How Far Did the Aims and Key Features of the First Five-Year Plans Change in the Years 1905-1917?

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How far did the aims and key features of the Five-Year Plans change in the years 1928-41? Aims and features changed: * Aimed originally to catch up with the Western economies that were about 100 years ahead of the USSR. * To manufacture weapons in order to defend against invasion from capitalist countries. * Aimed to continue socialism as it was believed socialism could only exist in a highly industrialised nation. * Aimed to improve conditions for the working class as Stalin believed the revolution was a working class one, and had seen how the peasants prospered but the working class did not under the NEP. NEP was a very slow industrialising plan, a new approach was needed as oil, coal, steel, iron and copper production was at a low level compared to other European countries. * Believed to be possible due to the fake ‘successes’ of collectivisation. * Stalin aimed to build a reputation that would surpass Lenin and show that he was against right-wing policies like the NEP of Bukharin. * Series of targets drawn up by the State Planning Committee, very extensive but the officials who set the targets had only a sketchy knowledge of the factory they were dealing with. * Continually revised during operation. * Ambitious plans made in 1927 and revised upwards in 1932 by Stalin. Each plan was unrealistic; Alec Nove argues that they aren’t even plans, as economic plans are drawn up by carefully matching the raw materials to production and production consumption. Production was demanded with no clear idea of how it should be achieved or what the materials should be used for. * Stalin believed heavy industry was the only way Russia could industrialise as they were the first to be developed in the nineteenth-century. He valued mental and physical strength over the luxury of bourgeois life, and wanted to create a strong Russia, a country
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