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To what extent was Stalin's economic policy successful? In the 1920's the soviet economy was failing disastrously the revolution and the civil war had devastated the soviet economy and the economic output

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To what extent was Stalin's economic policy successful? In the 1920's the soviet economy was failing disastrously the revolution and the civil war had devastated the soviet economy and the economic output was less than that under the Tsar. There were Famines followed by high prices and hyperinflation and major crises like the scissors crisis. Stalin instigated a series of vast five year plans, collectivisation and other economic policies. These policies were drastic and vast, enabling the USSR to effectively defend against the Nazi advance. Historians differ on their views Stalinisation many view it as an act of greed which in cost equalled genocide. Whereas some tow the moderate line accepting that despite the heavy cost Stalinisation did do great things for the USSR. Some of the more radical historians even go as far to say that Stalinisation was a completely necessary evil in terms of defending Europe and that the cost was insignificant to the necessity. My hypothesis is that Stalin's economic policy was successful as it transformed the USSR despite this the cost of this was vast. However how much of this change was down to Stalin's economic policy and how successful were the regimes he implemented? There are five main factors that you can attribute the success of Stalin's economic policy: Collectivisation: Collectivisation was probably the major aspect of Stalin's economic policy as it directly affected Russia's primary output as an agrarian state. The mass reorganisation of farming into Kolhozy's was major changes which revolutionised farming. Its aim was to manage farms into parcels which could be modernised with more advanced equipment and uses more scientific methods. There are issues with this factor however as the soviet government were secret about their real motives some areas are grey and covered up. Also with glasnost and the break up of the Soviet Union things are only starting to emerge so soviet economics is a subject only really accessible for historians in recent times. ...read more.


The source of the western analysis is hazy. It is untrustworthy as it is put in STALIN and KRUSHCHEV THE USSR, 1924-64 By Michael Lynch it does not attribute the source of the analysis. Henceforth not attributing a date or author. So it is impossible to determine when this analysis was made and who by. So the source is relevant but quite unreliable, although it was from an historian who had access to such information. So there could be dubious motives behind the production of this source as it is used in the book to back up the argument of Michael Lynch. So the motive behind the source could be the source being fabricated by Lynch to back up his argument and prove his worth. This table showing worker traffic through Magnitogorsk illustrates a failing in the economic plans: Arrived Left 1930 67,000* 45,000 1931 111,000 97,000 1932 62,000 70,000 1933 53,000 53,000 Total 293,000 265,000 *It is possible that the figure of 67,000 for 1930 is typographical error and should have read 57,000 This table being produced at the time obviously has good utility and validity. However the mistake in the figures is significant as if a mistake can be made then perhaps the accuracy of these figures is questionable. Also being taken from official figures at the time the figures could have been changed. Despite this the table still shows a failing in the first plan as the worker's leaving greatly increases year after year from 1930. This suggests that the first plan was a shambles causing discernment in the workers. Note that the leaving workers only level out with arrivals the start of the next five year plan supporting the second plan. The opinion of the prominent soviet historian M. Lewin appears to corroborate this apparent chaos in the work place. "Thus workers, administrators, specialists, officials, party apparatus men, and in great masses, peasants were moving around and changing jobs, creating unwanted surpluses in some places and deaths in others, losing skills or failing to acquire them" - "Society, State and Ideology during the First Five Year Plan" 1976, in C. ...read more.


Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 1958 p. 322,describing living conditions for unskilled workers in 1937. Having written this in a book Fainsod would appear to be a historian, which means this issue would have been well researched. There is no indication of Fainsod's nationality so it unsure whether he may have been involved or not, which raises questions of the sources credibility. It seems written in quite a formal descriptive tone however which might suggest no feelings on the part of Fainsod. Stalin himself acknowledges the true extent of suffering in one of speeches which indicates his views on the matter. One of the most famous quotes by Stalin illustrates this "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic"-Joseph Stalin This quote illustrates the situation that even Stalin accepted it. As one question rises why would Stalin say this if he wasn't trying to justify what he was doing? It shows acceptance of what he is doing and shows his content. As it is straight from the horse's mouth so to speak then this source has good value as a source. Despite this the motives of that phrase are questionable. Conclusion: Taking into account my sources I can conclude that Stalin's economic policy was a success as it did achieve much in a few short years. From my sources I can conclude Collectivisation was a chaotic disaster which caused much human suffering due to the figures showing that although grain production remained a constant it eliminated much livestock. Taken from my human impact section the economic policies caused much famine as illustrated by collectivisation. The economic drive created much dead and famine and shortages in the USSR. In the rapid growing urban societies living conditions were abysmal, so there was not much good for normal people. Despite falling short of its targets even the first plan which can be classified as a disaster in contrast the second and third five year plans created the infrastructure to which the USSR would emerge as a superpower. It laid down industrial structure and many improvements were laid down. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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