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History Grade 11 - Topic 1 Essay Questions

Explain to what extent Stalin succeeded in transforming Russia into a superpower by 1939.

Stalin came to power on the back of Lenin’s death in 1925, after which he instituted a range of far-reaching policy changes that would alter the course of Russian society and politics for the rest of the 20th century. The communist Soviet Union we now remember was the product of Stalin, although it can be argued that Lenin was responsible for laying the foundations of its highly authoritarian political culture. The new Russia under Stalin was supposed to radically break from the economic and social backwardness that characterised the Tsarist regime, and which Lenin had little time to achieve. In many ways, Stalin did create a completely different Russia, one almost unrecognisable from before the October revolution which overthrew the provisional government. However, whether that translated into it being a superpower is quite another thing. This paper will argue that although momentous and radical, the reforms Stalin instituted did not transform Russia into a superpower by 1939, although it did lay the framework for such a status to be attained during the post-WWII era.

Stalin rose to power as the leader of the Soviet Union by crushing his opposition in the Central Committee led by Leon Trotsky. Although we shall not detail this complicated political battle, it is important to note that the vying for power between the powerful figures was also a contestation over the ideological and policy framework which the Soviet Union should take. By the late 1920s, Stalin had emerged victorious, and went on to institute his own brand of communism in the Soviet Union. This centred on the notion of ‘Socialism in one Country’, which was ideally to build up the “industrial base and military might of the Soviet Union before exporting revolution abroad.” [1] This was in contrast to earlier pronouncements made by Lenin and Trotsky, which indicated the need to establish a worldwide ‘uninterrupted revolution’ of workers. [2] The logic here was that socialism could never survive independently outside of a socialist world order; Stalin, on the other hand, saw a national socialism – which, ironically, would be compared to Nazism – as the only way for socialism to survive. [3]

The practical effects of Stalin’s socialism in one country was the rescindment of the New Economic Policy (NEP) – which had allowed for small-scale capitalist enterprise to operate – the collectivisation of agriculture, and rapid forced industrialisation. [4] Socialism in one country forced the Soviet Union to look inwards, to create a socialist nation whose lessons and ideas could then be exported overseas. This means that, for all practical purposes, Russia was not interested in attaining any overtly ‘superpower’ status in global politics. It meant, in terms of foreign policy, of “putting the interests of the Soviet Union ahead of the interests of the international communist movement.” [5] Ideally, when Russia became powerful enough, it would then ferment for workers’ revolutions the world over.

The costs and benefits of these sweeping policy changes – which essentially closed off the Soviet Union from the outside world – are difficult to determine. On the one hand, they certainly led to large-scale industrialisation which outstripped the pace of Russia’s Western counterparts. Through the policy instrument of Five-Year Plans, which set production targets for industries and farms, Stalin was able to bring Russia up to date with modern heavy-industry production techniques and increase output exponentially. For example, cast iron production increased 439% in ten years, and coal extraction 361%. [6] Russia also went on an extensive electrification programme, called GOELRO, which increased electricity production from 1.9 billion kWh in 1913 to 48 billion kWh in 1940. [7]

However, despite the resounding success with which certain - especially heavy - industries benefitted from forced industrialisation, many other industries and rural farmers often suffered. Because of the focus on heavy industrialisation, lighter industries that catered for consumer goods were often poorly made and faced shortages. The agricultural collectivisation programme which was conducted with increased inflexibility and violence across the Russian hinterland cost the lives of millions of peasants, who died of hunger resulting from famine caused by the upheaval of forced collectivisation. Figures range from 5.6 million to 13.4 million. [8] Millions of other prosperous peasants – known as Kulaks – were sent to gulag camps in Siberia for work; Molotov suggested that between 1.3 and 1.5 kulak households (accounting for between 6 and 7 million persons) were expropriated. [9] Thus, whilst Stalin broke the back of these peasants – by 1941, 97% of agriculture was conducted in collectives, and finally there was enough food to feed the cities – the human cost remains an ever-contested aspect of this period.

What is clear about this period, is that these policies centralised the economy and political power in Russia in Stalin’s hands. The increased industrial output, and the ability for (eventual) increased agricultural production to feed the cities, allowed Russia a certain amount of confidence in its ability to conduct itself as an industrial nation. As Stalin was once quoted as saying, “We are fifty to one hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us.” [10] Thus, one of the primary reasons for industrialisation was for the ability for Russia to protect itself. This fits in well with the overall ideological implication of Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’, which advocated for an insular reading of socialism that would allow for ‘proper’ socialist conditions to be reached within the massive country before a worldwide socialist revolution took place.

And in many ways, the industrial capacity generated during Stalin’s leadership up to 1939 was crucial for Russia to defend itself against Germany in 1941. Not only did allow for the production of millions of armaments and supplies crucial to the success of any armed conflict, but it also laid the groundwork for a post-war reconstruction. Because the Soviet Union boasted such impressive industrial capacity, it could rebuild after WWII much easier – and more importantly, without the help of aid from the West, especially the USA. The Marshall Plan, in which the USA loaned $15 billion to European countries to help rebuild industry and cities after their decimation during the second world war, was largely a strategic move to counter the spread of communism in Europe. [11] The spread of Russian influence into eastern Europe, on the other hand, was premised on its industrial power, which resulted in its alternative to the Marshall Plan - namely the Molotov Plan - which extended aid to socialist regimes in central and eastern Europe. [12]

The success of Russian industrialisation and agricultural collectivisation during the pre-war years allowed for the repel of German forces and the extension of Russian influence into the eastern European region. It was then that Russia became a superpower. In fact, it is only during the post-WWII war era when the notion of an international ‘superpower’ becomes widespread, when the cold war divides the world into two ideologically opposed sides – America on the one side and the Soviet Union on the other. [13] One could thus argue that the relative military strength of Russia after WWII, a result of its impressive industrial capacity – and its focus on heavy industry and agricultural production – meant that it could become a superpower. Thus, although no one would suggest that Russia was a superpower before WWII in 1939, its ability to retain its industrial strength after the war meant that it would become one. In conclusion, although Stalin did not transform Russia into a superpower by 1939, he laid the necessary groundwork for that to occur in the post-war era.

