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How true is it that industrialisation in Stalin's Russia wasachieved only at the expense of the Russian people?

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Introduction

How true is it that industrialisation in Stalin's Russia was achieved only at the expense of the Russian people? Industrialisation was a big part of Stalin's Russia. It was a chance for Russia to catch up with the rest of Europe. Previous to Stalin, Lenin's 'New Economic Policy' was a way in which peasants could sell surplus grain and possibly livestock, also small factories could sell goods on the open market. Lenin had to push peasants to grow more in order for there to be any livestock - it work. A slow, but rising intake. At the end of the 1920's Stalin cast aside the NEP and introduced the Five-Year Plans for industry and agriculture. These plans had to be done quickly, in order to pull alongside with the success that other countries had maintained in the last years. Collectivisation was the first step. Agriculture needed to developed, so that famine could be overcome and there would be strong workers for the development of industrialisation. Collectivisation was a plan to 'collect' peasant farms together, therefore, growing surplus grain to give to the state. ...read more.

Middle

Rewards were given to hard workers and those, including people who turned up to work late or were ill, etc, would be seen as corrupt and sent away. Magnitogorsk was a cit, built from scratch, to show the Russian people what life would be live if they helped in this revolution to make Russia better. Punishment for those who didn't work together could have been humiliated in front of their fellow colleagues, fined or sent to a labour camp. Nearly a quarter of a million people migrated to the city of Magnitogorsk during the First Five Year Plans. However, the plans in the First Five Years, did not include any intention of raising living standards, its purpose was to be collective, not individual. This meant that Russians had to live in poor overcrowded conditions, during very bad periods of famine. Nothing to do, but go to work and come back to your corner of a room, which also occupies a large family, without any staple food. The Five Year Plans were to bring great things to the Russian people, when in reality; it didn't do much in the long-term. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1938, in the city of Stalingrad, a city with a population of 1/2 million, had no sewage system. With all this, industrialisation increased and production was on the up. During the First Five Year Plans, machinery output up 4.5%, electricity output up 2.5% and 1,500 new industrial plants. Compared to 1914, production of steel went from 4.8 million tons to 4.0 million in 1928 then increased to 5.9 in 1933. But was all this achieved only at the expense of the Russian people? What did they get out of it? Famines were always lurking about and work and housing conditions were appalling. Nothing got better until the Second Five Year Plans, and even then it wasn't great change. By the time the Third Five Year Plans kicked in, war was upon the Russians. They couldn't reap the benefits that industrialisation. Many people starved, many sent to labour camps. Industrialisation couldn't have happened without them, there is no doubt about it. However, it needn't have at the expense of some many others. There should have been individual, as well as collective, ways to better Russia. There was no sign of any attempts of improved housing or ways to overcome famine. Stalin put up the efforts of the Russian people ...read more.

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