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Russia Collectivisation

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Q. Write a short note on collectivisation in Russia. Ans. Stalin's greatest objective was to reform the economy of the USSR in the 1930's. Russia at this point of time (1930's) was very backward. The country needed immediate attention with regard to its industrialization and modernization. Russia was far behind the Western countries in terms of the standard of living which existed in the country. So as to catch up with the West, he wanted to industrialize Russia. Industrialization would help create wealth in the society, as in and industrialized state the majority of the population are workers who earn a sustained income. It would also help make USSR less dependent on West manufactured goods, especially the heavy industrial plants that were needed for industrial production. Another important objective of Stalin's was to increase the country's military strength by providing huge quantities of weapons and munitions in order to prepare for the attack that he was convinced would occur in the near future. In order for industrialization to take place, Russia under Stalin adopted a policy which came to be known as the "New Economic Policy". Under this policy, industrialization depended heavily on agriculture. ...read more.


As they were large farms, there was an increasing need for machines. The more food that could be produced the better as the cities and factory workers could suitable be fed. Stalin wanted the USSR to modernise at such a fast rate that it could make up the 50-year gap in 10 years. The industry had to be devoloped to such an extent that the country, which had all along depended mostly on agriculture or farming, had to be changed such that it now depended on industry more. Although Russia was recovering from war, its production from heavy industries was still low compared to other countries. Stalin felt that this needed to be improved if they were to survive any possible attack that might come from the capitalist West attempting to destroy Communist Russia. There had been long and bitter debates and discussions regarding the new policy being adopted. Some people were convinced that USSR should have continued with NEP and that collectivization was merely ruining the country. Many peasants, rich or poor, were against collectivization to a great extent and responded in acts of sabotage including burning of crops. ...read more.


Stalin ordered these kulaks to hand over their land, houses and property to the government. Their crops, labour and machinery were to be distributed among the collectives. They were, however, not allowed to join the collectives and millions of these peasants were sent to labour camps or executed. Most kulaks resisted and destroyed their property, machinery, crops and animals so that the government would not be able to use it. Collectivisation was also part of the Five Year Plan, but it was less successful than industrialisation. It did not fulfil its targets under the Plan and grain production even declined from 1928 to 1932. This caused widespread famine later on. However, at the same time, Collectivisation was a huge success as it made Russia's agriculture more efficient. The huge amount of mechanisation involved, the efficiency meant that many peasants left their farms and went to work in the industrial labour sector. The Plan was also a success because they were able to rid themselves of the kulaks and move towards communism. Also, collectivisation put an end to private ownership of land. Land was nationalised and allowed peasants to own a small plot of land as a concession, to win their support. ...read more.

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