This content was originally produced for the SAHO classroom by Sebastian Moronell, Ayabulela Ntwakumba, Simone van der Colff & Thandile Xesi.

[1] "Communism - Stalinism". 2021. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/communism/Stalinism#ref539199

[2] Erik Van Ree. "Socialism in One Country: A Reassessment." Studies in East European Thought 50, no. 2 (1998): 77.

[3] Kate Frey. 2020. "An Introduction to Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution". Left Voice. https://www.leftvoice.org/an-introduction-to-trotskys-theory-of-permane… .

[4] "Communism - Stalinism". 2021. Encyclopedia Britannica.

[6] John P. Hardt and Carl Modig. The Industrialization of Soviet Russia in the First Half Century. Research Analysis Corp. McLean, 1968, pg. 6.

[8] Massimo Livi-Bacci. "On the Human Costs of Collectivization in the Soviet Union." Population and Development Review (1993): 751

[9] Ibid, pg. 744.

[10] Flewers, Paul. 2021. "The Economic Policy of The Soviet By Isaac Deutscher 1948". Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/deutscher/1948/economic-policy.htm .

[11] "Marshall Plan". 2021. History. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/marshall-plan-1 .

[12] Morroe Berger. "How the Molotov Plan Works." The Antioch Review 8, no. 1 (1948): 18.

[13] Joseph M. Siracusa. "Reflections on the Cold War." Australasian Journal of American Studies (2009): 3.

  • Berger, Morroe. "How the Molotov Plan Works." The Antioch Review 8, no. 1 (1948): 17-25.
  • "Communism - Stalinism". 2021. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/communism/Stalinism#ref539199 .
  • Flewers, Paul. 2021. "The Economic Policy of the Soviet by Isaac Deutscher 1948". Marxists.Org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/deutscher/1948/economic-policy.htm .
  • Frey, Kate. 2020. "An Introduction to Trotsky’S Theory of Permanent Revolution". Left Voice. https://www.leftvoice.org/an-introduction-to-trotskys-theory-of-permanent-revolution .
  • Livi-Bacci, Massimo. "On the Human Costs of Collectivization in the Soviet Union." Population and Development Review (1993): 743-766.
  • "Marshall Plan". 2021. History. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/marshall-plan-1.
  • Siracusa, Joseph M. "Reflections on the Cold War." Australasian Journal of American Studies (2009): 1-16.
  • Van Ree, Erik. "Socialism in One Country: A Reassessment." Studies in East European Thought 50, no. 2 (1998): 77-117.
  • Hardt, John P. and Carl Modig. The Industrialization of Soviet Russia in the First Half Century. Research Analysis Corp. McLean, 1968.

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How to write an essay about Stalin’s Five Year Plans

How to write an essay on stalin’s five year plans: a comprehensive guide.

Stalin’s Five Year Plans were a series of centralized economic plans implemented in the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1932. These plans aimed to transform the Soviet Union from an agricultural society into an industrialized nation through rapid industrialization and collectivization of agriculture. The plans were characterized by ambitious production targets, strict state control, and the use of forced labor.

Writing an essay on Stalin’s Five Year Plans can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. To begin with, it is important to understand the historical context in which the plans were implemented and the impact they had on the Soviet Union and its people. This requires a thorough analysis of primary and secondary sources, including government documents, speeches, and scholarly articles.

Moreover, a successful essay on Stalin’s Five Year Plans should also address the controversies and debates surrounding the plans. While some historians argue that the plans were necessary for the Soviet Union’s survival and modernization, others criticize the plans for their human cost and inefficiencies. By examining multiple perspectives and sources, a well-crafted essay can provide a nuanced understanding of this complex historical topic.

Section 2: Historical Background

Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. He was known for his strong leadership and his desire to modernize the Soviet Union. Stalin believed that the Soviet Union needed to catch up with the industrialized Western countries in order to protect itself from foreign threats.

In order to achieve this goal, Stalin introduced a series of Five Year Plans. These plans were designed to rapidly industrialize the Soviet Union and transform it from an agricultural society into an industrial powerhouse. The first Five Year Plan was launched in 1928 and focused on heavy industry, such as steel production and coal mining.

The Soviet Union had a long way to go to catch up with the industrialized nations of the West. The country had been devastated by World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the subsequent civil war. The economy was in shambles, and the country was facing widespread famine and poverty. Stalin’s Five Year Plans were seen as a way to modernize the country and improve the lives of its citizens.

However, the Five Year Plans were not without their drawbacks. The rapid industrialization came at a great cost to the people of the Soviet Union. Workers were forced to work long hours in dangerous conditions for low pay. Many were sent to labor camps or executed for failing to meet production quotas. The agricultural sector suffered as resources were diverted to heavy industry, leading to widespread famine and starvation.

