To What Extent Did Collectivisation Improve Soviet Agriculture in the Years 1928-41?

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To what extent did collectivisation improve Soviet agriculture in the years 1928-41? Along with Stalin’s policy of industrialisation came widespread changes in agriculture. It was seen by Stalin as necessary to improve Russia’s agriculture, modernising it in order to create food surpluses that could be exported, therefore fuelling his Five Year plan. The policy of Collectivisation, in which larger agricultural units were created ensuring peasants would farm collectively rather than on individual farms, was seen as the solution to improving Russia’s agriculture, which had been left largely unchanged since the 1917 revolution. However, it proved deeply unpopular with the peasants, and although it allowed Stalin and the party to finally gain control over the workers in the countryside, it had devastating effects on this section of the Russian population. The creation of collectives angered many of the of the Russian peasantry. The dekulakisation squads meant that peasants were being forced into collectives, and their crops, livestock, supplies and building were seized as property of the collective. Once again peasants began feeling tied to the land in a similar way to that of serfdome, instead of working for themselves as they did under NEP policies, they were now working for the State, largely losing the independence they had gained. This unhappiness began to manifest itself in violent opposition from large numbers of peasant, particularly in the wealthier agricultural areas, as they had more to lose to the state that the poorer farmers. Rather than allow their property to go to the collective, these farmers would set fire to their land and slaughter their livestock. These oppositions were dealt with by the dekulakisation squads, who were often ruthless in the way that they eliminated peasant and kulak opposition alike . The government quickly eliminated most of the
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