To What Extent Did the Policy of Collectivisation Achieve Its Objectives?

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To what extent did the policy of collectivisation achieve its objectives? Collectivisation was the process by which Russian agriculture was reformed. Traditionally, peasants had worked on small farms with very limited technology. Stalin planned to merge all the small farms into larger ‘collective’ farms. 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. The autumn of 1926 saw a record grain harvests for the USSR, however, the harvests of 1927, 1928 and 1929 were all poorer due to the peasants keeping hold of the grain. This decrease in production forced the price of agricultural products up. Consequently, the standard of living amongst urban worked declined. The decrease in agricultural production also affected the soviet government. Since 1921, Russia’s government had been selling grain surpluses abroad in order to gain foreign currency necessary to provide resources for industrialisation. Clearly, if there were no grain surpluses there was no money to build up Russia’s industry. Collectivisation aimed to hold out the prospect of many economic benefits. First, large farms would increase efficiency. Secondly, collectivisation would be accompanied by mechanism. The greater efficiency would mean that fewer people needed to work on farms, thus releasing extra man power for Russia’s developing
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