Five Year Plans

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History Coursework b) “The five year plans were successful in strengthening the Soviet economy before 1941.” Explain why you agree or disagree with this view. The first five year plan had more failures than successes. Successes being the construction of Magnitogorsk. Impressive gains were obtained in several area of heavy industry and there was a rapid increase in urbanisation in areas such as Moscow and Leningrad as well as Russia. How ever there were a lot of failures. Industry such as handicrafts and enterprises catering for domestic goods for the home were starved of resources and declined. Consumer needs were neglected. Problems occurred due to gaps in the infrastructure. Roads and railway were inadequate to meet the demands. Transport and housing were also inadequate to cope with the number of town dwellers. Under the NEP there had been unemployment, a shortage of labour. Many of the new workers were in experienced peasants. Wages rose how ever there were too few goods on which to spend money. Also the creation of collective farms essentially destroyed kulaks as a class and this disruption led to a famine. I think that over all the first five year plan was not a success in strengthening the soviet economy because a lot of the targets set were not achieved for example the production of coal were 35.4; oil was 11.7 and steel 4 million tonnes. The actual target of these was double the amount produced. I think it was successful in the sense it increased urbanisation, several gains were obtained in heavy industry and wages rose. The second five year plan had more success than failures but this was only due to the efforts from the first five year plan finally starting to take affect. Such as there were now big gains in the industry area being construction and transport. Consumer goods received more attention. Some consumer goods such as gramophones
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