Despite these drawbacks, the Five Year Plans were largely successful in achieving their goal of modernizing the Soviet Union. By the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union had become a major industrial power, with a strong military and a growing economy. The legacy of Stalin’s Five Year Plans can still be seen in modern-day Russia, where heavy industry continues to play a major role in the country’s economy.

Overview of Stalin’s Five Year Plans

Stalin’s Five Year Plans were a series of centralized economic plans in the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1932. The main objective of these plans was to rapidly industrialize the country and modernize the economy. The first Five Year Plan focused on heavy industry, such as steel, coal, and machinery production, while subsequent plans emphasized the development of consumer goods and agriculture.

The Five Year Plans were implemented through a series of strict quotas and targets that were set by the government. These targets were often unrealistic and led to a number of negative consequences, including widespread famine, labor shortages, and poor working conditions. However, the plans also led to significant advancements in Soviet industry, particularly in the production of heavy machinery and steel.

The Five Year Plans were accompanied by a number of political changes, including the elimination of private enterprise and the collectivization of agriculture. These policies were often enforced through violent means, such as the forced relocation of peasants and the execution of political dissidents.

Despite the significant human cost of the Five Year Plans, they are often credited with transforming the Soviet Union from an agricultural society into an industrial powerhouse. The plans laid the groundwork for the country’s rapid industrialization during World War II and its subsequent emergence as a superpower during the Cold War.

Key Features of Stalin’s Five Year Plans

The Five Year Plans were a series of centralized economic plans in the Soviet Union, created under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The first plan was launched in 1928 and the last one ended in 1952. These plans were designed to transform the Soviet Union from an agricultural country into an industrial powerhouse.

The key features of Stalin’s Five Year Plans are:

  • Centralized Planning:  The Soviet government controlled all economic decisions, and the plans were created by a central planning agency. The government set targets for production, and factories were required to meet these targets.
  • Industrialization:  The main goal of the Five Year Plans was to rapidly industrialize the Soviet Union. This was achieved through the construction of new factories, power plants, and transportation infrastructure.
  • Collectivization:  The government forced farmers to give up their private land and join collective farms. This was done to increase agricultural productivity and provide a source of food for the growing urban population.
  • Heavy Industry:  The Five Year Plans focused on the development of heavy industry, such as steel production and machine building. This was seen as essential for the modernization of the Soviet economy.
  • Rapid Growth:  The Soviet Union experienced rapid economic growth during the Five Year Plans, with industrial production increasing by over 250% between 1928 and 1937.

Despite the successes of the Five Year Plans, there were also significant costs. The forced collectivization of agriculture led to widespread famine and the deaths of millions of people. The focus on heavy industry also meant that consumer goods were in short supply, and living standards for ordinary people were often low.

Writing the Essay: Tips and Strategies

When writing an essay about Stalin’s Five Year Plans, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the essay. The purpose is to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the Five Year Plans in achieving their goals, and to provide evidence to support your arguments.

One tip for writing a successful essay is to start with a clear thesis statement. The thesis statement should clearly state your argument and provide a roadmap for the rest of the essay. It should be specific and concise, and should be supported by evidence from primary and secondary sources.

Another strategy for writing a successful essay is to organize your ideas into a logical structure. This can be done by creating an outline or a mind map, which will help you to identify the main points of your argument and how they relate to each other. You can then use this structure to guide the writing process, ensuring that each paragraph and section of the essay contributes to the overall argument.

When writing the essay, it is important to use evidence to support your arguments. This can include statistics, quotes from primary sources, and analysis of secondary sources. It is also important to acknowledge and address counterarguments, as this will demonstrate that you have considered multiple perspectives and have a nuanced understanding of the topic.

Finally, it is important to proofread and edit your essay carefully. This will ensure that the essay is free from errors and is presented in a clear and concise manner. You can also ask a friend or family member to read over your essay and provide feedback, as this can help you to identify areas for improvement and refine your argument.

Sample Outline for an Essay on Stalin’s Five Year Plans

When writing an essay on Stalin’s Five Year Plans, it’s important to have a clear and well-organized outline. This will help you stay focused and ensure that your essay is coherent and easy to follow. Here is a sample outline to get you started:

I. Introduction

  • Brief overview of Stalin’s Five Year Plans
  • Thesis statement

II. Background Information

  • Historical context and political climate in Soviet Union during the time of the Five Year Plans
  • Overview of the economic conditions in the Soviet Union before the implementation of the Five Year Plans

III. Implementation of the Five Year Plans

  • Overview of the first, second, and third Five Year Plans
  • Details on the specific goals and targets of each plan
  • Discussion on the methods used to achieve these goals, including collectivization and industrialization

IV. Impact of the Five Year Plans

  • Economic outcomes of the Five Year Plans, including improvements in industrial production and agricultural output
  • Social impacts of the Five Year Plans, including changes in living standards and working conditions
  • Political implications of the Five Year Plans, including the consolidation of Stalin’s power and the impact on Soviet foreign policy

V. Criticisms of the Five Year Plans

  • Overview of the criticisms leveled against the Five Year Plans, including their impact on the environment and human rights abuses
  • Discussion on the validity of these criticisms and their impact on the legacy of the Five Year Plans

VI. Conclusion

  • Restatement of thesis
  • Summary of key points
  • Final thoughts on the significance of the Five Year Plans in Soviet history

By following this outline, you can ensure that your essay on Stalin’s Five Year Plans is well-structured and informative. Remember to use credible sources and avoid making exaggerated or false claims. Good luck!

