How Far Did the Priorities of the Three Five-Year Plans Change in the Year 1929-41?

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How far did the priorities of the three Five-Year Plans change in the year 1929-41? By Seb Monson The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia took form in the way of 3 Five Year Plans (FYP) which aimed for heavy industry throughout Russia to help aid the country in catching up with the ‘advanced countries’ and preparing Russia for war otherwise they would ‘perish’ as said by Lenin on the eve of the October revolution. Great Britian was in fact influential on Stalin as it was seen as a powerful Capitalist state after its Industrial Revolution a century earlier. This helped Stalin gauge what needed to occur, to enable Russia and its Socialist state to become a superpower. Stalin recognised that the industrial revolutions which, had made Western Europe and Northern America so strong, had been based on iron and steel production. If the USSR were to drive towards modernisation, Stalin believed this heavy Industry had to have a role somewhere. The first FYP was from October 1929 to December 1932; the second FYP was from January 1933 to December 1937; the third FYP was from January 1938 to June 1941. Throughout these 3 Five Year Plans the priorities can be seen to have changed in some cases drastically in others more realistically, however there was underlining element emphasized throughout all 3 FYP’s being on ‘Heavy Industry’. Stalin in his speech to the Industrial Managers in Feb 1931 expresses how vital it is for the USSR to create Heavy Industry and not move ‘backwards’. There is a lot of evidence to support the fact that overall 3 FYP’s priorities did not change. The main underlining factor is how each plan maintains the point of how important Heavy Industry is to the success of moving forward with the modernisation of the USSR. Iron, Coal and Oil industry were regarded as the ideal components as this is what helped advance the Western powers in Europe. By
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