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  • Created on: 29-04-18 20:35
Elements of Luck and context in Stalin's rise to power
Trotsky ill for most of power struggle, Lenin died at right time, testimony not read out, general consensus on need to industrialise, concerns over negatives of NEP (used this to oust Bukharin)
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How did Trotsky's weaknesses enable Stalin's rise to power?
Arrogant and dismissive of collegues, respected but no personal loyalty, No good at drudgery of politics (no trade offs or alliances, did not try to build power base or protect one he had), Only joined party in 1917, underestimated Stalin
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How did Stalin's ideology allow his rise?
Adopted broadly approved policies, responsive to mood of the times, positions on NEP and industrial isation supported by most of the party, Socialism in one country more appealing than permanent rev, Lack of western understanding/languages a strength
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How did Stalin's political skills allow for his rise?
Had control of party machine through key positions in polit and org buros, control of appointment and membership allowed him to appoint supporters and meant that others wanted him on their side
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How did Stalin's strength of leadership enable his rise?
Personal characteristics, stayed in bg, pretended to be a moderate peacemaker (perceived as dull), outmaneuvered opponents and played them off against each other, determined to protect power base, down to earth, practical, ruthless, tough
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What was the economic situation by 1928?
Peasants used traditional methods, Russia lagged behind other nations, Industrialisation needed, debate over NEP - even in the best year grain exports only 1/4 of 1913 level, not enough grain reached towns
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Why did Stalin introduce collectivisation? [Global factors]
wanted to increase the appeal of communism and impress the world, 1927 war scare - Russia would need a strong economy to defend itself
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Why did Stalin introduce collectivisation? [power factors]
Could help him to confirm leadership, determined to control peasantry, fear of growing kulak power
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Main aims of collectivisation.
Finance industrialisation and modernise Russia, making it a great power
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Why did Stalin introduce collectivisation? [Economic factors]
Existing system=inadequate, peasant farmers too small to utilise equipment, fear of annual grain crisis, Exporting farm produce would increase revenue, efficient farming would release people to work in industry, wanted to finance industrialisation
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Why did collectivisation become forced in 1928?
Over 90% had not joined voluntarily, Fear of repetition of 1928 grain crisis
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Why did yields drop, despite collectivisation?
Many peasants preferred to slaughter their animals than let the collective have them, many collectives very inefficient
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Elements of dekulakisation
Branded 'enemies of the state', land and property seized, Kulaks and families attacked - met w/ violent opposition which led to use of machine guns and exile, where many died of hunger and disease
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Successes of Collectivisation
farming more mechanised - tractors, grain production rose to 100m tonnes in 1937, growing towns had food supply, life in country closer to communist ideals, kulaks eliminated, peasants under govt control, grain exported & labour released to industry
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Failures of collectivisation
Human cost- 10m famine deaths, official party line that there was no famine, so nothing could be done about it, mechanisation slow, peasants poorly paid, little health/education benefits, Stalin's own wife committed suicide
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Aims of 1st 5 year plan, 1928-1932
State to control every aspect o f economy, establish a war economy (triple production in heavy ind.), catch up w/ west in 10yrs, Gosplan to draw up targets, 250% rise in ind, 150% rise in farm produce
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Successes of first 5 year plan.
Great projects (eg: Magnitogorsk), Claimed that targets achieved mid course, so would end early, propaganda
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Failures of 1st five year plan
Quantity over quality ('gigantomania'-fitzpatrick - size for size's sake), consumer goods low priority, little attention on conditions, unemployment relief ended (could lose job if sick), managers who failed targets labelled enemies of the state
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Successes of the 2nd 5yr plan
Gained from large scale projects of 1st 5 yr plan, tractor output trebled, engineering and metal working sectors grew
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Failures of 2nd 5 yr plan
Over and under production, struggle for adequate supplies led to competition between regions and sectors and unproductive resource hoarding, faults not checked if no one admitted an error
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What was the Stakhanovite movement?
Govt. fabricated story of Alexei Stakhanov, who individually hewed 14x the quota of coal in one shift. designed to illustrate what can be achieved by selfless workers responding to a great leader. Workers encouraged to copy him- pay & honours
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How was the 3rd 5 yr plan different?
Emphasis on luxuries (eg: bikes and radios), overshadowed by threat of Germany and need for rearmament - defense spending took up 33% of budget by 1940
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How were 'enemies of the state' punished?
Sent to labour camps - 12m by 1939, prisoners sentenced to 10-25 yrs, but rarely survived more than 2, economic advantages: Prisoners forced to work on dangerous projects
