Were the five-year plans a success?

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Debs Lord        History

Were The Five-Year Plans a Success?

Whether or not the Five-Year Plans were a success is debatable.  Although it wasn’t and still isn’t hard to be critical of the Five-Year Plans, by 1937 the USSR was a modern state and this saved it from being defeated by Hitler when he invaded in 1941.  

It was only when Stalin cam into power that the idea of modernising the USSR was put into action.  Many areas of USSR hadn’t changed much if at all since a hundred years before, they were still far from being modern like many other countries, who already had achieved modernisation years before and were years ahead of the USSR.  It was Stalin who was determined to modernise the USSR and that he would succeed.  It wasn’t even as if it was just the military or just the industry that was “backwards” but all of them, military, industrial and agriculture too, this made the USSR weak and at the risk of being defeated and/or enslaved.  Stalin was a very determined man and was adamant that the USSR could improve dramatically.  And they would have to develop considerably as they were 50 to 100 years behind the leading, advanced countries and Stalin wanted to catch up with them in 10 years!  

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Stalin wanted his own ideas, the Five-Year Plans, to be put into action as soon as possible so he ended Lenin’s NEP and started to try and modernise the USSR his way.  His Five-Year Plans may have been his idea but they were drawn up by GOSPLAN (the state planning organisation).  Even though the plans were complex and had ambitious targets, they were efficient.  For the reason that they were set out in such a way that by 1929 every worker knew what he or she had to achieve.  

The first Five-Year Plan focused on the major ...

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