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

"Collectivisation was undoubtedly a real revolution from above in the countryside." Do the results of collectivisation justify this conculusion?

Extracts from this document...


"Collectivisation was undoubtedly a real revolution from above in the countryside." Do the results of collectivisation justify this conculusion? Stalin's policy of collectivisation has often been accredited to have ruined Russian agriculture and unnecessarily caused untold misery to many millions of simple peasants. In this essay I aim to analyse whether Stalin's programme of collectivisation in the 1930s was a the "revolution from above" of which he claimed it was, or if it was in fact an overly brutal and hideously ineffective policy. This term is used to explain a process whereby a government uses its power to instate drastic change, with presumably beneficial results. In this essay I will argue that Stalin's policy of collectivisation did not succeed at all as a revolution, and was indeed a hindrance to Russian agriculture. I aim to answer the question through looking at Stalin's success in three main areas, economic, political and social (due to the sheer mortality rate). ...read more.


Thus it would be fair to say that collectivisation actually caused economic regression, and was flawed in the progressive, revolutionary sense as well as economically. Collectivisation was not just used for economic gain, but for political gain. Harsh policy was designed to break the peasantry and the system of liquidisation of the Kulaks served to rid the countryside of a potentially "capitalist" element. The peasantry were never again able to hold the state to ransom as they had done in 1921, as through a system of control and brutalisation they came to realise the awful power of Stalin and the Russian state, or as Viola states "The process of collectivisation served to brutalise and perhaps atomise the rural population". From the accounts of Vasily Grossman and Leo Kopelev it is possible to ascertain the extent to which the Russian people were indoctrinated into believing Stalin's processes were justified, and that the liquidisation of the Kulaks was necessary, or as Kopelev puts it "Our great goal was the universal triumph of Communism". ...read more.


Even at its lowest this represents a sickening disregard for human life, and when it is considered that the mortality figures are worse than the effects of "the Great Purge or any of the famines during the Tsarist Period" (Gordon), it is clear that no real revolution took place. Surely no progress is being made when the famines of the Collectivist era are considered to be worse than those of the Tsarist, especially when it is considered that many of the famines were effectively engineered by Stalin, due to importation of already scarce grain. It is argued that life during the Collectivist era was not as uncomfortable as is often suggested, with cr�ches set up for women workers children and literacy classes started for women. However attendance to these classes was compulsory and harsh punishments were imposed for absence. Therefore it is conclusion that by no means did Stalin achieve a revolution from above, except perhaps in political terms, which only served to undermine his economic policy, rather I would argue that collectivisation represented an unmitigated disaster for the Russian peasantry. ...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

    In terms of Stalin this was fantastic as the more collectivised farms that there were then the more control and power that he had over the countryside, which tended to be a very difficult place to control in the years of the Tsars.

  2. 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

  1. To what extent had the policy of collectivisation achieved its aims by 1941?

    This was now an aim of collectivisation. Stalin saw the elimination of the kulak class as a manner by which he could 'socialise' the peasantry and in turn a vital stepping-stone towards achieving the 'perfect' socialist state. This target was inarguably met by 1941 and in fact perhaps a number of years earlier.

  2. Find out the real cause of the French Revolution

    if with no clothes at all...One third of what I have seen in this province seems uncultivated, and nearly all of it in misery. What have kings, and ministers, and parliaments, and states to answer for their prejudices, seeing millions of hands that would be industrious idle and starving through

  1. Was the defeat in the war the real cause of the Russian Revolution

    Peter Stolypin however decided to change the population of agriculture by bringing in agricultural. Reforms which would encourage private ownership to create a prosperous, stable and loyal peasantry called the Kulaks.

  2. Russia's sense of uniqueness

    * 1908- arrested! Trotsky stays in exile in New York Stalin stays in Siberia (unpleasant, jealous of T) * 1911 - released goes to Petrograd- expelled. * 1912- 1 of the 6 of the central committee that help find party news paper- 'Pravda (Truth)

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