The Duo of Khrushchev and Gorbachev

Topics: Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, Great Purge Pages: 5 (1652 words) Published: December 10, 2007
The Duo of Khrushchev and Gorbachev

The Stalinist regime of communist Russia may be considered the country's most defining moment. Russia turned into a strict country full of fear and full of failure. After the death of Lenin, Joseph Stalin did not waste anytime in basically turning the country upside down. With his reforms in agriculture by collectivized farming, the industry through the creation of more capital, and the party members through his purges, Stalin knew what he was doing and where he was taking the Soviet Union. However, through the failures of his ideas, and the overall fear of Stalin himself, the Soviet Union was doomed to begin with. With the death of Stalin in 1953, a country turned upside down must be corrected or would end in peril. The Soviet Union immediately saw the beginnings of anti-Stalin reform policies in order to revive the country. Through the origins of liberal ideas in Nikita Khrushchev's leadership, Russia continued to undo the great misfortune and struggle that Stalin had imposed on the country. In Mikhail Gorbachev's term as party leader, we see a new wave of reform that steps away from the Stalinist principles of the original Soviet Union. Ultimately through another disarray of unsuccessful reforms, the dismantlement of the Soviet Union was inevitable. In 1991, Boris Yeltsin and the Russian Republics were finally able to take control of the government and cease the existence of the USSR. Stalin's control of Russia in the 20th century may have had a big deal with creating the image of the Soviet Union, however it is the evolution of anti-Stalin reformation and de-Stalinization processes led by Khrushchev and Gorbachev that ultimately shaped Russia into the republic we see it today.

The origin of these anti-Stalin ideas were initiated due to the repeated failures of Stalin's programs. Collectivized farming was a disaster due to its inefficiency and of course to famine. The country of Russia was living in a state of fear, because "if you were not with them, you were against them." The purges of Stalin did not hesitate to remove anyone who opposed his leadership and the communist party. Labor camps were also unsuccessful and were the cause of death for thousands of Russians across the country. With the way things were going in Russia, things needed to change. With Stalin's death in 1953, the politburo chose a man by the name of Nikita Khrushchev as their party leader. Khrushchev was a new person and a safe choice for the party. Being an agriculturally inclined official, Khrushchev immediately went to work and began his reform that would undo the work of Stalin.

Khrushchev first took a plan of attack on agriculture. He sought to lower taxes and higher prices for peasants as well as use unused land, "Virgin Lands," in order to increase their produce. Although Khrushchev's reforms affection "only the very small sector of the household plots" these changes "produced rapid and dramatic economic results (Medvedev 35)." With these farming changes laid down, the rest of the anti-Stalin reforms were on their way and it would only be a matter of time until finally Russia will cease to be communist. Another important reform from the way things were dealt with housing. During Stalin's reign, housing was a major crisis. Russia underwent thousands of people would start cramming into Moscow because that was where the industrial work was. Khrushchev wanted to reach the everyday ordinary citizen and he could not do that through simply economics, politics, and agriculture. He wanted to better change the horrible living conditions for his people. In order to increase housing expansion, Khrushchev "ordered that new methods of prefabrication are used (Medvedev 44)." Khrushchev did not only help the housing conditions but as well as the road highways to raise the low standard of living. Khrushchev was always looking towards the west in order to help his country. By...
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