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In what ways were the Soviet Union and its citizens affected by the Five Year Plans?

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In what ways were the Soviet Union and its citizens affected by the Five Year Plans? Impact of industry Stalin commenced focus on heavy industry and accentuated that all factories which produced consumer goods would have to acclimatise to manufacturing the materials requisite for the staple industries. Coal and iron output doubled after the first plan and quadrupled after the second, electricity generation trebled by 1933 and increased sixfold by 1937. After being second largest industry in the world after only USA in 1939, it portrayed that they could fruitfully surmount prominent capitalist countries and Stalin's objective of overtaking them would, in retrospect, fortified his concept of 'socialism in one country'. Detriments of the targets Managers falsified returns so those targets appeared to be met. Production targets were over-optimistic - only oil and steel exceeded targets. ...read more.


Many energy-consuming industries were also able to proliferate due to the hydroelectric power generated through the dam, which was imperative for Soviet army aviation. Peasants and internal migration There was an influx of peasants into the urbanised areas in order for them to look for prospects for highly-paid jobs. This caused mass internal migration and thus acute overcrowding and by 1935, only one in twenty Moscow families had more than one room to themselves. Moreover, workers who were striving in the new industrial plants were forced to live in tents as there was no housing in the area, as it was previously fallow land. There was also the introduction of internal passports, to record the locations of the Soviet citizens; relocation had to be endorsed otherwise you could not gain a job or rations - this enabled Stalin to retain skilled workers in their respective industry. ...read more.


Likewise, many young graduates joined Komsomol, the Communist Union of Youth, and they volunteered to assist as 'pioneers' by means of helping create the new industrial cities; 250,000 were sent every summer to do this. Growth of gulags There were extreme production quotas and were coerced to work in derisory conditions, without adequate clothing and food and hence, Stalin instigated the upsurge of zeks and by 1937, there were 6 million of them. Stalin ensured that they were used for industrial or infrastructural construction projects, such as the building of the Moscow Metro, the extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Belomor Canal. In the latter, 100,000 zeks died when digging the Belomor Canal, and although Stalin deemed it a major success and was built four months ahead of schedule, it was useless for its purpose as an escape route from the Baltic Sea, as it was too narrow and shallow for vessels. ...read more.

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