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The five-year plans: an economic miracle?

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Introduction

The five-year plans: an economic miracle? Questions 1. Source A in my opinion portrays Stalin from the very start as being an aggressive and uncompromising person, 'Wipe out the Kulaks' shows us how extreme his policies were against people who he saw as a hindrance to his Communist Russia. The source itself should be very reliable because it seems to have been taken as a direct quote from Stalin himself in December 1929. Stalin seems to be very sure that the Kulaks were '...sworn enemies of the collective farm (kolkhoz)...' however there is no argument as to why they were against the farming methods, in my view they probably were because Stalin's plan was to only get the peasants involved in collectivisation and to take all of the Kulak's wealth to aid his plans. Source B briefly says that the five-year plan had 'over-fulfilled' all expectations and as a consequence, some of the Russian population were becoming '...intoxicated by such successes...'. This source also tells us that 'Collective farms must not be established by force', in my opinion I think is at least a slight fabrication of what actually happened regarding how the farms were established. ...read more.

Middle

In contrast Source D tells of the exceedingly poor financial difficulties in Russia. It tells us that all the people were '...starving in its absolute sense...' compared to the soldiers who '...were well fed...'. Surely this seems to be a bit hypocritical as communism was meant to make everyone equal. This source could also be biased because the English were always against Stalin's communist policies. However there does to seems to be a certain element of truth in the source because the journalist actually speaks to a peasant about the situation '...'they have taken everything away'...' seems to be genuine... Overall I would say that source D is more reliable than source C because it is hard to imagine the Red Army soldiers working alongside normal peasants (as shown in source C) because in my opinion in do not believe that this would have actually happened. 3. In my opinion Source F supports Source E very well. This is because Source F is purely a description of how the Russian workforce was working at a higher level of production than some of the non-communist countries such as American and Czechoslovakia. ...read more.

Conclusion

4. Source F was written by a member of the state-planning agency so it seems to me that he would have been biased towards the five-year plans. I believe that a modern historian must seriously consider the validity of this source because Stalin and others members of his communist party had a reputation of manipulating information to make Stalin's policies look very effective. The source publicises the fact that Russian workers had a higher production rate than their democratic counterparts... A member of Stalin's secret police force wrote source G so we must assume that this source would probably have been reported to either Stalin or one of his senior officers so it probably has a high percentage chance of being accurate. During Stalin's time in power he was notorious for making sure that anyone who said anything bad about himself or communism in general was punished severely by either 'disposing' of them or sending to work in one of the labour camps. This definitely ties in with the link to the secret police, so one can more or less take it for granted that source is very reliable. The source also could be said reinforces the point about... ...read more.

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