How successful were Ulbricht's economic policies

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  • How successful were Ulbricht's economic policies
    • Industry
      • Failures
        • USSR controlled the GDR
          • in 1951 the GDR joined COMECON and as a result 76% of its trade was directed towards the GDR.
          • they were largely dependent on the USSR
        • Unrealistic expectations
          • Attempts to raise production levels resulted in uprisings in June 1963.
          • the 2nd 5 year plan that wanted to specialise regionally failed and was an]abandoned.
          • Targets were met by lowering standards
          • 5 year plans were constantly being introduce and revised and abandoned
          • originality quantity not quality was the expectation
        • Economic disadvantages
          • their economy didn't grow at the rate of the FRG;s
          • trading partners were limited
          • the GDR was cut off from the Ruhr on which they depended on for naturaln resources such as coal and steel
      • Successes
        • Employment and living standards improved
          • Everywhere housing and health remained major priorities
          • After the June uprisings profitability and consumer satisfaction became the focus.
          • by 1959 they were able to raise wages
        • 5 year plans set ambitious production targests
          • they gave the impression of progress
          • they had good intentions, e.g. specialising regionally
          • in 1963 a more flexible approach to economic planning was introduced, focusing in profitability, yet it later failed.
        • industry and enterprise in state hands
          • 213 SAG's set up to produce goods for the USSR.
          • most plants were turned into VEB's which accounted for 76% of production
          • banking and insurance was taken into state hands.
    • Agriculture
      • Failures
        • Rationing
          • in 1961 the rationing of meat, sugar and butter was re-introduced.
          • throughout the 1950's fat consumption dropped by 50% of what it had been between 1934-8
        • State subsidies continued
        • Food shortages
          • lack of fertiliser reduced yields
          • a shortage of livestock led to a lack of milk, cheese and meat.
            • in 1961 the rationing of meat, sugar and butter was re-introduced.
        • Use of force
          • the Stasi were used in order to force people to join collectives.
          • the Berlin wall was created to keep farmers and other specialised workers in
          • People were coerced into joining collectives through preferential treatment
          • Benefits came at the expense of freedom, being forced to join their trade union.
      • Successes
        • Collectivisation
          • Broke up large land holdings
          • By 1960 85% of farms were collectivised
          • by 1959 45% of farms were a part of a cooperative
        • later became more efficient
          • by the 1970's the GDR was largely self sufficient.
          • After the building of the Berlin Wall GDR farmers became increasingly efficient due to their being specialists.
          • Farmers began to treat farms like a place of work, not inherited property.


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