Stalin's Russia

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Advantages for the Soviet Union

  • Production would be more efficient
  • Mechanisation
  • Fewer workers needed on farms - more people to work on developing industry 
  • Increase in production - government could sell more overseas and provide more resources and higher living standards for urban workers
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Economic aims


  • Production increase
  • Larger farms increase efficiency 
  • More workers for developing industry


  • Production decreased 
  • Produce prices rose
  • Living standards fell
  • Money fell short
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Ideological aims


  • Grain would be produced for community benefit
  • Capitalists would embrace socialism


  • Peasants lacked revolutionary spirit
  • Traditional farming techniques were still used
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Political aims


  • Stop grain import
  • More money to spend on industry development


  • Peasants refused to co-operate
  • Simplistic agricultural view
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Emergency measures

  • Stalin increased government's power over economy
  • Rationing was reintroduced
  • State resumed grain requisitioning in 1928
  • Grain hoarding could be punished (Soviet Criminal Code - Article 107)
  • Poor peasants were rewarded for informing on neighbours - they were given land belonging to the kulaks
  • Policies caused resentment
  • Party was persuaded by Bukharin to abandon policy
  • Policy was brought back as Stalin gained more power
  • Government began requisitioning meat in 1929
  • Article 61 from Criminal Code was revised - police were given power to send kulaks to the labour camps for up to two years as punishment for 'failure to carry out general state instructions'
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Liquidation of the kulaks

  • December 1929 saw mass collectivisation
  • Stalin instructed to 'liquidate the kulaks as a class'
  • 'Dekulakisation' - marked the end of Capitalism and independent countryside farming
  • Vastly increased collectivisation speed by 1934
  • Immediate colectivisation was caused by the call to liquidate the kulaks
  • Poorest peasants were appealed to to lead
  • Collective farms would control local land and peasants would pool resources 
  • Poor peasants could use kulaks' resources and share in greater harvest 
  • Poor peasants were a minority
  • Collectivisation was independence and financial loss
  • Peasants rebelled by destroying grain and livestock
  • 18 million horses and 100 million sheep and goats were destroyed
  • Kulaks destroyed machinery instead of handing it to Communists
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  • Stalin initiated a new policy at the start of forced collectivisation
  • Communists disagreed with plans and refused to implement them
  • Stalin issued a decree to get around it
  • 25,000 'socially conscious' industrial workers were sent to the countryside
  • 27,000 workers volunteered
  • Hoped to revolutionise countryside and take part in building socialism 
  • Became known as the 'Twenty-five-thousanders'
  • Took a two-week course and offered technical help to peasants and instruct them on use of new machinery
  • Twenty-five-thousanders were really used to enforce dekulakisation 
  • Volunteers were expected to find and confiscate secret supplies of grain, round up and organise kulaks' exile and force remaining peasants into collective farms
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'Dizzy with Success'

  • First wave of forced collectivisation caused 'untold human suffering'
  • Majority of kulaks and their families were shot or exiled to Siberia
  • Those who survived their journey to Siberia were imprisoned in forced labour camps  run by secret police
  • Many died of disease or hunger
  • Stalin announced that 'Moscow does not believe in tears'  and was unmoved
  • Collectivisation caused chaos in agricultural economy
  • Wholesale livestock slaughter, destruction of tractors and burning of crops were results of resistance to forced collectivisation 
  • Progress created surge of hostility towards government
  • Economic and political reality forced Stalin to stop collectivisation in 1930
  • Stalin defended policy in Pravda article 'Dizzy with Success'
  • Claimed local officials had been 'overenthusiastic'
  • Argued that target had been met and programme would be suspended
  • Never admitted that it had caused problems
  • By August 1930, many had gone back to their own farms
  • Only a quarter of Russian farms remained collectivised
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How did Stalin's policies lead to the famine of 19

  • Food was extremely scarce and a lot of it was also banned
  • By confiscating grain, problems arose for the entire community because it was such a valued and important crop - if anyone was found in possession of any amount of grain, it would be seized and the person shot or exiled - this meant less farm workers
  • Seized grain would be sent to cities in order to provide industrialisation resources - but the policy was in such a bad state that the grain went to waste and rotted away
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Consequences of collectivisation

Rural areas

  • Many peasants were exiled or shot
  • Remaining peasants endured extreme hardship
  • Farms could barely cover production costs
  • Received little reward
  • Failed to raise production

Urban areas

  • Goal was to produce more grain
  • Standards of living fell
  • Failed to deliver unity
  • Wages fell
  • No spirit amoungst kulaks and peasants

Communist Party

  • Created feeling of crisis
  • Party remained loyal to Stalin and he came out stronger and was viewed as heroic
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