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Trosky ( Good & Bad bits)

Good... but...

1. Brilliant speaker & writer but arrogant

2. One of the parties' best political thinkers but offended other senior party members

3. Hero of civil war & leader of Red Army & man who organised Bolshevik revolution + negotiated peace for Russia w/ Treaty of Best Litovsk

The bad bits

1. He failed to take opposition seriously

  • Made little effort to build up support in the ranks of the party
  • Failed to take opposition seriously 

2. Frightened many people in the USSR : believed in worldwide Communism 

  • Many worried Trotsky would involve USSR in further conflicts 
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How did Stalin Win?

1. Clever politician : planned his bid for power carefully

  • Made great efforts to associate himself with Lenin
  • Took on boring but important jobs ( E.g General Secretary) & used these positions to put his supporters in important positions

2. Ruthless in picking off his rivals one-by-one 

3. His policies received more favour than Trotsky's 

  • 'Socialism in one country' rather than worldwide revolution

4. Seemed to be a straightforward Georgian peasant 

  • 'Understood the feelings of the Russian people' 
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Modernising the USSR

1. To increase the USSR's military strength 

  • WW1 showed Russia that it required industries to produce weapons & equipment needed to be able to fight a modern war

2. To rival the economies of other Capitalist countries

  • Stalin wanted to make USSR self-sufficient 
  • Wanted to improve standards of living in Russia so people would value Communist rule

3. To increase food supplies 

  • Stalin wanted more workers in industries, towns & cities
  • Also wanted to sell grains abroad to raise cash to buy industrial equipment > fewer peasants would have to produce food > farming would have to be reorganised 

4. To create a Communist society 

5. To establish his reputation: as an even greater leader than Lenin by bringing about even greater changes

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The First Five Year Plan

  • Focused on Major industries
  • Most targets not meet up achievements still staggering 
    • USSR increased production & created a foundation on which to build the next Five-Year plans
  • USSR was rich in natural resources but many of them were in remote places (E.g Siberia)
    • Whole cities were built from nothing
    • Workers taken out to new industrial centres 
  • New huge steel mills were built
  • New Dams & hydro-electric power fed industry's energy requirement
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The Second Five Year Plan (1933)

  • Built on the achievements of the first
    • Heavy industry was still a priority 
    • Other areas also developed 
  • Mining for lead, tin, zinc & other minerals intensified as Stalin further exploited Siberia's rich mineral resources
  • Transport & communications were also boosted & new railways + canals were built
    • E.g Moscow underground railway
  • Stalin also wanted industrialisation to help improve Russia's agriculture
    • Production of tractors & other farm machinery increased dramatically
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The Third Five Year Plan (1938)

  • Some factories were to switch to the production of consumer goods 
  • This plan was disrupted by the Second World War
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Were the Five-Year Plans a success?

  • There was much criticism of the Five Year Plans 
    • There was a great deal of inefficiency, duplication of effort & waste
  • evidence does show that the Soviets learnt from their mistakes in the 2nd & 3rd Five Year Plans
  • There was enormous human cost
  • However, by 1937, the USSR was a modern state 
    • It was this that saved it from defeat when Hitler invaded in 1941
  • The Five Year Plans were used very effectively for propaganda purposes 
    • Stalin wanted the Soviet union to be a 'beacon' of Socialism
    • His publicity machine used the successes of industrialisation to further that objective
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  • To feed the growing population of industrial workers
  • To export any surpluses to raise each for investment in industry

How collectivisation worked

1. Peasants had to give up their land & join other family on large farms

2. New farms supplied by the state w seed, tools, tractors & other machinery 

3. Most of the produce went to the govt.

Opposition to collectivisation: Kulaks

They did not want to give up their land

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Effects of Collectivisation

  • By 1941 almost all land in USSR collectivised 
  • Huge propaganda campaign launched to persuade peasants to modernise 
  • Kulaks murdered or put in labour camps
  • Much of countryside devastated by struggled btwn. Stalin's agents or Kulaks
  • Food production fell dramatically
    • Grain production: 73 million tons (1928)> 69 million tons (1933)
  • Long term result: Peasants battled into submission
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