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.
In spite of all these changing times and circumstances, the tension between the upper and lower classes remained tenser than ever before, building up under the fabric of society. Russian became industrialized during the 1930's when Joseph Stalin instituted a series of what he called “five year plans". The plans were designed to rapidly increase the industrial capacity of the Soviet Union and change it from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. The plans succeeded and Russia did become an industrialized nation. Prior to the “five year plans”, Russia had mostly a peasant farming economy.
Why did Stalin want to industrialise the USSR so quickly? To increase Military Strength: • Stalin knew that an un-industrialised country was a weak country. • To fight a war, the country had to be well developed on an industrial base so they could manufacture the huge quantities of weapons that would be required to fight a war. • Stalin had a big suspicion that the USSR would be attacked especially in the lat 1920’s. To achieve self- sufficiency: • Stalin wanted to make the USSR less dependent – especially on Western manufactured goods.
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. Furthermore, peasants made up 85% of the population of Russia and a majority relied on agriculture for their income. Reforms that would please the ‘dark masses’ would strengthen the tsarist regime. Another reason for reforming agriculture was to oppress peasant unrest. In Poltava and Kharkov provinces, mass impoverishment of the peasants, which was exacerbated by the poor harvests of 1901 led to 40,000 peasants took part in an uprising where they also ransacked 150 landlord properties.
Stalin's reasons for launching the First Five-Year Plan were ideological, political and economic. Stalin believed that socialism was key if he wanted a highly advanced industrialised nation. The Communist revolution had taken place in an economically backward country which was perhaps a hundred years behind the advanced economies in the West. Therefore, in order to make the dream of socialism a reality, Stalin set an agenda - 'in ten years at most we must make good the distance which separates us from the advanced capitalist countries. Stalin had full control of the media in the Soviet Union.
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.
How far do you agree that the most important development in the industrialisation of Russia from 1855 to 1965 was a result of Witte’s great spurt? After the defeat at Crimea, industrialisation the on became a key priority for each leader, sometimes at the expense of other sectors such agriculture and the general wellbeing of the peasantry. Some historians feel Witte was the figure who kick-started Russian industrialisation in the form of his ‘Great Spurt’. However others feel without Alexander II emancipation of the serfs all the progress made after him wouldn’t have been possible. Other than Witte the only Russian Leader to have made such a big of an impact on Russian industrialisation is Stalin and his five year plans.
In addition it will also examine the human failures; this would be defined as human loss, death and or a decrease in living conditions and quality of life. Stalin’s first economic policy of the 1930’s was to introduce Collectivization. This was the joining of private plots which had been previously divided amongst the peasants by the Tsar, in order to increase the amount of output production altogether. Efficiency of farms and a boost in agriculture was essential in order to support industrialization which Stalin wanted to push forward. He needed enough food to be produced in order to support the working masses that would be turning to industry in cities.
These new, larger farms would pool the labour and resources and therefore operate more efficiently. In addition state provided tractors and fertilises would modernise production, again making the opponents more efficient. Stalin’s aim to modernise Russia with the idea of collectivisation would be staged in three parts; economic, political and ideological. I believe that the policy of collectivisation was set up to achieve its objectives however, if historians look at the failures alongside the aims, many were reversed and the outcome was the opposite of what was expected. There were economic factors that led to collectivisation.
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.