• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what ways and with what results did Stalin modernise the USSR to 1941?

Extracts from this document...


In what ways and with what results did Stalin modernise the USSR to 1941? In 1931 Stalin made this statement at the Communist party conference, ""We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries of the WEST. We must make good of this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us". Clearly, Lenin's NEP had not been effective in modernising Russia. Stalin dubbed the NEP as an impediment to communism and abandoned it in favour of 'rapid industrialisation. The industry had to be developed to such an extent that Russia could end it's economical dependance on backwards agriculture. As Russia was recovering from war, its production from heavy industries was alarmingly low compared to other countries. Stalin recognised that this must be improved if they were to survive any possible attack that might come from the capitalist West attempting to destroy Communist Russia, which de deemed probable after an attack on the Russian Embassy in London. The USSR needed to invest in materials like coal, iron, steel and power to defend itself properly and become self sufficient. Rapid industrialisation was also needed for defense as the USSR was surrounded, as Stalin said, by governments that hated Communism: Romania, Iran, Finland and Poland. ...read more.


However, as the threat of Germany grew, there was a greater incentive put on defense in the third Five Year Plan. Factories were able to change their products into war machinery. Tanks, weapons and airplanes could be produced at these factories if when required. The large supplies of iron and steel, for example, which would otherwise have been used to make machinery meant for agricultural uses, could then be used for war machinery manufacturing. This would be a sufficient backup for machines to defend Russia if the West decided to attack. The agricultural sector was not neglected. Rapid industrialisation could only be achieved if agriculture was made more efficient, as sufficient food had to be produced to feed the workforce. Surplus food could then be sold for money to boost the industrial sector. Stalin introduced a new method of farming called collectivisation which encompassed grouping small, scattered farms in an area together in an efficient collective, or Kolkhozy. These peasants pooled their animals, tools and labour to work for the benefit of the whole community. The collectives had to sell most of their produce at low prices to the government. Any profits and surplus were theirs to keep or sell at a profit. ...read more.


Finally, Collectivisation was also part of the Five Year Plan, but it was less successful than industrialisation. It did not fulfill its targets under the Plan and grain production even declined from 1928 to 1932. This caused widespread famine later on. Even though millions of peasants died, the government still hoarded grain to sell to other countries to earn foreign currency to be used for investment in industry. Grain production then improved, but the livestock took till 1953 to regain its 1928 level due to all the killings earlier. Collectivisation was a success as it made Russia's agriculture more efficient. The efficiency, organisation and machinery meant that women were more able to farm the land on their own, which meant that peasant men left their farms and went to work in the industrial labour sector. In conclusion, Stalin was successful in modernising Russia somewhat before 1941. According to Stalin, industrialisation and collectivisation were successful because they were able to rid themselves of the kulaks and move towards communism. The state could now exercise more control over the peasants with the collectives, and over the workers through strict demands and harsh punishments. Even though the consumer goods, housing and textiles industry were in decline, the USSR had advanced industrially, economically and agriculturally, and had moved further towards a socialist state. Bethany Brookhouse Bethany Brookhouse ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Why was it possible for Stalin to become the leader of the USSR?

    to Stalin's political career yet this remains speculative and Lenin's Testament was not wholly beneficial for any contender so one may not say that if made public, Lenin's Testament would solely damage Stalin's image. Stalin's accumulation of power, at least by acquiring key positions was largely due to his own hard-work and capability.

  2. Interwar Years: 1919-39

    There was no mechanism of guarantors for the eastern part of the Locarno Treaties; Locarno obliged none of the western powers to intervene in the event of the eastern settlement being violated. * In a bid to reassure Czechoslovakia and Poland, France renewed its treaties with them individually after the Locarno Conference.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Unsympathetic 1. Claim that the July Days were one of Lenin?s worst miscalculations which threatened the destruction of the Party. 2. Failure led Bolshevik propagandist to lie about the event and say that the initiative came from the Kronstadt base and factory workers.

  2. What were the Aims and Achievements of Stalins Foreign Policy between 1928 and 1941?

    resources for the German army to train and experiment, ?the USSR switched from being a Revisionist state to one committed to upholding the Versailles treaty? according to Chris Ward.

  1. In what ways, and with what success, did Alex II attempt to modernise Russia ...

    would tie a family down onto a block for generations, and very rarely would a landlord give up land. Alex II had not anticipated such a powerful hostility between the landowners and the Serfs, this therefore resulted in a greater division between classes.

  2. The Westeinde is one of the higher parts of The Hague, and the story ...

    On August 16 of that year she wrote to him from Dordrecht for advice: the girl she had engaged as kitchen maid, Grietien, was unhappy at the prospect of sleeping alone in the house 'because she had heard tell that it was haunted', and Johanna asked whether Grietien might spend the night with Juffrouw Verbies or Moije de Veer.

  1. In what ways, and with what results had Stalin developed the Soviet Union into ...

    In 1928 the targets for First Five Year plan were published. Stalin used Propaganda and his cult of personality to ensure people were following his rule. Religion of any kind was banned to make him the ultimate god of Russia.

  2. Examine the status of women and youth in Russia under Stalin.

    They played a major role in fulfilling the target production figures in the Five-Year Plans. They participated in the collectivization drive and led the 'spring sowing' of grains in the kolkhoz (co-operative farm) and sovkhoz (state farm). They were very important in the building of the super industrial city - Magnitogorsk.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work