To What Extent Was Stalins Reign Successful?

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Throughout the reign of Stalin he was able to establish himself as a successful dictator through totalitarian rule. He became the undisputed leader of the USSR and the factors that enabled him to do so were Industrialisation, his social policies and his ability to defeat Hitler in World War Two. However, through Stalin’s political career he also encountered many failures. These were Collectivism, the purges and the terror he caused by the people living in Russia during his reign.

Stalin’s reign was successful through Industrialisation. He modernised industry by introducing the 5-Year Plans, which consisted of two plans. The first plan from 1928 to 1933 and the second to 1932 to 1937 and they had the aims of improving the Russian industry. Many of the regions of the USSR were backward. Stalin believed that ‘to be backward was to be defeated and enslaved, but if you are powerful people must beware of you.’ There were many successes of the 5-year plans. The USSR was turned into a modern state, which was able to resist Hitler’s invasion and as well as that there began to be a genuine communist enthusiasm displayed among the young ‘Pioneers’. There were huge drastic improvements in the industry; the output was projected to increase by an enormous 180% over 5 years and there were also huge achievements in coal, steel and hydroelectric power productions. The targets he had set were impossibly high however Stalin believed that he could force a nation to meet them. Overall throughout his reign he achieved fantastic successes, but at a big human cost, and while industrial output soared, the production of consumer goods remained static.

Another way Stalin was successful during his reign was through his social policies. In 1936, Stalin published a new constitution. Soviet citizens were granted the right to a job, social security, equality, health care and education. They were also promised freedom of speech and right of a fair trial. Before this, after...
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