Russia and its Rulers: Krushchev


Khrushchev Ruler and nature of Government

Background: "struggle for power" Stalin died in 1953 leaving no successor just the central committee in place with 10 main members and 3 in over all control: Beria (very unpopular, later shot), Malenkov and Khrushchev who was the most powerful and wanted to plant ther virgin land. 

The Thaw: 1936- 20th party congress was the turning point. Khrushched made a 4 hour speech about the "cult of personality" - a dig at Stalin.

Opposition to the thaw: Attempts to abolish general secretary position which would have made Khrushchev powerless, by Moltov and Malenkov. Overturned by the central committee and the opponents were Removed, leaving just Beria and Khrushchev.

De-Stalinization: Allowed new course of policy. 1961 Stalin body removed from Lenin Mausoleum. Stalingrad renamed Volgograd.

Camps opened: Millions freed, rehabilitation. New history of Russia writen condeming the exses of the 30s. 

Repression: Still censorship- Arty: modernism criticised: Novels criticised. Church attacked: only 7500 orthodox Churches by 1960.

1 of 6

Khrushchev Ruler and nature of Government NO 2

In Power: Liberalisation for Satellite states? Yugoslavis allowed independence but Hungary's 1956 uprising brutally put down. No self government for nationalities.

Agriculture: Amid to over take the USA by using western methods. They falsifying falsified to make it seem like the improvement was better than it was.

Industry: 7 year plan. Had mixed results: Consumer goods but quantity no quality. Khrushchovka built- big tower blocks, very poor quality.

Education: Based on USA: Vocational specialized particularly on agriculture and science. schools for the gifted made. University town established. Specialist and Summer schools opened.

Relations with the West: Bomb 1949 and development of the biggest bomb ICBM= M.A.D "shatter our own windows. U2 incident 1960, Berlin wall 1961, Cuban Missile Crisis oct 1962. Space race - Sputnik 1957 & first man in space = Yuri Gugarin.

Removal form power: Oct 1964 summoned back from holiday by Praesidium. Sacked for "cult of personality". Replaced by Brezhned. Died Moscow 1971 with most of his policies being overturned.

2 of 6

Khrushchev Economy and Society

Background: under Stalin there was a pland economy that had lead to faked production figures up to 1953, due to biological yeilds and just lying. Also had a lac of consumer good due to war econmy.Agriculture: Problems: fewer animals than before war as had all been killed with invashon. State procurement = low prices for farmers = low productivity due to lack of incentives. All baced on biological yeilds not actual production. High taxes on farmers eg meat tax fot farms with out meat. 

Solution: Procurement priced rose by 25% 1953-6 giving more money and insentive to farmers. Cost to Kulkhozy cut by reducing motor tractor station prices and equitment higher. Taxes on peasants changed (No livestock= no meat tax). Increases in production of fertilizer and farm machinery. "vergin lands" (syberia and Kazakhstan) 1954 harvests were good but in 1955 there was a drougt. By 1956 35.9 million hectates of land(=canada) had been cultivated. Kolkhozy could set their own targets. Motor transport stations repaced by repair stations. Smaller farms amalgomated.

Impact: Production rose by 30% 1953-64. Vergin lands contributed 50% of grain 1956, but 1956 wind erouded topsoil= poor harvists= imports form west= humiliation. Fluctuating prices= riots 1962 24 people killed. Private plots= 3% but contributed 30%. Closing the MTS = lac of experties in country side.

3 of 6

Khrushchev Economy and Society NO2

Industrialisation: Actions: 7 year plans, emphasis on power stations, productivity did improve. Regional not national economic counciles set up, with supreme Economic councils in Moscow= More Bureaucratic system -> removed affter Khrushchev. Electric and diesel trains introduced. 

Ordinary peoples lives: Minimum wage introduced 1956; Average house hold income increaced 3% per year 1960-5. Books and publec transport made cheeper, but clothes and shoes remaind exspenvie and low quality. 1968 50% of people had a TV and washing machine, 10% had a car and phone. Khrushchyovka built affter 1961.

4 of 6

khrushchev War and Revolution

Introduction: change from Stalin? In 1956 Khrushchev believed that conflict between communist and capitalism was not inevitable. Warned against MAD. Reduced the size of the army from 3.6 million to 2.4 million in 1960, but military spending remained high as spent more money on nuclear weapons. Khrushchev did not want to lose sphere of influence.

Cold War:

Events: Ongoing disagreements over Berlin, Khrushchev backed down over ultimatum to singe November treaty in 1958. He abandoned Stalin plans for the Navy and put more money in to Nuclear weapons. 1956 kitchen debate with Nixon. September 1956 k visits USA and makes an informal agreement over Berlin. April 1960 U2 incident = Fall out= UAS trip to USSR called off. The Shoe banging at the united nations conference leaves K looking poor Sep 1960. Bay of Pigs propaganda win for K when USA don't come in support. August 1961 Berlin wall built. Oct 1962 - Cuban missile crisis -K backed down to USA , when USA agree to take missiles out of Turkey.

5 of 6

khrushchev War and Revolution NO 2

Eastern Europe: Poland: Under Communist leader Bierut, died wile reading speech on Desalinisation. Huge demonstrations against USSR. Some concessions to workers and new polish leader given by Khrushchev, they are allowed to be a little more liberal.

Hungary: Influenced by Poland, Nagy was a reformist leader who wanted independence. He was given a chance by K, but when N tried to leave the war saw packed he send in tanks and left 4000 dead. N arrested and executed. 

Yugoslavia: Khrushchev had better relations with Tito, who was a liberal communist. Tito initially supported Nagy, but was talked round by k and then allowed independence.

China: Events: became Communist  in 1949. Received massive aid from USSR (7% of national income) and technical expertise. China wanted old territory back = Port Arther and Dalian returned. Mao disapproved of liberal communism in Yugoslavia and saw desalinisation as a threat to his power. Relation ship worsened. K planed to give atomic bomb 1959 but changed mind. Cold relationship by 1960.

6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Russia - 19th and 20th century resources »