History - Why did Stalin and the Communist Party opt for the 5-year plans?

A quick summary of the motives behind the decision to implement the 5-year plans in the USSR.

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Economic motives

  • Rapid industrialisation was required, and could be attained through demanding high targets for industry output.
  • The plans would focus on creating a 'command economy' - one dictated and controlled through central planning, rather than relying on the balance of supply and demand.
  • Introduction of new wealth through exports and increased production.
  • The plans would hopefully lead to a strong self-sufficient state.
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Ideological motives

  • It was hoped that the process of Collectivisation would socialise the peasantry, extending Stalinist socialism ideology to remote areas and strengthening his control.
  • The plans favoured the ideas of the left wing of the party.
  • The 5-year plans represented a significant step up to achieving the goals of the revolution.
  • A self-sufficient, strong socialist society would be the product.
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Threat of invasion

  • Due to a fear of invasion, the USSR wanted an industrial base to build armaments.
  • In the event of war, the USSR would need to be self-sufficient, as imports could not be relied upon.
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