- Alliance between Russia, America, and Britain was never an easy one.
- Before the fall of Berlin, all sides contemplating WW2 would carry on - Britain and USA would fight the USSR
- By 1946, Grand Aliance of WW2 broke down, Eastern Europe allied with USSR under 'Socialism' - Western Europe + USA embraced capitalism and democracy.
Spheres of Infuence
- 'Big Three' - Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill - planning post war world
- At conferences in Tehran and Yalta, once nazi's were defeated, europe divided into two. Churchill + Roosevelt believed that russia could expect to have neighbouring states - sympathetic to communism - within its 'sphere of influence'
- Yalta Conference - 1945 - agreed a joint 'allied declaration on liberated europe' - committed victorious powers to establish democratic regimes in the places they had conquered - stalins interpretation of a soviet 'sphere of influence' had no room for western democracy
- Stalin ordered the Red Army to establish communist governments in Eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria
- communist parties in these areas kept loyal to russia through regular purges - operated from moscow.
Exporting Stalinism to Eastern Europe
- Stalin established 'Peoples Democracies' throughout europe
- regular elections allowed people to vote for communist party ALONE
- at the top of each communist party stood a ruling politburo - in each new peoples democracy, opposition suppressed by terror + propaganda
- trade agrements drawn up between russia and eastern european states. by 1949, eastern bloc. - not truly independent, controlled from moscow - forced to act in such a way to bring maximum benefit to USSR
- russia and america - economic forces of the post war world
- stalin created an economy that was geared to war
- russia's economic might essental to new projects that would underline soviet power in the cold war era - development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
Fourth five year plan
- priority was HEAVY INDUSTRY
- production in heavy industry decreased during WW2
- military were to be reconstructed due to threat posed by USA and allies
- soviet planners allocated 7.4 billion roubles for defence spending in 1st yr - compared to 5.7 billion roubles in 1940 - last year of peace
- later 1940's and 1950's - time of continuing economic growth for russia
- industrial production by 1952 DOUBLE that of 1940
- at the end of the plan in 1950, heavy industry had recovered from war
- industrial production EXCEEDED targets set in fourth five year plan
- focus on military and heavy industry came at expense of living standards
- from 1946 - 1951 - conditions worse than 1930's
- 50% of soviet housing destroyed during WW2 - remainder poorly maintained
- 1946 - 90% of central heating in moscow didnt work
- regime kept prices high + wages low
- USSR's status as a superpower confirmed by development of nuclear weapon
- hiroshima + nagasaki changed modern warfare - if USSR was to survive - it had to manufacture an atomic weapon of its own
- soviet bomb project - led by Igor Kurchatov -caught up with american rival- first, due to russia's control over eastern bloc - east germany + czech - both in soviet sphere of influence - had large deposits of uranium
-stalinist command economy ideally suited to the task of weapons production
-gosplan able to divert vast resources to the development of nuc weapons
- physicists involved aided by soviet spies who had access to american and british nuclear secrets
-- soviet scientists subjected to continual propaganda emphasising project - world peace and defence of the motherland
- scientists collaberated enthusiastically
-beria - head of NKVD - put in charge of bomb project.
-as a result, majority of nuclear scientists were never purged during 1940s, maintained intellectual freedom. bomb significant to beria and stalin
- RDS-1, 1st russian atomic bomb, tested in remoted area in kazakhstan in 1949, taken americans 6 years to master bomb, taken russians only 4.
-by 1953, russia developed hydrogen bomb. first hydrogen bomb, 'layer cake' tested in kazakhstan - ten times more powerful than atom bomb
-atomic tests significant - showed power of russian military - showed russia and america on equal terms
- 1929 - stalin ruler of a backward, peasant country; majority of russians lived in countryside, could not read nor write.
- 1953 - russia was industrialised, urban nation, technologically advanced. population were well educated, entire generation of industrial specialists created under stalin's rule - victory in WW2, superpower status folliwing war, proved stalins policies had been correct. stalins prestige higher than ever; death in 1953.
-soviet unions economic success in heavy industry never matched in terms of consumer goods.
-while the ussr was capable of creating atomic bombs, couldnt create shoes.
-continual terror forced russia's people to praise system, stifled innovation and problem solving.
-under successive five year plans - productivity of soviet labour force and quality of manufactured goods remained lower than that of western economies
- soviet union remained an insecure superpower - stalin never believed that soviet people could be trusted with power - continually bombarded with propaganda, prevented from having contact with outside world and terrorised to keep them in order
- contact with fellow socialists in eastern bloc was discouraged
- soviet union was a superpower built on slave labour of millions of prisoners from stalin's gulags.
Stalins vulnerable years
- 1924 - lenin's testament demands stalins removal as general secretary of the communist party
-1934 - congress of victors - kirov secures more votes than stalin in the election for the central committee
-1941 - hitler invades russia - stalins nazi-soviet pact a failure - stalin retreats to his private house, expecting to be arrested by beria