Khrushchev

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  • Khrushchev 1941 - 1964
    • Rise to Power
      • Collective Leadership
        • 5 man collective leadership: Malenkov, Beria, Molotov, Vorshilov and Khrushchev
        • Khrushchev = First Party Secretary - only one in Presidium and Secretariat
        • Beria puts forward reform programme
          • to release 1 million prisoners, reverse Russification neutral Germany
            • Rising in East Berlin blamed on Beria - K gains support
          • K removes him by blaming him for worst parts of Stalinism
            • Secret Trial and execution - engineered by K
        • Outmanoeuvres Malenkon by launching counter-attack w/ policy
          • Malenkov's reforms - consumer goods to be prioritised, agricultural taxes to be halved
            • Poor harvest 1953 - Malenkov blamed
          • K launches Virgin Lands Campaign to end shortage = support
          • K gained army support as Malenkov wanted to cut defines budget
    • De-Stalinisation
      • Silent De-Stalinisation
        • Dangerous to denounce him, revision of policies in secret
        • Release of political prisoners
      • Commission into Stalin by K 1955
        • Revealed the Terror, blamed Stalin
        • Claimed Politburo knew,Presidium members don't want it revealed
        • In order to liberate Parrty from culture of fear and inefficieny and undermine rivals
      • 20th Party Congress Speech
        • attacked Stalin's cult, attack of party members, NKVD role in purges, abuse of power, Stalin's war performance
        • Read out Lenin's testament criticising Stalin
        • Didn't reveal his own role in Terror or class war on Kulaks, ethnic cleansing or criticise colectivisation
        • Resulted in 25 million hearing it, Party thrown into confusion, riots in uni, calls for real freedoms
        • Krushchev worried and expels radical critics from party
        • De-stabilising impact on other communist countries, strikes in Poland = new gov
        • 1956 Hungarian uprising - PM denounced Warsaw Pact = K crushed it
        • Lost K support in Presidium - blamed for unrest
      • Physical
        • Statues torn down, body removed from next to Lenins
    • Opposition
      • Anti-Party Group
        • Unrest in Poland and Hungry - speech undermined Soviets credibility
        • Presidium angered by abolition of central ministries
          • Prepared to challenge K's leadership - outvoted 7 to 4 but K appeals to Central Committee - had Zukhov and head of KGBs support
            • Expelled 'anti-party group' - condemned for factionalism but didn't kill them Stalin-style
      • Removes Zhukov
        • Becomes too assertive e.g. makes army reforms = dismissed - strengthens Khrushchev as others dislike him
        • Dissent to Regime
          • Novocherkask uprising June 1962 = 28 killed, ring leaders executed - example of mass disorder and strikes
            • Took care to reduce unrest by keeping food prices low, peer policing, informers- authoritarian
            • Cultural dissidents = largest pop to communism e.g. Samizdat - underground press
    • Economic and Social Developments
      • Agriculture
        • Virgin Lands Campaign - to plough up land in Kazakhstan, Urals and Siberia
          • 35.9 million acres cultivated - 1956 harvest largest in Soviet history
          • But 1963 harvest = disastrous, decrease in soil fertility, reliance on single crop
      • Industry
        • 7 year plan 1958-65 - rapid expansion of oil and gas, chemical industry, consumer goods
        • Space programme and missiles - 1957 first ballistic missile - Sputnik, 1961 - first man in Space = Gagarin
        • Devolution of power - strengthen party control, increased his power - regional economic councils not ministries anymore
      • Social and Cultural Change
        • Focus on housing, consumer goods, freedoms
        • Large disparity between classes
        • New Party Programme 1961 - new stage of progress in Societ so - to revive mood of 1920s
        • Utiopianism - now to be more accountable to membership
        • minimum wage increased, pension scheme, 7 hour day, housing programme, education accessible, more hospital beds
          • 63 million moved into new apartments - cheap, quick fix
        • Aggressive campaign against religion - propaganda
          • 3/4 churches closed, mosques and synagogues attacked
        • Could criticise Stalin but not party=reform!
        • Ending of mass terror, but policies quickly reversed
          • Reform of planned economy diffiicult
            • Entered 20 years of stagnation 1964
    • Downfall
      • Seen as unpredictable, explosive, arrogant
      • Pursued unpopular ideas
      • Cuban Missile Crisis - humiliation for USSR
      • Agricultural Failures e.g. virgin lands campaign, had to buy from west = humiliation
        • Brezhnev summoned him to meeting - condemned his behaviour and style = unanimous vote to oust him = retired and ignored
      • Lost support by reorganising the state e.g. ministries - officials unhappy
        • Brezhnev summoned him to meeting - condemned his behaviour and style = unanimous vote to oust him = retired and ignored

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