USSR

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  • USSR
    • Intolerance
      • Religious
        • Under Stalin
          • 1930-Islam on verge of destruction 2000 of 12,000 mosques remained.
          • By 1939-100 churches survived and 12/163 Bishops remained.
          • April 1931- Reported that churches packed for Easter. 57% described themselves as having a religion. Nazi invasion 1941- reopened churches to mobalise support for the Bolshevik regime.
        • Under Lenin
          • 1918-Leaders of Orthodox church murdered. Checka instructed to shoot anyone who didnt attend work because of a religious holiday.
          • 1922-80,000 Orthodox churches stripped of their gold etc.
      • Economic
        • Destruction of Kulaks
          • Ukraine suffered man-made famine of around 7 million deaths to punish the Ukraine for rejecting control of the USSR between 1918-22.
          • 1930 - 150,000 Kulak families exiled to Siberia. 1931 risen to 270,000 (claimed deportations may have been up to 10 million).
          • Any denial that the economic transformation had been a success was a crime.
        • 1st Five Year Plan introduced in 1927, aimed to Improve economic productivity and increase political control.
          • Collectivisation introduced. Rationing in cities (1929). Internal passports to restrict movement (1932), Absenteeism seen as 20 mins late for work (25% pay cut for 6 months in 1940).
          • Had to revert to paying based on qualifications as workers became lazy when they were paid the same. Didn't achieve any of it's targets for heavy industry.
        • Widespread resistance to collectivisation, Bolshevik officials assassinated, Red Army had to be deployed. 1935: Private peasant plots allowed, some cases calculated that peasants spent more time on these than the collective farms.
        • War Communism failed under Lenin. NEP successful but allowed 90% of businesses to be privately owned.
        • 5 Year Plans -Successes :
          • Heavy industry increased productino (oil rose from 11.7 million tonnes to 21.4 million tonnes) New towns were built (Stalinsk). Less reliant on importing machine tools (78% to 10%) Soviet Union had the worlds 2nd largest manufacturing share.
        • 5 Year Plans- Failures:
          • Almost no targets for production were met. Low living standards. Shortage of woollen cloth (shortage of clothes). May have been 4th largest manufacturing production in world with later estimates.
      • Cultural
        • Controlling the Arts
          • Union of Soviet writers formed in 1932 to ensure all novels written followed official style.
        • Controlling Information
          • Radio stations state controlled. Controlled Pravda one of the main newspapers for printing the party message.
          • Socialist Realism a new artistic style, had to be followed in all forms of creative work.
        • Controlling Cinema
          • Expected to follow socialist themes, if not threatened with exile. Foreign films no longer imported (1930). By 1940 there were 28,000 cinemas in Soviet Union.
        • Controlling Education
          • Youth organisatios Pioneers for under 14's (10 million members by 1940).
          • Primary Education compulsory 1930, by 1941 35 million children in schools. Literacy levels from 25% to 90% (able to write own name).
          • Suffered lack of funding, shortage of pens and pencils.
        • Minority Groups
          • Ethnic differences greatest threat to society. Purged non-Russians in Bolshevik party. Collectivisation took more from Ukraine to suppress resistance in the area.
        • Women
          • Under Lenin
            • More tolerant, allowed women to obtain divorce and abortion.
          • Under Stalin
            • 1930: Shut down women section of party showing women didn't belong in politics. 1936: Abortion made illegal except on medical grounds. Medals given to mothers with large families (5=medal of motherhood).
            • However women in employment rose from 3 million (1928) to 13 million (1940), however were paid less than men.
    • Cult of Stalin
      • Why did it develop?
        • Stalin's personal power
          • Called himself 'Lenin of Today' . His word was law and he could not accept cretinism (1932 demanded Ryutin's execution after he badmouthed Stalin in public).
        • Psychological need:
          • Worshiped Tsars for hundreds of years.
          • Wanted to be like their neighbours and be able to join in with mass activities.
          • Many were grateful to Stalin as living standards had improved.
          • Easier to follow a person than  a set of ideas.
        • Propaganda
          • Gigantic busts of Stalin and portraits on every corner. Encouraged to refer to Stalin as a heroic leader.
      • Limitations
        • Stalin seemed to at times rally against Cult. Advised a party member to not devote him self to a individual  as it is not the Bolshevik way.
        • Daughter claimed:  the country needed Stalin to worship, but Stalin despised it.
        • Lenin never took title of Leader, it ideologically opposed Marxism.
    • Ideology
      • After FWW ended press censorship, freed political prisoners and advanced personal freedoms.
      • Had to adopt extreme policies to maintain control during the Civil War (1918-21). Only really controlled Petrograd and Moscow.
      • Unlikely place for revolution to take place (80% peasants).
      • Skipped Capitalist stage, and went straight from Feudalism to Socialism.  Ignored need for spontaneous revolution and led a small to revolt with a vanguard leadership.
      • Allowed political system to take precedence over the economic system. Opposite to Marxist theory where the economic system determines all other aspects of the country.
      • War Communism saw control of all industry as well as seizing surplus grain.Led to famine (5 million died). Ended in 1921 and replace with NEP which allowed private ownership of businesses with less than 10 employees. Seen as a way to restore economic stability in USSR.
  • Skipped Capitalist stage, and went straight from Feudalism to Socialism.  Ignored need for spontaneous revolution and led a small to revolt with a vanguard leadership.

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