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Stalin Modernisation of the Ussr

By pepper Mar 29, 2009 1008 Words
"We are 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us!" Josef Stalin 1931, this quote sums up Stalin’s desire to modernize the Soviet Union. Stalin attempt to modernize the Soviet Union through a series of five year plans had various outcomes on the people, economy and politics in the country. The results of Stalin’s policies where mixed economically they where great, but politically and socially they had major flaws.

Stalin increased the amount of heavy industry and the production of raw materials as he seen it as a way of bring the soviet economy up to standard of the other advanced countries. Between 1927 and 1937 there was an average increase of 455% in the of production raw material. Stalin also built large industrial cities like Magnitogorsk that would allow Russia to have a large urban workforce capable of turning their massive amounts of raw material into usable goods. Initially Stalin focused on heavy industry that would make tractors, armaments and other machinery the Soviet Union estimates that the increase in heavy industry production was 300% at the end of the first five year. Stalin initially focused on heavy industry so that he could increase the production efficiency in all industries. With the ensuing threat of war Stalin also sought to increase armament production so as to protect the country.

Stalin introduced the policy of collectivization in Soviet Russia. Collectivization is transforming small individual farms into large state run farms that utilize machinery and scientific methods to increase efficiency and production. 1930 the amount of grain produced was 83.5 million tones the amount of cattle slaughtered was 52.5 million by 1940 these figures increased by 000 and 00 respectively. Overall Stalin achieved his goal of increasing agricultural output although it did take longer then promised and the results where not as high as he had wished

Stalin’s policies and the Marxist principle of communism promoted equality and fairness for everyone. Soviet Russia was one of the first countries that allowed women to work and earn the same amount as men. Stalin plans of having the economy of a superpower required a very large workforce, Stalin seen the women of the country who generally stayed home and looked after the children as an unused resource by 1930 the workforce of Soviet Russia effectively doubled that of Pre-revolution Russia. Stalin also introduced universal education as he seen it as a way to make the county better and more skilled although Stalin did also use it to force his ideas upon the children. Although Stalin’s motivation for getting women to work and creating a universal education system may not have been ethically correct it does not mean that they where bad ideas, after WWII many countries also implemented similar policies so Russia could be seen as modern in this respect.

Stalin’s plans required having a large urban population to work in the factories and mines. Stalin created large new cities like Magnitogorsk and Gorki which where central to the industrial output of the country but in the building of these cities houses and other amenities such as entertainment facilities where either ignored or built in minimal quantities many of the residents of these cities and those of other large cities had to live in wooden huts, tents or in extreme cases in the factories they where working in, Stalin made great advances in modernizing the economy but the pay and living condition of the workers decreased from when Lenin was in power. It could be argued that the people of Russia had to make these concessions initially so that the country could defend itself from western countries and that Stalin planned to deal with theses issues of poor living conditions and pay after the security of the economy and country had assured.

Stalin’s controversial policy of killing those who he thought to be dissident was a major downfall to the political and social element of the country. Stalin eliminated those whose views where different to his own like Zinoviev and Kamenev this turned Soviet Russia into a dictatorship instead of a country governed by the working class for the working class. Stalin also eliminated many of the countries military officers including 3 out of the 5 marshals and 14 out of the 16 army field commanders, because he thought they where or where going to conspire against him, these purges may have contributed to Russia initial losses in WWII. Communism was meant to turn Russia into a country for the people but Stalin turned in to a county for him and those who went along with his ideas basically went backwards and turned Russia into a dictatorship similar to what it had been before the revolution.

Stalin’s policies caused the death of many millions of people due famine the purges and poor living conditions. Stalin’s own estimates put the number of people killed between the years of 1928 1938 at ten million other sources quote between 20-24 million. Stalin justified the killings as necessary because those who where killed where Kulaks or class enemies who refused to embrace communism or they where enemies of the state who here trying to bring done communism. Although Stalin denied that his collectivization policy caused mass famine in Russia

It’s undeniable that Stalin modernized the Soviet Union, he increased industrial and agricultural output, and he built more heavy industry and promoted equality and fairness. Stalin motives for doing these things may not have all ways been right and offended he did it for his own political gain but Russia did advance 50 100 years in ten, and when they where invaded they where able to repel the German armies so you can say Stalin was unsuccessful at modernizing Soviet Russia


Soviet Economic Development, Professor Gerhard Rempel, , 24/03/09

1990 CIA World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency.

Phillips, S., 2000, Stalinist Russia, China, Heinemann Educational Publishers

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