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Stalin's Main Policies After Lenin's death, finding a successor was rather difficult due to the unique role Lenin played in holding the party together and giving it direction after the revolution. The years from 1924 to 1929 have been renowned for the struggle of power that took place between several contenders. However, the person who emerged as victor of the struggle was Joseph Stalin where he was able to seize power of the USSR and defeat all his opponents. The genuine struggle of power during that period was mainly between Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Both believed in divergent views on the future of Russia: Stalin believed in 'socialism in one country', while Trotsky believed in 'permanent revolution'. Trotsky wanted to expand the Russian-Bolshevik revolution to neighboring countries and hopefully to the more industrialized countries of Europe. Stalin's 'socialism in one country' was different and was more favoured by party members. Stalin proposed a socialist state in the USSR without the help of countries from outside and wanted to create a workers society what was superior to that of the Capitalist West. Because of Stalin's control over the party, his skillful political qualities, the fact that his opponents underestimated him and with an ounce of luck, Stalin assumed control of Russia by 1929.
Collectivization was carried out through collective farms where several farm units were merged together and it was owned and run by the state. The peasants farmed the land as one unit and the produce was given to the government. Peasants were in collective farms under party control and accordingly their will was broken. Effect of Collectivization: * In theory, it appeared to be an effective plan, however, in reality, it proved to be otherwise. * The effect of collectivization on agricultural production was disastrous. Grain production went down dramatically in the 1930's and this caused a famine which claimed the lives of millions. The Soviet Union also lost huge proportions of the animal population. * The use of brutal methods, mass murders, mass arrests and the deportation of hundreds of peasants. * Economically, collectivization was considered to be a disaster. * However, there were some successes. Firstly it provided resources for industrialization as the state was able to collect the grain it needed through requisitioning. Secondly, the party in the end was able to control villages and made agriculture serve the towns and workers. * Overall, the human cost was horrendous as there was an immense number of deaths ranging between the millions.
* The Historian Robert Eonquest asserts that there were 7 million arrests, 1 million executions and 8 million people sent to prison camps. These numbers demonstrate the severe use of terror by Stalin's regime. Soviet Foreign Policy: Soviet foreign policy between 1924 to 1939, dictated mainly by Stalin, has brought several advantages to Russia. Some are: the recognition of the Soviet Union as a European power again, there was no longer a united capitalist front against Russia, foreign governments became encouraged to open business relations with the USSR, the corporations between Germany and the Soviet Union have resulted in industrial and military gains for Russia. By looking at these results of Soviet Foreign Policy, one can notice that the USSR's international status was enhanced, and this was further shown in the entry of the Soviet Union to the League of Nations in 1934. Conclusion: In conclusion, there were many policies followed by Stalin in his rule of the USSR from 1924 to 1953. The chief goals of these policies were to increase industrial and military power of the Soviet Union. They were also policies that maintained Stalin and his regime in power. These policies are: collectivization, five year plans, purges, and Soviet foreign policy. In the end, Russia emerged as a superpower by 1953 and it was considerably industrialized. Nonetheless, the Russian people have witnessed profound human sufferings and casualties along with extreme conditions.
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