Stalin’s Five Year Plans were a significant milestone in the history of the Soviet Union. They were aimed at transforming the country from an agrarian society into an industrialized one. The plans were successful in achieving the desired results, but at a great cost. The human toll was immense, with millions of people dying due to famine and forced labor. The plans were also criticized for their lack of focus on consumer goods and their overemphasis on heavy industry.

Despite the criticisms, the Five Year Plans had a lasting impact on the Soviet Union. They laid the foundation for the country’s industrialization and helped it become a superpower. The plans also set the stage for the country’s involvement in World War II and its eventual victory over Nazi Germany.

Writing an essay on Stalin’s Five Year Plans requires a deep understanding of the historical context and the impact of the plans on the Soviet Union. It is important to present a balanced view of the plans, highlighting both their achievements and their shortcomings. By doing so, the essay can provide a nuanced understanding of one of the most significant events in Soviet history.

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What was the main purpose of Stalin’s 5 year plan

Joseph Stalin’s five years plan is an important way of planning economic growth over a limited period of time. The five-year plans are created with the objective of making a proper plan so that economic growth can be achieved as expected. It was fully utilised in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin, and later it has been adopted by many socialist states. The first five year plan in the Soviet Union started in 1928 and continued till 1932 under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The main purpose of this first five year plan was on developing heavy industry and collectivising agriculture and at the same time it was aimed at achieving a drastic fall in consumer goods. The main purpose of Joseph Stalin under the five year plan was to convert the Soviet Union into a world power. This is to achieve by way of a massive agricultural and industrial advancement within a short period of time of five years.

Collectivisation of agriculture remained the focus area in first five year plan

Agriculture was collectivised during this period of five years with the objective of achieving bigger farms under state control. Collectivisation of agriculture means the land would no longer belong to individual peasants and it is acquired by the state. However it does not prove to be effective because it has resulted into a grain crisis and there was lack of effective participation in this collectivisation among many of the peasants. The strategies used by Stalin to ensure active participation were highly abusive and those who disobeyed were shot or sent to labour camps. Collectivisation was forced among the peasants with the objective of industrialisation of agriculture, but there was resistance identified among many of the peasants to collectivise. They were highly interested in working on their own land rather than supporting the attempt to collectivise.

Industrialisation is used as a factor to promote collectivisation

Industrialisation was an essential requirement for the collectivisation to succeed. There were requirements for tractors and agricultural machines by bigger farms, and emphasizes were made on heavy industry and rapid industrial progress. The overall infrastructure was developed at a rapid pace with new factories and towns were set up in record time. New roads and railways were built up with the objective of supporting industrialisation and ultimately collectivisation. The target set up by the government was highly ambitious and industrialization was aimed to accomplish through forced labour, terror, competition and incentives, low wages, technical training and literary programs.

Success/failure of the Stalin’s first five year plan

The overall Emphasis of the first five year plan was therefore on achieving industrialisation and collectivization through forceful measures, and Stalin has declared the success of the first five year plan by all these strategies. Such claims of success of the first five year plan were made on the basis of exceeding the production goals for heavy industry. However, in reality, the plan was considered a failure despite many actions because it failed to meet all the quotas and had a negative implication on human life. All the initiatives to achieve industrialisation were made at the cost of human life and it is the major factor that indicates the failure of the first five year plan. Joseph Stalin carried out many such five year plans after recognising the first one as a successful one.

Subsequent five year plans for Stalin to promote economic growth

The second five year plan started in the year 1933 and continued till 1937 and the focus of this five year plan was on continuing the objective of the first plan i.e. to collectivisation and industrialisation. In addition to this, the second five year plan also emphasised on stanlinist policies and they have created terrible famines that caused the death of millions of people. The third five year plan was carried out from 1938 to 1942 and it focused on the production of armaments. The fourth five year plan started from 1946 and lasted till 1953 and the main emphasis during this period was on heavy industry and military build-up. As a result of this development, the western powers got angry with the Soviet Union.

Important questions on Stalin’s five years plan we can help         

Our professional writing experts are good at providing answers to any of the questions relating to spellings five year plan. Some of the important questions related to Stalin five years plan include:

  • ‘Stalin was ruthless in his mission to implement communism in Russia through the Five-Year Plans, from 1928 to 1939.’Critically discuss this statement. Use relevant historical evidence to support your line of argument.
  • The first Five-Year Plan, introduced in 1928, concentrated on the development of iron and steel, machine tools, electric power and transport. Joseph Stalin set the workers high targets. He demanded a 110% increase in coal production, 200% increase in iron production and 335% increase in electric power. Write an essay in which you discuss the impact of Stalin’s Five-Year Plans on the Soviet Union.
  • Discuss the impact of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan on the people of the Soviet Union. KEY ASPECTS Introduction Stalin’s economic policy of industrialisation – make a statement linked to the question. Purges and show trials of the 1930s and the effects of Stalin’s policies on the Soviets

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What Were Stalin’s Five Year Plans?

five year plan stalin essay

Celeste Neill

20 jun 2023.

five year plan stalin essay

On 1 October 1928 Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Russia launched the first Five Year Plan, a series of revolutionary economic reforms which transformed Russia from a peasant society into a power capable of resisting the might of Hitler’s Germany.

Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin had died in 1924, and in the ensuing power struggle the Georgian Joseph Stalin came to the fore as the General Secretary and the de facto leader of Soviet Russia. 

What was Stalin’s Five Year Plan?

Between 1928 and 1932, Stalin’s Five Year Plan was targeted at collectivizing agriculture and developing heavy industry. This was the first of four so-called plans, which took place in 1928-32, 1933-37, 1938-42 and 1946-53.

