Success & Failures of Collectivisation

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  • The Success/ Failures of Collectivisation
    • Ways in which it was economically successful for the government
      • State procurement of grain always happened even at the toughest of times as the controlled farms
      • Used collected grain to export & use this money to import machinery to industrialise
      • Gains more workers for industry in towns by making life so uncomfortable for peasants they move
      • Mechanisation of farms meant they could become more efficient so produce more
      • It enabled Stalin's industrialisation programme to continue even throughout the 1930s
      • Tractor production increased
      • Supplied food for towns in urban areas so peasants became more skilled workers & would therefore work better & harder
    • Ways in which it was an economic failure
      • The USSR did not get as much foreign money for its grain as it had hoped because the Great Depression had forced up world grain prices
      • Peasants withheld grain
      • Grain & animal production never returned to 1928 levels until the 30's
      • Agriculture still remained, on the whole, poor in relation to the Soviet economy - farming was still inefficient, unproductive & had low levels of mechanisation
      • Peasants still lacked the incentive to work hard - they worked much harder on smaller private plots of land
      • Collectivisation left some of the worst farmers
      • Eventually private plots of land produced about 1/3 of all markets food in the USSR, even though they only made up about 4% of cultivated land
    • The Human cost
      • Lives lost through deportation, dekulakisation etc.
      • The famine of 1932 partly caused by the government's actions (continuing to requisition grain despite the famine) & no aid sent to peasants as they could not admit it was their fault
      • Destroying society: towns, villages, ways of life
      • People destroyed their own homes, crops, animals etc rather than hand it over to the collective
      • Many of the most skilled & successful farmers were killed by famine/ dekulakisation
      • Although internal passports were introduced 1932 restricting movement, millions of youth left the countryside for towns = serious population imbalance in rural areas
      • Many peasants were hostile twoards the regime now - resulting in the welcoming of the German invasion 1941
    • Ways in which it was successful for the government
      • Increases party control in rural areas - controlled MTS
      • Gets rid of Bukharin & right wing opposition
      • Gains control over peasants
      • Political advantage - propaganda
      • Ensured that party members always had food
      • It moved the USSR further along the road towards Stalin's view of Socialism - class differences in countryside were abolished by dekulakisation - Apart from the existence of small private plots, any remains of capitalism, based on private enterprise, had been destroyed - The threat to Marxist ideology is gone
      • Communist image benefitted as peasants saw that they brought education & child care etc - propaganda


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