionary tells us it is: a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution. This basically means that the Russian government was planning to merge all the small privately owned farms under one central power that will control all production and all the finances of said farm, these groups of farms will be known as collectives. Each collective will be given a set targets to reach within a set time, failure to complete said target could mean a lot of punishment for the peasants working on these collective farms. This was a huge scale event involving 120 million people living in 600,000 villages, 25 million private holdings where turned into 240,000 state-controlled collective farms in a matter of months. ...read more.

Middle

Now we shall take a look at the economic side of collectivisation. The statement in the title of this essay lays claim to it being an economic failure, other sources I have looked at would say as much as an economic disaster. These comments are not without reason; by looking at figures for the grain harvest and grain procurement we can see disturbing trends. Trends such as grain harvest never getting over the amount harvested by the peasants in Tsarist Russia, and when you compare figures we also find that even though grain production dropped, grain procurement did not, this left the peasants with very high demands and would obviously leave them feeling disgruntled. Fear of famine because grain was not meeting the required targets lead to Stalin having to intervene in an attempt to appease the people, using Article 107 he was able to justify seizures of large amounts of grain, further enraging the peasants. The loss of animal livestock must also be noted, a loss that Russia did not recover from until after the Second World War. Now with the negativities out of the way we should look at the more positive side of the collectivisation program with regards to the economic well being of Russia. ...read more.

Conclusion

So you can take the perspective of comparing the human death toll to what the death rate among the Russian people was in Tsarist Russia, or you could look at it compared to what it might have been if they did not during the war. Personally I would not call it a disaster, because there are positives and in my mind a disaster has to be total devastation. I understand this viewpoint may breed controversy but I don't believe it should generate anymore than the point that it's a disaster. I will close this section with a famous quote that sums up this section well 'The death of one individual is a tragedy, death to millions is a statistic' Joseph Stalin To conclude, just because the arguments I have put forward differ from that of the original statement, it does not mean that mine are wrong, or indeed theirs is wrong, it simply proves the point that all of history is open to interpretation with different quotes and actions seen differently from person to person. This final quotation to end this essay seems appropriate 'What happened between November 1929 and December 1931 cannot be grasped merely by reciting statistics... a socio-economic system in existence for five hundred years vanished for ever.' C. Ward, Stalin's Russia 1993 ?? ?? ?? ?? Toby Osbourn 13EB History 28/04/07 1. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. To What Extent was Collectivisation an Economic and Political Disaster

    Finally the surplus grain was sold through export to gain capital to then be used in the Industrialisation that know swamped the urban areas. Collectivisation really began to become predominant in the 1930's, in 1930 23.6% of all farms were collectivised and by 1936 89.6% were collectivised showing a massive increase in one decade.

  2. How successful were Stalin's economic policies in the 1920s and 30s?

    But the purges which were carried out from 1934 through till 1940 more than counter acted this. Targets differed from as high profile as; Trotsky in 1940 who was assassinated in Mexico by Stalin's agents, to common workers in random arrests to instill fear in which the people involved would often not even be told their alleged crimes.

  1. Stalin Coursework - sources explaining collectivisation and its effects.

    Little things like referring to the Communist simply by political creed and not by name and the emphasis on the starvation he was witnessing imply that this particular correspondent was subjective against Stalin. "There is no bread; we are dying" The correspondent includes this quote to support his article about

  2. Source related questions on Joseph Stalin

    The only reason many people put up with the conditions was because they had no other choice and were thinking to themselves that everything would be alright the next day, even though they knew it was unlikely. It was in truth their only hope and gave them an incentive to work towards.

  1. Evaluation on the Effect of Stalin's Economic and Social Policies

    Since Russia's retreat from World War One, none of the allies would trade with Russia, so she needed to be self-sufficient enough to make her own weaponry. Although Russia needed to speed up the rate of industrialization, the rate that Stalin demanded was almost impossible and could not have been done without the near slave labor of the Russian citizens.

  2. The blance sheet for russia.

    Under these circumstances, the policy of the regime was decisive. It was the blind alley of bureaucratic rule that brought the fireworks display of economic advance to a shuddering halt. Unlike the development of capitalism which relies on the market for the allocation of resources, a nationalised economy requires conscious planning and direction.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work