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Stalin's Five Year Plan

Research and write a history essay.

The present essay will depict the application theory of Stalin’s five years plan and the hidden intention for this reform. Further, in this essay, an attempt has been made to identify the reason behind use of terror by Stalin for imposing new ideas and systems on the Russian people. Considering all the relevant sources, it can be stated that Stalin, through the five years plan wanted to establish certain reforms in the field of economy, politics and social system. The five years plan has been implemented for the first time in between the years 1928 and 1932[1]. The main intention of Stalin behind implementing these policies was to make a reform to filter the domestic policy of the Soviet Union. He wants to centralize the state policies in industrialization and for collectivization of agriculture[2]. He wants to make Russia a powerful country economically and wanted the Soviet Union be united and he believed that he could bring a revolutionary change in Russia[3]. It is one of the main reasons Stalin apply terror policies to create an effective working force. This essay will point out all the relevant provisions regarding all the policies and outcome of the same.

This essay attempts to identify all the possible reasons for five years plan and terror policy implementing by Joseph Stalin. A secondary research method has been followed in this essay to this effect.

Joseph Stalin was a revolutionary communist in Soviet Union. He was working for the general secretary post at communist party, Soviet Union. However, he was de facto dictator and followed the ideology of Marx and Lenin. Stalin wanted one system for entire Soviet Union and for that reason; he had propounded the five years plan with an intention to establish one economic, political and social reformatory system in Soviet Union[4]. His economic policy had replaced with command economy that was governed by the central power. He had opposed Lenin’s New Economic Policy. Through this economic policy, Lenin wanted to establish free market and capitalism and both were subjected to state control[5]. However, Stalin wanted to secure centralize power for the society of Soviet Union. Further, he wanted to make an effective industrialization. His focus was confined in heavy industrial rise and he has introduced five years plan for the same. There are certain reasons for implementing five years plan that are stated as under:

Reasons for Implementing Five Year Plan

The five years plan was implemented at the time when Soviet Union was facing great economical crisis and an industrial downturn was processing. The financial framework of the country was hampered greatly and threats were generated from the external sources. According to Florinsky, the economic trouble in the part of Soviet Union has been introduced from the era of Bolshevik rule. Various wars and revolutions were started at various stages of the society and the financial condition of Soviet was deteriorated with the emerged war took place in the year 1924[6]. Further, it has been observed that the European States like Great Britain started to introduce their diplomatic relations with the contents of Soviet Union. This incident gave birth to threat as the power of the western countries was shown during the Russian Civil War and the western powers had occupied several contents of Soviet Union. Therefore, the Russians were afraid off the possibility of western invasion. This fear had given birth of necessity for industrialization in the Soviet Union. Further, the war scare concocted dissatisfaction among the peasantry class and they were became annoyed about the indifferent behavior of the state regarding their condition. Further, the government mistreated them. All these incidents had given rise to hidden dissatisfaction among the people of Soviet Union and a necessity for overall reform was become inevitable. The rise of Stalin was taken place at this time and he introduced heavy industrialization policies for the continents of Russia so that all the threats could be addressed properly and they could be prevented appropriately.

The time when the first five years plan has been introduced are known as the most crucial period for the Russian[7]. According to Lenin, “Modern industry is the key to this transformation; the time has come to construct our fatherland anew with the hands of machines.” Therefore, it can be stated that the mentality of Stalin was engraved in the heavy industrial rapport. He had facilitated the rapid industrial growth from the time of 1928 and accelerated continuously with an intention to build the powerful society[8]. Further, the living standard of peasantry has been increased and impedes the threat of war in the continents of Soviet Union. In addition to this, according to the soviet leader, rapid industrialization can make the financial structure of the country and Soviet Union could be powerful with the economic powers that could be earned from industrialization.

