Stalin's Russia: 1927-1953

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  • Created by: LucyLaa
  • Created on: 22-04-18 16:04
What could Stalin's rule be an example of?
Totalitarianism
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What was Stalin's main economic aims?
To industrialise and modernise the USSR as quickly as possible, and become a world power.
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Name 3 aims that contributed to the ultimate economic aim
Increase military strength; achieve self-sufficiency; increase grain supplies; move towards a socialist society; establish his credentials; improve standards of living
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Why are Industrialisation and Collectivisation considered to be 'Two Sides of the Same Coin'?
The state needed to seize grain for export in order to finance the expansion of mining and manufacturing output.
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Was the NEP working?
Partially -> excess capacity in industry had been used up by 1926, grain supply had increased enormously, but more investment needed to move forward.
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What was agriculture like in Stalin's early rule?
Still backwards, with bad relationship between government and peasants.
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What were the 3 types of collective farm?
Toz (peasant owned - shared machinery); Sovkhoz (like a factory); Kolkhoz (50-100 households put together. Committee run. More popular for communists.)
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In what way could collectivisation be considered a success?
It ensured that the urban workers were fed, produced a supply of workers as millions moved to the cities, and it also contributed to the supply of forced labour used at places like Magnitogorsk
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When did collectivisation begin?
Same time as 5 Year Plans - 1928
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Why was the Grain Procurement Crisis important?
This was where grain levels fell below the adequate amount to feed urban workers --> this started collectivisation
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What prompted Stalin to push for mass collectivisation?
The famine of 1927-28, and the wish to create 'Socialism in the Countryside'
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What was de-Kulakisation?
Class warfare - Kulak houses would be stripped bare, items confiscated and sold. They were visited by Komosols and plenipotentiares.
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Between 1928 and 1930, how many kulaks were deported?
6-18 million people
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Were Kulaks a legitimiate concern?
No - it was a myth, invented to exert blame over one class for the failings of Communist agricultural policies
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What was the reaction to collectivisation?
Directy action (e.g. Bryansk-Oblast) and Migration (e.g. Kazakhstan population fell by 75%)
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When did Collectivisation slacken?
1930
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When was the renewed collectivisation?
End of 1930
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By 1937, how many peasants were in Kolkhozy?
93%
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What was different in the second wave of collectivisation?
Peasants were allowed to keep small plots of land, blocks of 40 farms had access to Motor Tractor Stations (MTS)
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What disrupted collectivisation in 1932-4?
Famine
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By 1941, how many peasant households were working on collectives?
98%
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True or False: Conditions on collectives didn't improve
False - they did improve, but were still disliked by peasants
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Why did peasants dislike collectives?
The traditional way was valued by peasants; Collectives drove out incentive to produce above subsistence, and also took away rural activities; The 1932-4 famine suggests that many collectives were likely to contribute to food shortages
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When was the abolition of the mir?
1930
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What was life like for many Kulaks?
30,000-3 million were sent to Gulags in 3 years; many were sent to concentration camps and died; many tried to flee Russia
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What were the two general aims that underpinned Stalinist economic policy?
Launch a war with Russia's past; Prepare for potential conflict with Russia's capitalist enemies; Economic autarky
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How did Stalin hope to achieve these aims?
Getting rid of the NEP and introducing centralised economic planning --> the FIVE YEAR PLANS
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Was the First 5-Year Plan successful?
Although there were significant increases in the output of heavy industry, engineering and specialist industry, consumer goods were neglected and there was a shortage of skilled workers due to purges. Targets were not met, although production rose.
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Was the Second 5-Year Plan successful?
Consumer goods continued to decline, and oil was slow to expand. However, the electricity industry took off, as did heavy industry. Targets not met, but were scaled down and commissariats were better organised and more effective.
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Why were the First 5-Year Plan targets not met?
Targets were set too high, and Great Depression had driven down the price of grain (not enough to pay for needed machinery).
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What was the Stakhanovite Movement?
A movement pushed by the party to follow the example of Alexei Stakhanov, who had done exceptionally well during the second 5-Year Plan
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What was the Donetsk Oblast?
An important industrial area in the Donbas region
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Why were 1934-36 known as the 'Three Good Years'?
The Second Plan consolidated the first, and the pressure was not so intense. Neither of the first two plans continued for their full plan.
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Why did the Third 5-Year Plan only run for 3 1/2 years?
The USSR entered WW2.
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Why did the Third 5-Year Plan fail to make any major improvements?