After a period of relative economic liberalism Stalin decided that a wholesale restructuring of the economy was needed, claiming that unless the Soviets caught up with the capitalist western powers they would be destroyed.

Stalin famously stated: ”We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make up this gap in ten years. Either we do it or they will crush us.”

five year plan stalin essay

The requisition of grains from wealthy peasants (kulaks) during the forced collectivization in Timashyovsky District, Kuban Soviet Union. 1933. Image credit: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Credited to U. Druzhelubov. The date of death is impossible to determine therefore PMA is not known., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Mechanisation and collectivisation

Stalin’s first Five Year Plan involved the mechanisation and collectivisation of agriculture in a bid to make it more efficient. It also involved the opening of huge new industrial centres in previously uninhabited areas rich in natural resources, such as Magnitogorsk, built near huge iron and steel reserves east of the Ural Mountains.

Economic activity was pushed in the direction of heavy industries, which lead to a 350 percent increase in output, in a bid to prepare Russia for an industrialised war . The first Five Year Plan also had a revolutionary effect on society, as millions left the farms to pursue new lives in the cities.

The human cost

Despite these successes, Stalin’s Five Year Plan was not an unqualified success. In addition to mechanisation and collectivisation, key features of the first Five Year Plan included the disastrous impact it had on human lives. Aside from the terrible conditions in the new factories, where unskilled workers had little idea of how to operate machines, the collectivisation of agriculture was ruinous.

five year plan stalin essay

Political prisoners eating lunch in the Minlag ‘special camp’ coal mine. In ‘special camps’ prisoners had to wear prison garb with personal numbers. Image credit: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Kauno IX forto muziejus / Kaunas 9th Fort Museum, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Millions died in the subsequent famine and peasant disturbances. An entire social class of wealthier peasants – the Kulaks, who had accumulated more land, livestock, or wealth than their fellow peasants — were accused of sabotaging the progress of the Plan. Consequently they were either massacred or imprisoned in Gulags , which were forced labour camps, so that the state could exploit their land for collectivisation.

As many of the deaths were in non-Russian areas such as Ukraine, the Five Year Plan created lasting divisions between Russians and non-Russians.

The policies also played a role in causing the Holodomor, a mass famine in the Ukraine, and Soviet inactivity in response to the catastrophe has lead to a recent re-categorisation of events as a genocide against the Ukrainian people.

World War Two

In World War Two , the tensions caused by the first Five Year Plan proved consequential. Ukrainians, for example, who were subject to its disastrous effects were more willing to collaborate with the Nazis against the USSR.

five year plan stalin essay

The first Five Year Plan actually lasted 4 years, as it supposedly met all of its objectives earlier than expected. On the other hand, this can be ascribed to Russian propaganda efforts. Nevertheless, the first plan and those that followed, which continued the general objectives of the first while also emphasising the production of military hardware , were critical in preparing Russia for an industrialised war.

It seems unlikely that Russia could have resisted Nazi invasion without the immense industrialisation program that had been undertaken in the years prior. However, the vast cost in human life of the Five Year Plans and the invasion of Russia itself remain a dark stain on the history of the 20th century.

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Stalin Five Year Plan Essay Grade 11 History Memorandum (Questions and Answers)

Stalin Five Year Plan Essay Grade 11 memorandum

An answer guide for Stalin Five Year Plan Essay History Grade 11 with memorandum on pdf:

The Five Year Plan was a set of economic goals that were developed in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The plan was launched in 1928, and it aimed to transform the Soviet Union from an agricultural economy into an industrial powerhouse.

One of the main goals of the Five Year Plan was to increase the production of heavy industry, such as steel and machinery, in order to support the growth of other industries. The Soviet Union was still primarily an agricultural country at the time, so this was a significant shift in economic policy.

Another key goal of the Five Year Plan was to improve the infrastructure of the Soviet Union, including transportation and communication systems. This was important in order to support the growth of industry and to facilitate the movement of goods and people throughout the country.

The Five Year Plan was implemented through a series of measures, including the collectivization of agriculture, the nationalization of industry, and the use of central planning to direct economic activity. The government also encouraged the development of new technologies and the training of skilled workers to support the growth of industry.

The results of the Five Year Plan were mixed. On the one hand, the Soviet Union did experience significant industrial growth during this time, and the country’s infrastructure was greatly improved. However, the focus on heavy industry came at the expense of consumer goods and agriculture, and many people suffered as a result. The collectivization of agriculture led to a famine in which millions of people died, and the forced labor camps that were established to support the growth of industry were infamous for their harsh conditions and human rights abuses.

In conclusion, the Five Year Plan was a bold and ambitious economic program that aimed to transform the Soviet Union into an industrial powerhouse. While it did lead to significant industrial growth, it came at a great cost to many people, and its legacy continues to be debated to this day.

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Common Essay Questions

Here are ten potential essay questions on the Stalin Five Year Plan for Grade 11 :

  • What were the goals of the Stalin Five Year Plan, and how were they intended to transform the Soviet economy and society?
  • How did Stalin’s Five Year Plan differ from the New Economic Policy (NEP) that had been in place in the Soviet Union during the 1920s?
  • What were some of the successes of the Stalin Five Year Plan, and how did they contribute to the growth of the Soviet economy?
  • What were some of the challenges and failures of the Stalin Five Year Plan, and how did they impact the Soviet Union?
  • What role did forced labor and purges play in the implementation of the Stalin Five Year Plan, and what were their consequences?
  • What were the economic and social consequences of collectivization, which was a major aspect of the Stalin Five Year Plan?
  • How did the Stalin Five Year Plan affect the lives of ordinary Soviet citizens, particularly workers and peasants?
  • What was the role of propaganda in promoting the Stalin Five Year Plan, and how did it shape public perceptions of the plan?
  • How did the Stalin Five Year Plan impact the global balance of power, and what were its implications for the emerging Cold War?
  • What lessons can be learned from the Stalin Five Year Plan, and how do they relate to current debates about economic planning and socialism?

