How Far Were Economic Problems Responsible for Stalin’s Decision to Replace the New Economic Policy in 1928 with the First Five-Year Plan ?

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How far were economic problems responsible for Stalin’s decision to replace the New Economic Policy in 1928 with the first Five-Year Plan ? There seemed to be various reasons why Stalin decided to replace the New Economic Policy with the first Five-Year Plan in 1928. These included economic problems, the role of ideology, a fear of invasion and political considerations. Although it is likely that problems in the economy were an important reason for Stalin’s decision, the most significant reason must have been political since the consolidation of his power position had always been Stalin’s prime concern. The occurrence of economic problems in the form of the grain procurement crisis in 1927-28 presumably played a major role in Stalin’s decision to move away from the New Economic Policy (NEP), although it must be noted that, before that time, the NEP had had its, albeit limited, success: Following its introduction by Lenin in 1921 and an initial set-back of a disastrous famine in 1921-22, the pace of economic recovery was extremely rapid. By 1925 the NEP had returned the economy to its pre-war levels, and by 1927 both agriculture and industrial production exceeded their pre-war level. However, the NEP had run into problems such as the scissors crisis in 1924, when there was a widening gap between industrial and agricultural prices, and the grain procurement crisis of 1927-28, when the Russian peasants were accused of hoarding grain in order to force prices up on the market. This would lead to food shortages in the cities where it was badly needed by factory workers. For Stalin and many pragmatists who had supported the NEP because it had been working, the grain procurement crisis brought matters to a head, since, despite the recovery brought about by the NEP, Russia was by 1928 still an economically backward country compared to the large economies of Western

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