Before Joseph Stalin’s evolutionary reign from 1928 to 1945, the industrial and agricultural production of Russia was dramatically substandard to that of modernised countries. When Stalin came to power, he implemented the Five-Year Plans; a campaign to industrialize Russia at top speed and collectivise agriculture. There are a number of reasons he embarked on this radical pursuit. The prominent of which was the weak state Russia was in, the need for an alternative plan to the New Economic Policy (NEP), Stalin’s wishes to consolidate power, and his desire to incorporate the policy of “Socialism in One Country”. The Five-Year Plan had an extreme impact on the economic and social aspects of Russia, and increased Stalin’s political power.
There was a growing fear among the Russian public of a possible attack made by foreign powers. Many countries were apprehensive toward the spread of Communism, leaving Russia in a vulnerable position. It did not have the means to defend itself against possible attack, especially from the industrially powerful opposing countries (Germany in particular). Russia’s overwhelming loss in World War One due to inadequate weaponry and transport was a constant reminder of its weakness. It was essential that Russia invest in materials such as coal, iron, steel and power in order to properly guard itself. Thus, Stalin declared, “We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in 10 years. Either we do it, or they crush us”. To develop a strong, productive workforce, the agricultural sector needed produce enough food to meet the needs of the growing workforce, and make the money needed for industrialisation (to purchase machinery etc.)
Although the NEP had slowly succeeded in providing Russia with an economic recovery after the devastating effects of World War 1, it created many issues. Unemployment had skyrocketed, and a wider gap between classes was created, as the allowance of private... [continues]
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