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Overall successes of industrialisation
massive ind. output expansion, 1937 ind. prod 4x higher than 1928, 1939 - only 1/2 population worked on land, able to defeat nazis after 1941, health services and education improved
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Overall failures of indiustrialisation
Overemphasis on heavy ind. little in consumer goods, living standards lowest priority(1941 lower than 1928), loss of freedom, speed led to inefficiency, deported 1000s of skilled men to camps, many peasants welcomed nazis, no equality
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Why was there a lack of equality?
New elite in workplace, female emancipation not achieved, did the same jobs as me and raised children at the same time
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Causes of the purges
Economy-slave labour needed , Ideology-class conflict, Opposition-secure position, purge army/old bolsheviks, genuine threat, gained own momentum, personal psychology (paranoia, brutality), Hitler-pact impossible until govt&army antifascists removed
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How was the army purged?
1937, giant conspiracy uncovered in red army, Chief of general staff and other generals arrested - accused of spying for Germany, tried in secret, confessed and were shot. Major purge of armed forced followed
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How were the people purged?
Nationalities and workers (industrial sabotage for not meeting targets) forced into subservience-used to achieve 5yr plans, Foreign communist exiles also targeted. Suspects arrested and tortured until they confessed, labour camps used
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How did interrogators become victims of the purges?
1936, Yagoda, the head of the NKVD was removed and shot. His successor, Yekhov, lasted only 2 years
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How was the party purged?
Dec 1934 - Kirov murdered. Stalin framed trotskyites and leftists-1000s arrested, inc. Kaminev and Zinoviev Communist party brought entirely under Stalin's control
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How did Stalin purge the left?
Show trials - 16 men executed for being part of the 'trotskyite kaminevite inovievite leftist counter revolutionary bloc.
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How did Stalin purge the right?
Show trials - 20 men executed for spying for Germany & conspiracy to murder Stalin as a part of the 'Anti-soviet Trotsky rightist centre'
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What were the effects of the purges?
Opposition removed, cult of personality grew, millions of innocents executed, several areas of life stagnated due to loss of able people in society, 3 million deaths, weakened military - most experienced officers removed
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What was socialist realism?
Art under govt. control, glorified Stalin's Russia, Realistic in style, idealistic soviet life, emphasis on heroes (as opposed to the 'little man' of previous revolutionary art.
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What was the All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers (RAPP)?
Means of control - approved publications, Official adoption of soviet realism
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How was Stalin portrayed?
Both God-like figure and ordinary man, benefactor, protector, great leader, defender (especially after the war - white uniform), Teacher/pupil relationship with Lenin, Stalin's birthday became biggest celebration of Soviet calendar
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New electoral rules of 1936 constitution
Secret ballot to supreme soviet, universal suffrage to over 18s, no longer weighted in favour of ind. workers
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Elements of civil rights in 1936 constitution
Right to pensions and sickness benefit, freedom of assembly/worship, free speech/expression, free elections (though only communist party candidates allowed)
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Democratic features of new 1936 constitution
Liberal features, unprecedented preliminary discussion, Wider representation - universal suffrage, Soviet of the Union and Soviet of the nationalities reflected all regional/ethnic groups and electoral districts
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Un democratic features of the new 1936 constitution
Only communist party candidates could stand, only approved magazines and papers allowed, constitution purely cosmetic, only one party congress after 1934, Stalin exercised full control through NKVD and personal agents
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Key events of the 'Great Patriotic War'
Nazi-Soviet pact 1939, Nazi invasion June 1941, Leningrad siege 1941-44
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Economic Impact of the war
Infrastructure destroyed (inc. 65,000km railway), 70,000 villages destroyed, labour shortages (women=47% of workforce in 1950), New client states provided opportunity for economic plunder, demanded reparations from Germany
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Political Impact of the war
Prestige of Stalin and the regime very high & purges continued -> Stalin's personal authority unchallengable, territorial security in E Europe, old policies continued to be implemented
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Social impact of war
25 million citizens homeless, Baltic states - deportations and Russian immigration, hostility to foreign culture and science
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Card 2


How did Trotsky's weaknesses enable Stalin's rise to power?


Arrogant and dismissive of collegues, respected but no personal loyalty, No good at drudgery of politics (no trade offs or alliances, did not try to build power base or protect one he had), Only joined party in 1917, underestimated Stalin

Card 3


How did Stalin's ideology allow his rise?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How did Stalin's political skills allow for his rise?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How did Stalin's strength of leadership enable his rise?


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