Explain why Alexander II introduced further reforms after the emancipation edict of 1861 Emancipation opened many opportunities for further reforms and forced a change in the structure of the Russian society. Serfdom was abolished and the nobility could no longer control them which led to light being shed on other problems in society such as the law, industry and also the military. The most important reason for the introduction of further reforms is that they were a reasonable response to the emancipation of the serfs, but only in short term. The emancipation act gave the serfs power to control their own lives instead of being dictated by people of a higher status, such as the nobility. For this, rural councils known as the Zemstvas were set up in 1864 which offered the serfs a representative government; but they were mostly dominated by the nobility and professionals and many of them resented their loss of power over the serfs.
Explain why in the years 1906 to 1911, Stolypin attempted to reform agriculture. (12 marks) Stolypin attempted to reform agriculture for many reasons, one of the most important being to strengthen tsarist autocracy. He strongly believed that the future of Russia depended on building a prosperous peasantry. There was widespread rural poverty but an upper class of peasant that farmed efficiently and were wealthier, they were known as the Kulaks. Stolypin believed that the encouragement of a class such as the Kulaks would make them hostile to further change therefore more conservative and loyal to the Tsar as the Tsar had made them wealthy.
To improve standards of living: • Stalin knew the USSR had a bad standard of living was poor compared to the West, and wanted to catch up with them. • He knew industrialisation would create wealth for the people and would consequently improve standard of living. • The Communist life should be good and people around the world would envy but
Stalin was trying to push the people so they can be an advanced country. He wanted to make up the difference between the advanced countries and Russia in 10 years. He said, "Either we do it or we will be crushed." Stalin's Five-Year Plans set high production goals for heavy industry and transportation. Other changes Stalin made were to increase production in agriculture by the collectivization policy.
Industrialization was creating even more towns, increasing this problem. So in order to feed his industrial workforce Stalin needed to revolutionize agriculture. He achieved this through forced grain seizure and the prosecution of kulaks and forcing peasants to work together in ‘collectives’. By doing so he was able to secure extra grain to feed the growing urban population of workers and sell the surplus to gain foreign currencies for purchasing foreign machineries. Though collectivisation may have had short term boosts to the economy but the effects of collectivisation were disastrous.
His “Great Turn” can be seen as a realistic and attractive policy, suited to the rank and file of the party, that he did not adopt earlier in the 20’s since it was not a fitting policy at the time. The problems in ideology could be seen to link to the problems with agriculture as it was the Kulak class that Stalin held responsible for hoarding the grain and demanding higher prices for it, thus if the ideology changed to rid Soviet society of such elements, then haste could be seen to be of importance. However this was not the only problem with Russian agriculture. Farming methods were
Witte believed the only way to modernise Russia and play catch-up with the West was through State Capitalism (control of the economy by the government). The country needed to raise capital for investment in industry, which he did in several interlinking ways: large foreign loans which brought money into the country; heavy tax and interest rates in Russia which brought more money for the government. While bringing money into the country, Witte protected the small developing industries of Russia by limiting imports (but risked other countries doing the same to Russian goods in retaliation) In 1897, he put Russian currency on Gold Standard. This created financial stability and in turn encouraged huge foreign investment in Russia. Conversely, the higher-value rouble helped increase the prices of goods.
The USSR thereafter fought alongside the Allies. Germany was defeated due largely in part to the reorganization of the Russian military’s tank and air divisions, an increase in intelligence and communication, bettered training regimens for officers and a swift increase in technological prowess. The reorganization of the military was made to resemble German panzer divisions and the German Luftwaffe (air force). The ability for Russia to bear the war’s demand on resources was buoyed due to the Russian workforce’s ability to quickly adapt to a command economy—this was ensured mainly by the pre-war economic planning which the USSR implemented. The political scene in the USSR also changed for the better during the war—while initially the military reported directly to the Kremlin, Stalin soon appointed an able-bodied leader to the military, Marshal Zhukov, and this allowed the military greater flexibility and, in turn, greater success in battle.
This act gave farmers subsidies for voluntarily reducing there crops sizes and spacing there planting times. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was used to revive the industries by raising the workers wages but decreasing the hours worked. This cut all excess production so they would be a greater demand. Even though this act was ruled unconstitutional, it had many lasting affects on America. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was a very inspirational act that led to the emphasis of using the rivers resources for common gain.
To what extent can Stalin’s industrial policies be said to have been successful? Stalin’s Five Year’s Plans were designed to strengthen the USSR’s economy to make the nation self-sufficient. Stalin claimed that the USSR was ’50-100 years behind’, and therefore they had to gain ground on their western counterparts, and fast. Stalin planned to advance 100 years in 10 – this was because Stalin felt vulnerable to attack and he believed that the USSR must ‘overtake and outstrip the capitalist countries’. He believed in ‘Socialism in one country’ where the USSR would become strong enough to survive, then would take over the rest of the world.