COMMUNISM IN RUSSIA 1900 T0 1940: STALIN’S INTERPRETATION OF MARXISM

Answer Guide for Stalin Five Year Plan Essay Grade 11

SYNOPSIS In writing this essay, candidates should be able to take a line of argument and critically discuss how Stalin, through the series of Five Year plans changed the economy of the Soviet Union and made it a superpower.

MAIN ASPECTS Candidates should include the following aspects in their response: Introduction: Candidates should contextualize the question and establish a clear line of argument

ELABORATION

  • Lenin’s death
  • Abandonment of NEP
  • Aims of the 5Year plans
  • Collectivisation of agriculture
  • Elimination of the Kulaks
  • Modernization of farming
  • Grain requisition
  • Rapid industralisation
  • Development of heavy industries
  • Improvement of transport and communication net works
  • Exploitation of newly discovered mineral wealth
  • Rapid urbanisation
  • Electrification
  • Force labour
  • Police state and party purges
  • Any other relevant response

Conclusion: Candidates should round up their argument with a relevant and contextualized conclusion

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Stalin 5 Year Plan Essay Example

Stalin 5 Year Plan Essay Example

  • Pages: 6 (1611 words)
  • Published: October 20, 2016
  • Type: Research Paper

Stalin's five year plan was launched and approved by the Communist party in 1928. Visualizing a "revolution from above", Stalin's goal was the swift industrialization and collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union. Stalin believed that the Soviet domestic policy should stop being driven by capitalism and the New Economic Policy as soon as possible. In return, the Soviet Union would be transformed into an industrialized socialist state regardless of the cost involved in the process. The five year plan called for swift industrialization of the economy, with an emphasis on heavy industry.

Stalin wanted to achieve a 250 percent increase in total industrial development and a 330 percent expansion in heavy industry. To that end, he had ordered for the development of new industrial centres especially in the Ural Mountains, and for thousands of new plants to be built throughout the Soviet Union. Howe

ver, these goals were unrealistic. In the Communist regimes, production and distribution were determined by specific state orders, specific quantities of raw materials and services, and specific distribution channels for the final outputs.

Moreover, the work force was fully employed, wages were arbitrarily predetermined, and industry and services were state-owned. With his insistence on his unrealistic production targets, Stalin created serious problems. With the maximum share of investment put into heavy industry, huge surpluses of undistributed goods and huge shortages of products occurred. The five year plan also called for collectivization of the Soviet agriculture under the conviction that collectivization would progress agricultural productivity and would produce sufficient grain reserves to feed the increasing urban labor force.

The Communist regime invested heavily in the transformation o

individual farms into a system of large collective farms aiming to cover industrialization expense with the expected surplus produced. Moreover, collectivization was believed to free small farmers and tenants for industrial work in the urban areas enabling the Communist regime to enlarge its political dominance over the remaining peasantry. All these radical transformations caused the hostile reactions of the wealthier peasants, or kulaks.

To anticipate their opposition, Stalin ordered the deportation of approximately five million people, while the rest were forced into collectivization. However, in 1932-33, the turbulent conditions led to the catastrophic disruption of agricultural productivity which consequently resulted in a catastrophic famine. By 1940, the five year plan had collectivized almost ninety-seven percent of all peasant households, although the initial objective was the collectivization of twenty percent of small farmers and tenants households.

In the aftermath, forced collectivization assisted Stalin's vision of swift industrialization, but the human costs were immeasurable. he First Five-Year Plan, or 1st Five-Year Plan, of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a list of economic goals, created by Joseph Stalin and based off his policy of Socialism in One Country, that was designed to strengthen the country's economy between 1928 and 1932.

The main concerns of the First Five-Year Plan focused on making the nation militarily, industrially, and financially self-sufficient. Launched by the Soviet government in 1928 and administered by the Gosplan, the First Five-Year Plan employed tactics such as keeping detailed records on every item manufactured in the nation and shipping it to where it needed to go at the right time as well as other procedures of efficiency.

A likely motivator

to the inception of the First Five-Year Plan lies in Stalin's basis of stabilizing the Soviet Union domestically through military and infrastructure in order to be prepared to fight (ideologically or physically) capitalism rather than directly finance and support an international socialist revolution (as advocated by Stalin's predecessor, Vladimir Lenin).

The Soviet Union's support of an international socialist revolution could have further crippled the still weak Soviet economy and/or stretched resources so thin that capitalists, or other "undesirable" counter-revolutionaries, could have overthrown the Soviet Union from within. One of the primary objectives of Stalin's First Five-Year Plan was to build up the country's heavy industry. In 1929, Stalin edited the plan to include the creation of kolkhoz,collective farming systems that stretched over thousands of acres of land and had hundreds of peasants working on them.

The creation of collective farms essentially destroyed the kulaks as a class, and also brought about the slaughter of millions of farm animals that these peasants would rather kill than give up to the gigantic farms. This disruption led to a famine in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan as well as areas of the Northern Caucasus. Besides the ruinous loss of life, the introduction of collective farms allowed peasants to use tractors to farm the land, unlike before when most had been too poor to own a tractor.

