Khrshchev's Reforms

Should cover all Krushchev questions in the USSR section!

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  • Created by: Angharad
  • Created on: 01-06-10 08:36
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How did it start?
"Secret speech" at 20th Party Congress 1956. Said:
Wrong to elevate Stalin to Godlike: he knew everything, made decisions for everyone else
He had discarded Lenin's methods of convincing and education, turned to violence, mass
repression and torture
Such criticism was a shock as no one had spoken out against Stalin due to his immense power
Wanted to end suspicion of Stalin's rule
Gave him advantage over rivals: their support of Stalin would be their downfall
Could appear blameless as Stalin was condemned
Key features?
Khrushchev saw over centralisation as the problem: nothing could happen without
Moscow's permission and a lot of paperwork. So began a policy of de-centralisation: more
independence for factory and farm managers, major planning decisions now made by
Regional Economic Councils, (REC), or Sovnarkhozy.
Stalin's body removed from the Lenin Mausoleum in Red Square
Places renamed: Stalingrad » Volgograd
Death Penalty abolished
Millions of political prisoners released
Controls on poets, writers, artists and musicians lessened but criticism only accepted if Stalin
was the target
Change needed to compete with West, (cold War). Wanted more consumer goods, (radios, TVs...),
and improved living conditions to prove communism was better than capitalism.
Key features?
Gosplan made industry slow and inefficient, introduced REC
Factory managers given greater independence, e.g. could decide what goods to produce
1956: 5 year plan, abandoned as over ambitious
1959: 7 year plan, focused on consumer goods, chemicals and plastics
7 hour working day introduced
Controls on workers relaxed, e.g. allowed to change jobs
Living standard improved, but still lower than West:
Production of consumer goods increased
Wages rose faster than prices
New homes were built
SPUTNIK 1: man-made satellite launched in 1957, USSR could claim "space race" victory
1961: Yuri Gagarin was first man in space
To increase food production: collectivisation had resulted in falling food production . Reform
needed to end famine.

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To prove communism was successful, (Cold War), so had to produce enough food.…read more


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