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In this essay I am going to asses the impact that Stalin had on Russia and its people. The short-term and long-term affects of his changes to Russia will be analysed and how they affected the Russian people.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

HISTORY COURSEWORK PART A: QUESTION 3 In this essay I am going to asses the impact that Stalin had on Russia and its people. The short-term and long-term affects of his changes to Russia will be analysed and how they affected the Russian people. I will begin my essay with an introduction to Stalin and his rise from a revolutionary to the leader of nation. Joseph Djugashvili (Stalin's real name), was born in eastern Georgia in 1879; his father was a cobbler and his mother a peasant. They were poor and Stalin had a rough childhood. He did well at school and gained a scholarship to a seminary where he was first introduced to Marxism. From then on he became involved in the underground world of revolutionaries, writing pamphlets and attending secret meetings. He greatly admired the writings of Lenin. Joseph soon became an active revolutionary and became involved in a number of activities to raise funds for the Bolsheviks. He became harder as the years past, especially after the death of his first wife in 1909. In the prison camps (Stalin was often arrested and sent into exile in Siberia) he gained the name of Stalin which means "man of steel". When the Revolution of March 1917 broke out, Stalin hurried back to Petrograd and was made editor of Pravda. After the November Revolution he was made Commissar for nationalities. In 1922 he was appointed the Party's first General Secretary, in charge of general organization. As General Secretary of the Communist Party Stalin was very powerful and worked fervently to eliminate his opposition and to become leader of the party. However in May 1924, something happened which made Stalin's position weak in the party and it was the reading of Lenin's Testament to the Central Committee of the Communist Party: "Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary, has great power concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient caution. ...read more.

Middle

This led to the famous Shakhty trial. The hysteria and fear created by the trials and accusations of sabotage had important effects. People covered up mistakes and faults. Output figures were inflated so that industries could not be accused of failing to fulfil their targets. Workers were intimidated so that they would work harder. Due to low wages, shortage of food, poor working conditions and long working hours, Stalin needed ways to encourage workers to work hard. Many workers, especially the young, were inspired by the great task of transforming Russia. They volunteered to work on distant projects under arduous conditions. They believed in the worth of what they were doing and were prepared to make sacrifices and work hard. But not all were as enthusiastic, so Stalin began a huge propaganda campaign to encourage workers and to make them work hard Awards and honours were given to individuals and groups who worked hard. Groups were also encouraged to compete against one another. Wages were also used as incentives. Wages were usually paid according to how much was produced. Skilled workers could get up to four times the wages of their unskilled comrades. Those who moved up into management got much more. Not all workers responded to the propaganda campaigns, and measures were introduced to deal with slackers. The fear of being accused of sabotage and sent to a labour camp encourages workers to carry out their tasks obediently. There was also a strict code of labour discipline with tough punishments. Absenteeism was punished by fines, loss of ration cards or dismissal. By 1940, it had become a crime and a prison sentence was given for second offences. Workers had to carry labour books, which recorded their jobs and unfavourable comments about them. A bad record could lose a worker food rations or lead to imprisonment. As a result of the First Five Year Plan the number of industrial workers in the USSR doubled from 11.3 million to 22.8 million. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there was progress in the new industrial towns by the end of the decade. Another area in which life improved was leisure. Sports and fitness were encouraged to improve the general health of Soviet men and women. Every worker was entitled to taking a holiday each year - holidays had been unknown before the Revolution. Trade unions and collective farms played a big role in providing clubs, sports facilities, film shows, festivals and general entertainments. Today Stalin's rule is looked back on as a time of great terror and oppression. However, the average Soviet citizen admired Stalin. If asked about the purges, people would probably say that they were nothing to do with Stalin himself. For most Soviet citizens, Stalin was not a tyrant dominating an oppressed country. He and his style of Government were very popular. The Communist Party saw him as a winner and Soviet citizens saw him as a 'dictator of the people'. The Soviet people sincerely believed in Stalin and this belief was built up quite deliberately by Communist leaders and by Stalin himself. It developed into what is known as the Cult of the Personality. The history of the Soviet Union was rewritten so that Lenin and Stalin were the only real heroes of the Revolution. Stalin has been called the 'gravedigger of the Revolution'. This means that he spoiled everything the original revolutionaries hoped to achieve in 1917 when they started to build the new Socialist Society. He is blamed for turning Russia into a totalitarian state and condemned as a mass murderer. I however thing, that Stalin was simply carrying on the work of Lenin who had ruled Russia ruthlessly, introducing the Cheka and labour camps. Stalin simply took things further. Stalin had many achievements during his rule; he turned Russia into modern industrialized country. This simply could not have been done without his drive and determination, although his methods were at times quite inhumane and immoral, he did what he thought was best for his country and he succeeded. Bilal Khan Y11.4 ...read more.

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