Government owned Machine and Tractor Stationswere set up throughout the USSR and peasants were allowed to use these public tractors to farm the land, increasing the food output per peasant. Peasants were allowed to sell any surplus food from the land. However the government planners failed to take notice of local

situations. In 1932 grain production was 32% below average;[1] to add to this problem procurements of food were up by 44%. Agricultural production was so disrupted that famine broke out in several districts. 2] The introduction of collectivization spurred industrialization in the nation as millions of people, of the 80% of the total population that was engaged in agriculture, moved from the country into the city.

Despite many of the targets being unbelievably high (a 250% increase in overall industrial development, with a 330% percent expansion in heavy industry), remarkable results were achieved: * Pig iron: 6. 2 million tons (compared to 3. 3 million tons in 1928, and a prescribed target of 8. 0 million tons) * Steel: 5. 9 million tons (compared to 4. million tons in 1928, and a prescribed target of 8. 3 million tons) * Coal: 64. 3 million tons (compared to 35. 4 million tons in 1928, and a prescribed target of 68. 0 million tons) * Oil: 21. 4 million tons (compared to 11. 7 million tons in 1928, and a prescribed target of 19. 0 million tons) * Electricity: 13. 4 billion kWh (compared to 5. 0 billion kWh in 1928, and a prescribed target of 17. 0 billion kWh) However, while the plan encouraged industrialization, it damaged Soviet agriculture to such an extent that it didn't recover until after the Second World War.

The plan was considered by the Soviet leadership so successful in this sense that the second Five-Year Plan was declared in 1932, lasting until 1937. Because of the plan's reliance on rapid industrialization, major cultural changes had to occur in tandem.

As this new social structure arose, conflicts occurred among some of the nomadic populations. In Turkmenistan, for example, the Soviet policy of collectivization shifted their production from food crops to cotton. 3] Such a change caused unrest within a community that had already existed prior to this external adjustment and, between 1928 and 1932, Turkmen nomads and peasants made it clear through methods like passive resistance that they did not agree with such policies. [3] This production shift undoubtedly aided Soviet goals but caused what was perhaps not the only example of upset during this time of change. Life for the workers: Life was very hard for industrial workers. Their pay was poor and there was barely anything they could spend their money on even if they had any. Consumer goods were simply not produced.

Working conditions were very dangerous and the hours were long. The homes that were provided were poor. So why did they work so hard? • the young were still idealistic. The whole concept of communism was still intoxicating. Stalin was known as ‘"Uncle Joe" and they were willing to suffer a few years of hardship if they were going to get to the promised land of a better society. • people were encouraged to work hard by propaganda which bombarded the workers in all directions. This played on the belief that if most did it, the rest would follow on as they did not want to be seen as different. rewards were given to the best workers. Groups of workers were encouraged to compete against each other. The most famous worker was Alexei Stakhanov. He was said to have

mined 102 tons of coal in one shift. This was fourteen times the amount expected from one person. Logically if he could do it, so could others. To be rewarded for hard work meant that you were a Stakhanovite. In fact, Stakhanov was not a popular man with the workers - for very good reasons, as this put the burden on them of working harder. Stakhanov, in fact, was frequently not mining after this record.

He was allowed to tour Russia to be greeted as a hero and to give lectures on how to work hard and there is no clear evidence that he did what was claimed. • another way of persuading the workers to work hard was to pay by results. Successful managers were also paid more though whether this extra money was shared by the workers in a factory or mine is unknown. • punishment was also used by those who did not work hard. The fear of the labour camps was usually enough to get people working hard. Absenteeism from work was punishable by being fined or having your ration book taken from you.

In 1940, it carried a prison sentence. All workers had to carry labour books which stated whether you had worked hard or not. Bad comments from your manager could also lead to prison • a lot of hard physical labour was done by prisoners. It did not matter if they died - only that the task was completed. The fact that these people were in prison, was enough for the government to use them as it saw fit. For all the problems and hardship caused

by the Five Year Plans, by 1941, Stalin had transformed Russia into a world class industrial power. This was to be vital for Russia as the war was about to test her to the extreme.

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  1. Joesph Stalin 5 year plan gr11 History essay

    The second five-year plan (1932 - 1937) also focused on heavy industry, but with the focus on communication and railways. It also focused on energy development and defense. The third five-year plan (1938 - 1941) was interrupted by the Second World War. With war approaching, the USSR started to focus on weapon development.

  2. Five-Year Plans

    Five-Year Plans, method of planning economic growth over limited periods, through the use of quotas, used first in the Soviet Union and later in other socialist states.. In the Soviet Union the first Five-Year Plan (1928-32), implemented by Joseph Stalin, concentrated on developing heavy industry and collectivizing agriculture, at the cost of a drastic fall in consumer goods.

  3. History Grade 11

    Through the policy instrument of Five-Year Plans, which set production targets for industries and farms, Stalin was able to bring Russia up to date with modern heavy-industry production techniques and increase output exponentially. For example, cast iron production increased 439% in ten years, and coal extraction 361%.

  4. Stalins 5 year plan essays

    Vietnam Essay (Matric) Joesph Stalin 5 year plan gr11 History essay; Moshoeshoe Essay Note 1; Songhai-Essay-Practice; Preview text. Stalin's 5-year plan 'Stalin was ruthless in his mission to implement communism in Russia through the Five-Year Plans, from 1928 to 1939.'Critically discuss this statement. Use relevant

  5. How to write an essay about Stalin's Five Year Plans

    The Five Year Plans were a series of centralized economic plans in the Soviet Union, created under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The first plan was launched in 1928 and the last one ended in 1952. These plans were designed to transform the Soviet Union from an agricultural country into an industrial powerhouse.

