Stalin and Russia

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Modern History Assessment Task
HSC Course 2010
National Study Russia 1917 – 1941

Stalinism, the term used to embody the form of government experienced by the Soviet Union under Stalin’s rule, had a significant and lasting impact on the USSR. Stalinism impacted on several aspects of life. Collectivisation was introduced which assisted in the funding of industrialisation, terror was used to create a communist state. Stalin centralised every aspect of life, from the single leadership of Stalin himself to party control of the state and its functions. Free will disappeared and service to the state was expected. Consequently a Stalinist state which had a major impact on the USSR was created.

Stalin’s most immediate concern once he had gained power was to modernise Russia in order to catch up to the rest of the world. Stalin then introduced Collectivisation in 1928 as a way of achieving his goal of modernisation. Collectivisation had a noteworthy impact on the USSR. The Five Year Plans included Collectivisation as a policy; it was intended to support industrialisation with food surpluses generated by changing the basis of agriculture. It involved removing privately owned farms and creating large, collectively owned farms called Kolkhoz and state farms called Sovkhoz. Stalin had hoped they would be more efficient as modern farming methods were introduced. Stalin was confident that collectivization would finally put an end to capitalism and allow the government to take control of the rural sector. It was argued that the larger farm units and the access to machinery that collectivisation provided would result in an improved, modern agriculture. Stalin claimed “other countries are fifty years ahead of Russia. We must make good this distance in ten years”. Therefore collectivisation was to be achieved at a rapid pace, which resulted in resistance and revolts. The advantages of collectivisation were known to Stalin but the peasants were unwilling to join the...
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