Honors English 9
21 March 2013
Stalin’s Five Year Plans
Around 60 million people died in World War 2 (World War par.1). In the end, the Allied Powers won. What would have happened if America had lost? In August of 1939, Russia and Germany signed a nonaggression pact that kept Russia from entering the war on either side. It was not until June 22, 1941 that German forces invaded Russia. Russia almost fell to the Nazis and if such a thing had occurred the result of the war could have been very different. The Nazis quickly claimed crucial victories when they invaded Russia. It was the harsh winter that stopped the army right before they entered Moscow. In that time, the armies of Russian soldiers fought back and were able to protect the capital (Nor 5). Twenty years before Russia was a severely agrarian society. They farmed on outdated equipment and did not have sufficient factories to have ever supported the manufacturing of weapons and supplies for a whole army. In 1928, Joseph Stalin rose to the significant power of second only to Vladimir Lenin, who later died. When Lenin died Stalin eliminated his rivals and was the uncontested leader of Russia. When he rose to power, he saw that “…Russia was far behind the west and that she would have to modernize her economy very quickly if she was to survive” (Stalin par. 2). So, he created several effective and ruthless five year plans to industrialize Russia. Stalin’s five year plans industrialized Russia in 15 years although it took other countries 100; changed an agrarian society into an industrial one; and raised the economic stand of the country enough to protect it from the outside forces that threatened it.
Stalin’s first of three five year plans was the collectivization of all private farms and lands. Those lands were then given to the government. It was the beginning of the Bolvestic kleptocracy in Russia. Anyone who expressively defied the collectivization was killed. In time, the government had a hold on all farm land and industrial areas. When total control was achieved, the government told where the planting of crops would be, when it would be done, and who would receive the crops in the end. The first five year plan also set goals for all new industrial areas. In 1927, Russia’s industrial economy produced 35 million tons of coal, 12 million tons of oil, 5 million tons of iron ore, 3 million tons of pig iron, and 4 million tons of steel. This production was far behind the more developed economies around the world. In 1932, after the first five-year plan had been completed, the total production in the smelting industry was 64 million tons of coal, 21 million tons of oil, 12 tons of iron ore, 6 tons of pig iron, and 6 million tons of steel being produced annually. Although Russia was still industrially behind, it was no longer by as much. The significant increases of smelting production was leading to the production of more modern equipment. 250,000 tractors were manufactured to revolutionize farming, more weapons were made for the army and more modern supplies produced for all areas of economy (Stalin par. 3).
However, while the manufacturing of supplies for the government increased, the needs of the people were completely dismissed. Manufacturing of household items and clothing had all but stopped and the collection of farms lead to extreme famine where rebellion had left the people unsupported. When the people were weak and begging for help, the government allowed for more production and farming, but they also demanded an increased amount of production given to them. This left the people with even less, but production and output had increased by two-hundred and fifty percent. The first two plans ended before World War 2. When World War Two ended Russia was a world power and had similar power and industry as the United States after 100 years of development (The par. 3).
Also, before the five year plans were implemented,...
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