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Did The Benefits of Stalin's Economic Policies Justify Their Implementation?

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Introduction

Did The Benefits of Stalin's Economic Policies Justify Their Implementation? To industrialise Russia as quickly as possible, Stalin began a series of the Five-Year Plans. The plans consisted of setting production targets for each industry. Very high targets were set for the production of heavy industry. Stalin also introduced collectivisation, a scheme that involved joining individual plots of land into large farms. Stalin introduced The Five-Year Plans and Collectivisation to help transform Russia into a strong, powerful nation and leave behind the struggling backward country it had been for so many years. Stalin knew that for Russia to become a leading Nation, it would have to be as up to date as the countries in the Western World, and not have to rely on these countries for industrial goods. Stalin strongly believed the West wanted to crush Russia, so it was also essential that the industry improved, so that armaments could be made and the country could defend itself against attack. The apparent results achieved by the five-year plans were extremely high, production statistics had trebled for electricity and coal and iron outputs had hugely increased. ...read more.

Middle

By the time the third Five-Year plan had been prematurely ended due to the Second World War, Russia was the second largest economy and held enough defence to withstand Nazi attack. Although collectivisation was not a complete success when it was first introduced, by 1940 agricultural production was the highest it had ever been, and this gave Stalin the proof that it was a success. Collectivisation was perfect way for the State to gain complete control over the peasants and the agricultural production. The peasants were being asked to grow the crops for the Russian industry instead of for themselves, this was effectively making The USSR a socialist state, encouraging the people to adopt the views of sharing and co-operating and make Russia a better country. When collectivisation started many peasants did not need to work on the farms anymore, and so they would be free to work for heavy industry instead, so they were not left unemployed. Despite the amazing results the Five-Year Plans produced, there were many hidden flaws to the plans, which had terrible effects on the workers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Collectivisation was very unpopular among the peasants, who were not willing to hand their animals and tools to the State. Many carried on resisting against the State, and those not willing to co-operate were labelled "kulaks" and were either arrested and sent to labour camps or they were shot. This was known as "dekulakisation" and was used to scare the peasants into doing as the State told them. Because of the disruption to farming and peasants not being familiar to the new method of work, there was a shortage of food and many became hungry. Things became worse when there was a harvest failure, but the state continued to demand the food and millions of peasants died of starvation, while watching their crops being exported by the State officials. For Stalin, The Five-Year Plans and collectivisation were a success; industry and agriculture had improved and Russia had finally caught up with The Western World. However, the new policies cost the lives of millions and I believe that the cost of so many human lives can not be compensated by the improvement to the industry in The USSR. ...read more.

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