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Assess the impact that Stalin had on Russia and the Russian people

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Introduction

Assess the impact that Stalin had on Russia and the Russian people. When Lenin he died in 1924, everyone expected the brilliant Trotsky to succeed him, but through a trick on Stalin's part Trotsky didn't make it to the funeral and Stalin went to Lenin's funeral as Chief Mourner. In the Communist Party there were divisions including the rightists and the leftists. Stalin used these divisions to gain power. In 1924 Stalin joined together with Kamenev and Zinoviev to stop their opponents becoming the leader (their opponents were mainly Bukharin and Trotsky). Stalin then switched sides in 1926 and supported Bukharin; this was to get rid of Kamenev and Zinoviev. In 1927 Kamenev, Zinoviev and Trotsky were expelled from the party, in 1928 Trotsky is exiled to Siberia and Stalin turned against Bukharin, in 1929 Trotsky was exiled from the country and Bukharin was expelled from the party. Stalin now had full control of the country. Stalin ruled Russia from 1928 until 1953. This period, quarter of the century, was one of the hardest for USSR and Russian people. ...read more.

Middle

The Five-year Plan was planned economy with targets for each industry, The goals were broken down into smaller and smaller goals until eventually every worker knew what he or she had to do for his or her specific shift at the factory. If the worker worked well he got rewards. For example some workers in favorable conditions produced huge amounts. The USSR was turned into a modern state (which was able to resist the Nazi's ten years later). There were huge achievements in many areas including; the building of dams (i.e. the Dnieprostroi Dam), hydroelectric power (most places in thee USSR now had electricity), new cities, The Moscow Underground, Transport & communications, Fertilizers, No unemployment, Doctors & medicine and Education. Were there was no industry Stalin created one, before his five years plan the USSR didn't have a machine industry, nor a Electric, Coal, Steel or Plastic industry New industries were built, new towns, cities and industrial complexes arose and the railways and canals built. Great projects like the Moscow underground system were undertaken. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fear - Stalin didn't trust anyone. Peasants obeyed the Party, through enthusiasm or fear. Poorly organised - inefficiency, duplication of effort and waste. Appalling human cost; discipline (sacked if late), secret police, slave labour, labour camps, accidents & deaths (100,000 workers died building the Belomor Canal), few consumer goods, poor housing, wages fell, no human rights. Some historians claim the tsars had done the 'spadework', setting up the basis for industrialisation, and that Stalin's effort had very little effect on a process that would have happened anyway. The government seized all surplus grain from the peasants causing resistance from peasants by hiding grain and not producing more than was needed for them. By 1940 the USSR had more doctors per head of population than Britain. Stalin contributed much to Russia's economy and he has to be admired for taking a backward country and giving it economic power. By 1930 Moscow was awash with a high number of homeless children who had no family and were seen as a stain on the perfect communist society that Stalin aspired to. To conclude, the Stalinist Era brought much modernization but also much misery. For many, the benefits and advances were outweighed by the cost in suffering which would last more than a generation. ...read more.

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