1938 harsh winter; diversion of materials to the military. Gosplan was thrown into chaos when the purges caused shortages of qualified personnel.
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How many plans were there?
Seven (last two were not Stalin's)
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Did workers accept the 5-Year Plans?
Yes. In general, they accepted the plans and Stalin used economic policy to control worker behaviour.
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To what extent were Stalin's Five-Year Plans successful?
They varied in effectiveness because of interruptions from WW2 and the rebuilding of Russia afterwards. However, it did rapidly industrialise the USSR unlike anything before, improving heavy industry in particular. Consumer goods + consumers suffered
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What did Stalin intend to continue in government?
Democratic Centralism
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What was the 1936 Constitution?
A Constitution that introduced new organs of government and gave the appearance of greater freedom.
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What limited the 1936 Constitution?
Article 126 of the constitution - the Communist party remained "the nucleus of all the public and state organisations of the working people."
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What is this limitation similar to in Russian history?
Nicholas II's Duma, which was limited by the 1906 Fundamental Law
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Name the 3 new representative organs
The SUPREME SOVIET OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS (USSR); The SOVIET OF THE UNION; The SOVIET OF NATIONALITIES
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What was the role of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR?
It was given sole power to make laws for the whole union
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How many houses was the Supreme Soviet split into?
2
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Who lead the Supreme Soviet?
The Presidium (a permanent body of elected members of Sovnarkom)
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Did Communists still dominate the union?
Yes, and dissent from the party line was never tolerated
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What were the Secret Police called?
NKVD, MVD and MGB
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Who was the head of the NKVD?
Yagoda, then Yezhov
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What was the NKVD similar to?
The CHEKA
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What was the NKVD order 00447?
Yezhov listed 250,000 'Anti-Soviet Elements' and set arrest and execution quotas
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Name 3 things that the NKVD were known to do:
Show Trials; Purges; Gathered evidence against high-rank Communists; Helped administer the Gulags; Extrajudicial executions to fill quotas; Espionage/Intelligence; Torture
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Why was the NKVD disbanded?
Stalin suspected them of conspiracy due to siding with Bukharin in 1928, so Yezhov was replaced by Beria (and around 20,000 members were purged)
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In 1943, what was the NKVD replaced by?
NKGB
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In 1946, what replaced the NKGB?
MGB and MVD
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What was the role of the MGB?
General Population kept in line (Ministry for State Security)
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What was the role of the MVD?
Essentially, another version of NKVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs)
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True or False: In 1953, the secret police was disbanded
False: They merged to form a large version of the MVD
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Who controlled the MVD until his death?
Beria
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Before WW2, what did Stalin mainly use the army for?
Used to implement economic policy and requisition grain, as well as administer purges.
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What policy was used during WW2 in the army?
Fighting 'to the last drop of blood'
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What was the Doctors' Plot?
An antisemitic campaign fabricated by Stalin. A group of predominantly Jewish doctors were accused of plotting to assassinate Soviet leaders.
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What were the Purges?
Critics were removed from the Party through arbitrary arrests, fake trials, mass executions and forced labour camps
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Were the Purges necessary?
Most of it was due to Stalin's paranoia
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What was used as a pretext for terror in 1934?
Kirov's murder (after he won more votes in Central Committee elections)
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What did The Great Terror of 1936-37 do to class?
Caused renewed class struggle
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In which book was Soviet history rewritten?
'Short Course' - Increased Stalin's role and reduce Trotsky's in the history of the October Revolution
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Was censorship increased or decreased under Stalin?
Increased
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What was the artistic theme pushed by Stalin prior to WW2?
'Socialist Realism' - depicted the struggle of ordinary people to overcome oppression
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What did all published writers have to be a part of?
Union of Soviet Writers
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In WW2, what happened to Censorship?
It increased even more, especially regarding the rest of the world. For example: Radio airways distorted; News was fictionalised; Restrictions put on all arts
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What was the New Soviet Man?
An ideal, hardworking, law-abiding, moral Soviet Citizen (support of Communist Party)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What was Stalin's main economic aims?

Back

To industrialise and modernise the USSR as quickly as possible, and become a world power.

Card 3

Front

Name 3 aims that contributed to the ultimate economic aim

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why are Industrialisation and Collectivisation considered to be 'Two Sides of the Same Coin'?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Was the NEP working?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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