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Stalin and the Five Year Plans

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Introduction

Sam Roberts 11MP Stalin and the Five Year Plans (1) Although glory was probably one reason why Stalin embarked on the five-year plans, I do not think that it was the only reason they were carried out. There are several other reasons why Stalin would have proposed and used these five-year plans. Stalin wanted to destroy capitalism, he wanted Russia to become an economic power, Russia was surrounded by threatening countries such as Poland, he wanted to prove communism worked by making Russia an economic power and he wanted Russia to come into its own without help from other countries. Some people did think that Stalin was not a true communist as he brought many western ideas into Russia in terms of industry and farming, however it was these ideas that lead to Russia becoming stronger. If Stalin could make Russia a world economic power, he could use this to help destroy capitalism. By raising Russia's economic and political power, he could gain ground on the rest of the world and try and spread communist ideas everywhere. This would make Stalin seem very bold and true communist at heart and would make people see him as though he had gone where other communists had never gone before. In this way, the five year plans did being glory to Stalin and made him seem a visionary in the ways of communism. If Stalin made Russia an economic power in the world, he would counter act many of problems that hampered Russia from the beginning. If Russia's economy was raised, not only would it prove to the world that communism really does work, it would allow Russia to ...read more.

Middle

This gave the people of Russia a 'father figure' to look up to and admire. If all they had done before was to be ignored by their government and officials, they could relate to Stalin and it would make them think that Stalin likes us and that anything was possible. In conclusion, although the five-year plans did bring glory to Stalin, the fact that it inspired the Russian public to work harder than ever and the fact that the whole Russian economy was raised by quite a great deal proves that glory was not the only way in which it was seen. I think that the only real way to inspire a nation to work like they did during the five-year plans is to make someone a figure to look up to, to raise morale. In this case it was Stalin, and although, yes the five-year plans did show Stalin to be a very high and mighty figure who really cared about the Russian public, it was this that helped a whole nation industrialise. (3) I don't think that the five-year plans only brought misery to the Russian people. Although there were some bad events that affected many workers and people alike, there were also many good occurrences that improved Russian living and the way, in which Russians worked and led their normal lives. It could be said that many Russian people began to feel as if they were finally being included in the government's plans to run their country, as if they could really make a difference to how everyone lived. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although its economy was raised a lot and many new ideas were open for use to the Russians, compared to countries like America, Britain and France, they were far behind. This was also very evident in the way the people of Russia were treated. If you look at Britain or France at that time, most people were treated very openly and had a 'mind of their own'. In Russia, it was the government who controlled everything and the people were treated with little respect. If we look at a quote from 'Beyond the Urals' by John Scott, this point is quite well illustrated. 'Bubonic plague had broken out in three places not far from Magnitogorsk.' This shows that the government didn't really care about the health of the people, instead, they just made them work all the time. Most of the five-year plan's achievements were very industrial and mostly based on improving Russia as a country instead of Russia in terms of a place to live. The Russian economy was brought up quite a lot, new ideas were opened to the government and Russia was looked at in a different way, but the people of Russia suffered a great deal. Working conditions were poor, most people were completely neglected and everyone was overworked to a great degree. So, in conclusion, I think that the five-year plans worked very well in terms of making Russia a more formidable opponent in wars or on the economic market, but I feel that they completely failed in terms of making Russia a better place to live for the Russian people and did not help many small businesses which could have probably helped Russia a great deal. ...read more.

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