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Why did Stalin want industrialisation and collectivisation and how successful was it?

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Introduction

Why did Stalin want industrialisation and collectivisation and how successful was it? There were six key reasons for Stalin's program of collectivisation. Firstly, Soviet agriculture was backward. It was inefficient, almost entirely done by hand, the farms were too small, and many farmers simply farmed just enough for themselves. With the growth in industry, more food was needed for workers in towns, and this was essential if the Five-Year Plans were to succeed. NEP would eventually lead to the overthrow of communism, as it would create a capitalist middle class, known as Kulaks. Even with NEP, by 1928, the USSR was short of 20 million tons of grain needed to feed the towns. Collectivisation of small farms would also free up workers for the towns. If the USSR was to industrialise, peasants needed to grow crops which could be exported to raise money to buy foreign machinery and expertise. ...read more.

Middle

Almost all of the collectives (kolkhoz) were now mechanised, and used fertilisers and other more modern methods of farming. Farming was now completely state run, and peasants obeyed through propaganda inspired enthusiasm or fear. This was at a severe cost however, between 7 and 10 million peasants were killed, deported or starved. Also, many died in the 1932-33 famine. Industrialisation was another key aim of Stalin. To industrialise Russia, he put into place two 5-year plans, 1928-33 and 1932-1937. He had four key reasons for this. Firstly, many regions of the USSR were backward. Stalin said that to be backward was to be defeated and enslaved. He feared the West, and wanted to protect himself and Russia. He declared that Russia was fifty years behind the West, and either, "we (Russia) make good the difference in 10 years or they crush us'. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the First 5-year plan revealed a shortage of workers, new cr�ches and day-care centres were built so that mothers could work also. There was also a concentration on heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods or good housing. Again, overall it was successful. The USSR was successfully modernised, and there was genuine Communist enthusiasm generated among the young 'Pioneers'. New purpose built industrial cities were constructed, along with dams for hydro electric power, the Moscow Underground, and education and state benefit was also introduced. However, this was also at an appalling cost. Workers were sacked if late. Slave labour was often utilised, those who made mistakes were sent to labour camps, and there were a huge number of accidents and deaths. Over 100000 workers died building the Belomor Canal. There were few consumer goods, and the housing was poor. On top of this, wages actually fell. However, Stalin had actually succeeded in turning the USSR into a super power, and in a remarkably short time. ...read more.

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