History - How Successful was Collectivisation?

A summary of the failures and successes of collectivisation in the USSR under Stalin.

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Successes - Political

  • The Soviet regime had extended it's political contol over the countryside, through management of the collective farms.
  • Peasants could no longer resist the regime or hold it to ransome.
  • Collectivisation had reinforces Stalin's control within the USSR and over the Communist Party.
  • Bukharin and Rykov lost power and influence as their faction was destroyed.
  • Collectivisation moved the USSR towards Stalin's version of Socialism.
  • Class differences in the countryside were abolished and capitalism was destroyed.
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Successes - Social/Ideological

  • There was a heavier industrial presence in the USSR.
  • Collectives offered more education and literacy rates vastly improved.
  • The agricultural sacrifice had produced industrial gain.
  • 'It was a terrible struggle but absolutely necessary' Stalin to Churchill
  • The process controlled and transformed the peasant population.
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Successes - Economic

  • The state was able to secure grain through grain procurement.
  • After 1932, farmers on collective farms could sell produce from thier private plot.
  • The Motor Tractor Stations provided new machinery to collect grain faster and more efficiently.
  • 17 million peasants had moved to the towns to become labourers by 1937.
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Failures/Criticisms - Political

  • Stalin's credability was slightly undermined through the backtrack after the 'Dizzy with success' speech.
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Failures/Criticisms - Social/Ideological

  • 7 million Kulaks were eliminated, and there was a population imbalance between rural and industrial areas.
  • There was a sense of bettrayal or hoatility towards to leaders.
  • The best, most successful farmers (Kulaks) and thier expertise were killed or exiled.
  • 'Collectivisation was, in effect, a civil war unleashed by the Party on the peasant population' Alan Wood.
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Failures/Criticisms - Economic

  • Production fell dramatically, causing a famine.
  • Inefficient farming methods were still in place.
  • By 1953 the number of livestock had recovered from the mass slaughters in 1928.
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