  6. Stalin's Five Year Plan Essay with Introduction & Conclusion

    The first Five-Year Plan, introduced in 1928, concentrated on the development of iron and steel, machine tools, electric power and transport. Joseph Stalin set the workers high targets. He demanded a 110% increase in coal production, 200% increase in iron production and 335% increase in electric power. Write an essay in which you discuss the ...

  7. What Were Stalin's Five Year Plans?

    Between 1928 and 1932, Stalin's Five Year Plan was targeted at collectivizing agriculture and developing heavy industry. This was the first of four so-called plans, which took place in 1928-32, 1933-37, 1938-42 and 1946-53. After a period of relative economic liberalism Stalin decided that a wholesale restructuring of the economy was needed ...

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    The Third Five-Year Plan was from 1938 to 1941 (when it was interrupted by World War II). Each plan created a series of quotas (targets) that had to be met for each industry. As time went on, ... For all of the problems and hardships caused by the Five-Year Plans, by 1941, Stalin has transformed Russia into a world-class industrial power. This ...

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    The first five-year plan, accepted in 1928 for the period from 1929 to 1933, finished one year early. The last five-year plan, for the period from 1991 to 1995, was not completed, since the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991. Other communist states, including the People's Republic of China, and to a lesser extent, the Republic of Indonesia ...

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    What was Stalin's 5 year plan? The first Five-Year Plan was a set economic goals for the economy of the Soviet Union implemented in 1928-1932. The plan's goals were the country's industrialization ...

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    In all, there were thirteen Soviet Five-Year Plans. The first ran from the autumn of 1928 to 1933; at that time the accounting year began in October with the end of the harvest. The third plan (1938-1942) was interrupted in mid-1941 by World War II. Five-year planning began again with the fourth (1946-1950). The sixth (1956-1960) was ...

  12. Central command and five year plans: Soviet industrialisation under Stalin

    On 28th May 1928 Stalin made a speech declaring that his five year plan of rapid industrialisation would transform the living standards of the people of the Soviet Union. If the NEP focused on the repairing of a broken society, Stalin's first five year plan celebrated the building of a new one. A year later the plan was formally adopted at ...

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    Propaganda stand dedicated to the first five-year plan in Moscow. 1931 colour photo by Branson DeCou.. The first five-year plan (Russian: I пятилетний план, первая пятилетка) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a list of economic goals, implemented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, based on his policy of socialism in one country.

  14. Stalin Five Year Plan Essay Grade 11 History Memorandum (Questions and

    The Five Year Plan was a set of economic goals that were developed in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The plan was launched in 1928, and it aimed to transform the Soviet Union from an agricultural economy into an industrial powerhouse. One of the main goals of the Five Year Plan was to increase the production of heavy ...

  15. Soviet Labor Policy in the First Five-Year Plan:

    But even before the official beginning of the first Five-Year Plan the work force began to grow more rapidly than scheduled. At Dneprostroi the labor recruitment surpassed all expectations. In 1927, the number of working people. on the Dneprostroi site grew from the planned 2-3,000 to 13,000.15 In 1928, in.

  16. Joseph Stalin Five Year Plan Essay

    Joseph Stalin Five Year Plan Essay. The 5 year plan was produced to output industrial goods and agriculture; a list of economic goals created by Joseph Stalin in 1928 and was based on his policy of socialism. Stalin was alive for only 3 full 5 year plans. The first plan was made in 1928-1932 (considered to officially end later in 1932).

  17. Stalin Five Year Plan Essay

    The Five-Year Plan (FYPs) were introduced by Joseph Stalin for Soviet industrialisation.The series of FYPs were meant to modernise Soviet industry and to match and overtake the other Western powers who by an industrial revolution had managed to modernise their industries and increase their industrial output. The FYPs were implemented to fulfil ...

  18. Joseph Stalin and First Five-Year Plan Free Essay Example

    8. NEP: New Economic Policy (1921-1929) introduced by Lenin. 9. Pravda: the semiofficial newspaper of the Communist Party. Introduction. In October 1928, Joseph Stalin (1) executed the First Five-Year Plan (piatiletka) in order to strengthen the economy of the Soviet Union and accelerate its rate of industrialization.

  19. PDF Primary Sources about the FIVE YEAR PLAN From Spartacus Educational

    Nevertheless Stalin had apparently committed himself to a radical economic stance by the late winter of 1927-1928, if only as a means of striking at his foes, and the power struggle had begun again in earnest. (5 ) E u g e n e L y o n s , A s s i g n m e n t i n U to p i a (1 9 3 7 ) Was the first Five Year Plan a "success"?

  20. What was Stalin's five-year plan?

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  22. Free Essay: Stalin 5 Year Plan

    The Rise of Dictators 1930's. • After the death of Lenin in 1924, Josef Stalin came to power. • Stalin decided to take "one great leap forward" to communism. • He launched the first of a series of five year plan to modernize agriculture and build new industry.…. 1079 Words. 5 Pages.

  23. Stalin 5 Year Plan Essay Example

    Stalin 5 Year Plan Essay Example 🎓 Get access to high-quality and unique 50 000 college essay examples and more than 100 000 flashcards and test answers from around the world! Paper Samples; ... Stalin's five year plan was launched and approved by the Communist party in 1928. Visualizing a "revolution from above", Stalin's goal was the swift ...