Weaknesses of the Five Year Plan

However, there were certain weak points of the five-year plan and those loopholes had made the policy implementation ineffective and unrealistic. The first point is Stalin wanted to make his entire dream on industrializations come true within a short time span. He never thought about the proper strategies. It has been observed that the Soviet Leaders were tried to introduce certain unrealistic quotas with a view to increase the production. Further, it can be stated that rapid unrealistic needs were necessary to meet all the requirements. It was impossible within a short time and it could be stated that money were required to make the dream come true. However, it can be stated that the financial condition of Soviet Union at that time was not good and therefore, it was impossible to bring a societal and economical reform within a short period. Further, it has been observed that Stalin was fully concentrated over the heavy industrialization growth and for this, the rate of outsources had increased a lot. It is a fact that during this era, Russia was witnessed a good industrial achievement, but the rate of basic things such as foods had to face great scarcity. Further, huge labor forces were required by the country to meet all the necessities regarding the industrialization. In Soviet Union, forced labor was become normal tradition and great depression has been observed in the agricultural section and price of the grain has become high[9].


Certain societal changes have been observed at that period. Before the era of Stalin, the society of Russia had faith on the capitalism and not on the socialism. However, changes have been made during the period of Stalin who focused on the social character of the peasantry class. Further, according to his policy, the land of the well-known peasants was distributed among the middle-class farmers so that they could meet the huge demands of grain in the society. This change is known as collectivization. However, there was a lack observed in the foundation of the theory and a minimum growth of production has been observed to this effect. This tendency proved the failure of agricultural collectivization in Soviet Union.

However, apart from the above noted failure, Russia had witnessed a success story regarding the industrial reformation. Areas like capital goods, consumer goods and industrial outputs have been raised significantly. According to Dobb, Maurice (2007), the capital goods were increased by 158% and industrial output has been raised up to 118%. Further, rapid appointment of youth in the industries and farms had been observed during the period. The main intention of Stalin behind the rapid industrialization was to represent Soviet Union as a super power and it can be stated that this intention has been succeed to such extent.

Stalin's Terror Policy

Further, it has been observed that Stalin had applied terror policy to impose his ideas upon the Soviet society. The main intention of Stalin was to make the Soviet Union powerful through industrialization and he had proposed five-year plan to the effect[10]. It has been observed that he had introduced certain policies so that he can continue his dreams to make Soviet as powerful nation. According to the sources, Stalin had generated two policies such as industrialization and collectivization. Through industrialization, he wanted to build a strong financial background and through collectivization, he wanted to bring a societal change so that the demand of grains across the society could be met. According to Stalin, Russia need to be united to mitigate all the risks and threat generated by the Western countries[11]. Further, he wanted to make Russia as powerful as Western countries and became power mad. This mentality of Stalin forced him to implement certain terror policies so that the people of Soviet Union could not make any protestation against his policies. He had appointed certain police forces who were responsible for arresting, imprisoning and executing many citizens who opposed the policies of Stalin. He had introduced an autocratic rule and the people were executed if they are imagined to be engaged in criminal activities. This rules did not meant to apply for good societal change, rather all the policies were implemented to raise terror among the society.  it has been observed that a huge mass genocide has been observed in the society that time[12].


It has been observed that in the year 1920, Stalin had gained the absolute power through police repression and it has been observed that he had killed those people who opposed his theory. The main reason for the terror application is that Stalin wanted to make Soviet Union united and he did not wanted any adverse situation or rise of opposition party to this effect. Therefore, by late 1934, he had eliminated all the potential opposite parties so that he could become an unchallenged leader. He had terrorized the country with arrest and execution. Further, his unwanted madness regarding the rapid industrialization sent many innocent civilians to labor camps. Further, Stalin had introduced purge camping to execute the persons who are supposed to work against the policies propounded by Stalin. The terror policy of Stalin was not limited up to the politicians; it was indiscriminate in nature. Therefore, it has been observed that politicians along with the artists and common people were executed in his time. The mentality of Stalin had gone insane and he started to execute the people for normal matters.

Negative Effects of the Terror Policy

There are many negative points cropped up due to the terror mentality and it has been observed that the gross production of the country was lagged behind. Further, it has been observed that many killed people had to sacrifice their life at his time. The production capacities of the factories had gone down and the financial condition of the Union was deteriorated. The terror theory had failed to boost the idea of collectivization[13]. However, it can be stated that ideal communism can be observed in his period. The heroic speeches of Stalin motivated the worker classes and they worked harder for the betterment of the society.

