As an adolescent residing in a Post-Soviet State, where the successes and failures of Joseph Stalin’s economic policies are hotly debated to this day, it is important to hold a discerning opinion. Therefore the research for this extended essay is conducted according to the question: “To what extent were Joseph Stalin’s Five-Year Plans from 1928 to 1937 successful in achieving the domestic economic goals, which he had designated?” Hence the scope of the investigation is an examination of Stalin’s first two Five-Year Plans from 1928 to 1937 as well as the evaluation of the successes and failures of these plans in relation to the economic objectives of Stalin. From the evidence, arguments and counter-arguments it may be concluded that Stalin achieved his designated economic objectives to a very large extent. Overall an increase industrial output as well as development in the infrastructural sector was evident. Nevertheless in the course of such a steep development curve, Stalin overlooked human development and living standards. Lastly it is important to mention that the research question: “To what extent were Joseph Stalin’s Five-Year Plans from 1928 to 1937 successful in achieving the domestic economic goals which he had designated?” was chosen solely out of personal interest for Joseph Stalin Five-Year Plans. Thus the essay will also argue the personal perspective that although heavily criticized for overlooking humanitarian issues in regards to the economy Joseph Stalin managed to achieve almost all of his economic goals through his uncompromising economic policies. Word count: 245
Alex Rakochy (IB Diploma History and MYP Humanities Instructor) – for support and instruction throughout the extended essay project Alish Kerimov (Hero of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Astarkhanbazar Kolkhoz) – for participating in an interview Aydin Kerimov (Russian Historian, Senior Fellow to the Azerbaijani State University) – for participating in an interview for research purposes Dominic Larkin (Secondary School Librarian) – for help in finding printed and web resources Jamil Hasanli (Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament and a Cold War historian) - for participating in an interview for research purposes Mehman Abbas (Senior Strategic Planning Expert, Group Strategic Planning Department at Islamic Development Bank) - for participating in multiple interviews for research purposes
Background to Stalin’s Five Year Plans5-6
The First Five Year Plan 1928 – 19327-8
The Second Five Year Plan 1933 – 19378-10
To what extent were Joseph Stalin’s Five-Year Plans from 1928 to 1937 successful in achieving the domestic economic objectives he had designated? Joseph Stalin firmly believed in the fact that a communist state cannot prosper without a centralized economy or economic autarky (Stalin on Autonomy 1). Upon ascending to power after Lenin’s death in 1924 he pursued this overarching economic goal by designing certain economic plans (Laver 2-3). In theory these relatively minor economic plans would in aggregate develop the USSR into a global economic superpower. Stalin’s economic plans came in the form of Five-Year Plans, of which two are discussed to analyze the successes and failures in achieving domestic economic objectives designated. The objective of the First Five-Year plan was the improvement of infrastructure, collectivization of land as well as industrial expansion and development (Edgar 269). The Second Five-Year plan by Stalin gave heavy industry top priority (Encyclopedia Britannica Second Five-Year Plan) while also aiming to improve communications and the completion of collectivization (Harry The Goals of Stalin’s Five Year Plans). In order to fully tackle the question it is necessary to understand the general economic aura in the USSR as well as the...