Five Year Plans revision notes - Russia

Basic revision notes on the Five Year plans including:

  • Background/into to 5YP
  • Features of 5YP
  • Results


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A2 History 24th February 2010
Five Year plans
The plans had a number of origins, including the hopes of prewar businessmen for
state development of resources and the earlier policies of War Communism
They were originally intended to go to 1942 but were interrupted by the German
invasion of 1941
The industrial growth the promoted was unprecedented
Industrialisation created a second revolution
They created new disciplines, a new culture and an unprecedented level of disruption
to the Russian way of life
They laid the basis for survival in WWII and postwar SuperPower Status
Features of the FiveYear plans
An increase in control and discipline in the workforce:
o Power of managers strengthened and influence of trade unions and workers
committees reduced
o The working week was lengthened and Sundays eliminated
o Criticism of unrealistic targets was seen as a political offence
o Absenteeism and idleness were met with dismissal and loss of housing
Heavy industry was targeted at the expense of consumer goods until 1938:
o Aim ­ Reduce dependence on foreign imports which had been a feature of
Russian industry since the 1840s.
o Largescale enterprises were encouraged, as in the Great Spurt
o Great deal more direct state construction
New sectors of industry were developed that hadn't been strong in the 1920s:
o Machine tool production car and tractor factories largescale aircraft
production chemicals turbines generators highgrade steel synthetics
There was development of the East as a metal and oil centre for the 1st time
Communications, which despite Witte and his successors lagged behind the West,
were developed and roads, railways and canals were built
There was growth in urban centres with existing towns extended and new towns built
as well as considerable construction of housing and new public buildings
There was a considerable collection of data and the establishment of a central
planning agency to establish norms and check targets
There were changes in the working practive such as the introduction of piecework
(i.e. payment merely for items produced), the control of labour, the reintroduction of
internal passports and the setting of ever increasing norms
Propaganda was used to encourage production, for example the Stakhanovite
movement (Coal worker who mined 14 times as much coal as an ordinary shift)
Were the results seen easily?
There were new factories, electrification, growing cities, a much larger industrial
workforce, and improved communications
There was a continuation of the pre1914 migration to urban and industrial centres
which changed the structure of society
Chris Cartwright

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A2 History 24th February 2010
A proletariat was created and the countryside was industrialised by collective farms
Chris Cartwright…read more


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