Conclusion:

Therefore, it has been observed that the policy of industrialization and collectivization proposed and introduced by Stalin had certain positive and negative elements. Considering the situation, it can be stated that a societal and financial reform was required at that time in Soviet Union. There were threats at all aspects and the society had experienced great trouble due to this. Further, due to weak financial condition, the people of Russia were afraid of the western invasion. At that moment, the rule of Stalin had secured the position of Soviet Union to certain extent. The sociological changes made by him had made many profits and a historical growth in the capital and consumer goods had observed. Further, unity has been observed among the middle-class and poor farmers and they were motivated by the words of Stalin. However, it can be stated that the nature of the policies were good, but they were executed in wrong way. His autocratic tendency and doubtful mind had executed million of innocent people. Apart from this, it can be stated that Russia was able to push back the Germans from their territory. The policies of Stalin had made Russia united and powerful country

References:

Apor, Balázs. "Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin, 1927–1941." (2015): 208-214.

Bernstein, Seth. Raised under Stalin: Young Communists and the Defense of Socialism. Cornell University Press, 2017.

Brandenberger, David. Propaganda state in crisis: Soviet ideology, indoctrination, and terror under Stalin, 1927-1941. Yale University Press, 2014.

Clark, Katerina. "Utopian Anthropology as a Context for Stalinist Literature." Stalinism. Routledge, 2017. 180-189.

Davies, R. W. "The Anatomy of Terror: Political Violence under Stalin." (2015): 832-833. 

Fitzpatrick, Sheila. "New perspectives on Stalinism." The Soviet Union. Routledge, 2018. 135-151.

Kuromiya, Hiroaki. "Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin's Russia." (2014): 596-598.

Perovi?, Jeronim. "Highland Rebels: The North Caucasus During the Stalinist Collectivization Campaign." Journal of Contemporary History 51.2 (2016): 234-260.

Ramer, Samuel C. "The Anatomy of Terror: Political Violence under Stalin." (2014): 594-596.

Roberts, Graham HJ. Consumer culture, branding and identity in the new Russia: From five-year plan to 4x4. Routledge, 2016.

Stalin, Josef. "The Results of the First Five-Year Plan, via https://www. marx2mao. com/Stalin." RFFYP33. html, accessed15 (2017).

Stoecker, Sally W. Forging Stalin's Army: Marshal Tukhachevsky and the Politics of Military Innovation. Routledge, 2018.

Stalin, Josef. "The Results of the First Five-Year Plan, via https://www. marx2mao. com/Stalin." RFFYP33. html, accessed15 (2017).

Roberts, Graham HJ. Consumer culture, branding and identity in the new Russia: From five-year plan to 4x4. Routledge, 2016.

Clark, Katerina. "Utopian Anthropology as a Context for Stalinist Literature." Stalinism. Routledge, 2017. 180-189.

Stoecker, Sally W. Forging Stalin's Army: Marshal Tukhachevsky and the Politics of Military Innovation. Routledge, 2018.

Fitzpatrick, Sheila. "New perspectives on Stalinism." The Soviet Union. Routledge, 2018. 135-151.

Perovi?, Jeronim. "Highland Rebels: The North Caucasus During the Stalinist Collectivization Campaign." Journal of Contemporary History 51.2 (2016): 234-260.

randenberger, David. Propaganda state in crisis: Soviet ideology, indoctrination, and terror under Stalin, 1927-1941. Yale University Press, 2014.

Bernstein, Seth. Raised under Stalin: Young Communists and the Defense of Socialism. Cornell University Press, 2017.

Roberts, Graham HJ. Consumer culture, branding and identity in the new Russia: From five-year plan to 4x4. Routledge, 2016.

Ramer, Samuel C. "The Anatomy of Terror: Political Violence under Stalin." (2014): 594-596.

 Kuromiya, Hiroaki. "Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin's Russia." (2014): 596-598.

Apor, Balázs. "Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin, 1927–1941." (2015): 208-214.

Davies, R. W. "The Anatomy of Terror: Political Violence under Stalin." (2015): 832-833. 

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