Stalin's Russia AS Notes

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Stalin's Russia Notes Includes POWER STRUGGLE, MODERNISATION OF RUSSIA (Collectivisation and 5 Year Plan's), PURGES & PROPAGANDA, and WORLD WAR 2

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STALIN & BOLSHEVIK’S BACKGROUND (Bolsheviks = Oct Rev 1917; Stalin = Commissar for Nationalities; Gen Sec) 1924 – Lenin dies (Testament not published, but read to Central Committee) POWER STRUGGLE (1924 – 29) 24 – 25: Triumvirate v Trotsky (Socialism in one country v World Rev) 25 – 27: Duumvirate v The New Opposition (NEP v Rapid Industry) 28 – 29: Stalin v Right Wing (Rapid Industry v NEP) 1929 – Stalin unchallenged leader of Communists (successful in RISE TO POWER) HOW? Cult of Lenin (Chief mourner @ funeral; Lenin’s body embalmed & made into shrine) Stalin’s Skill & Personality (Manipulative, ‘wonderful Georgian’, underestimated, ambitious) Powerful Position: GEN SEC (pack local parties w/supporters who’d pick reps who’d elect politburo) Popular Policies (Socialism in 1 Country, World Rev, NEP, Rapid Industry) Mistakes/Weaknesses of Rivals (His rivals were theorists and revolutionaries, not politicians) Changing Communist Party (Lenin’s legacy: Anti-factionalism, used to Stalin’s advantage) MODERNISATION OF RUSSIA: Revolution from above/ 2nd Rev (establish & secure communism) (Grain shortage; peasants suspected of hoarding =) COLLECTIVISATION: De-kulakisation; Collectivisation of agriculture; Famine (1932 -3) = 7m dead (Ukraine) WHY? Economic (NEP not working; small plots = little machinery; private ownership & kulaks influence) Link to Industrialisation (surplus of grain needed to feed urban populous; trade for technology (so the mechanisation of farming can release labour (and give to industry) Political (Kulaks = new capitalists: Stalin could strengthen position by liquidating NEP supporters (Bukharin) International (USSR sole communist state in Capitalist world; fear of invasion; defend Soviet Union) RESULTS Political (Old tsarist features gone = priests, school master, Mir (village council) replaced by collective committee chaired by communist party member, dekulakisation; BUT: increased criticism i.e. Ryutin) Social (Human cost of dekulakisation: 5 – 10m perished; Famine = further millions perished) Economic (collectivisation = mechanisation & new methods; BUT resistance from kulaks: livestock devastated & grain production decreased; HOWEVER state procurement of grain for export & feed towns; MIGRATION to towns meant less able bodied young men – but passport system regulated movement) THE FIVE YEAR PLANS: 28 -32: 1 5YP (Heavy Industry) – coal, iron, steel SUCCESSES: Increase in production = Oil & Coal x 2; New Towns e.g. Magnitogorsk; 1st Tractor Factories BUT: Unrealistic targets not reached; quantity, not quality; shortage of consumer goods & housing 33 -37: 2 5YP (Consumer Goods) = initially, main focus, but w/rise of Hitler, focus averted SUCCESSES: steel, machine tools, oil & coal increase; prestige projects e.g. Moscow Metro; better living standards and real wages (bread rationing ended) BUT: Targets not all met e.g. coal; still shortage of consumer goods 38 – 41: 3 5YP (Armament) SUCCESSES: coal production increase; air force largest in world; share of world’s manufacturing BUT: defence priority meant living standards dropped; no increase in oil or steel RESULTS Weaknesses: At the people’s expense (consumer goods dropped) Overemphasis on heavy industry (poor balance between sectors; neglect of agriculture; no attention to workers needs) Underproductive (not modernised well enough to be truly competitive; industry managers falsified results to avoid consequences; tractors ‘pushed’ out of factories) Strengths: Ready for war (enabled USSR to survive and triumph in WW2) PURGES + PROPAGANDA (Trial of Ryunites: ‘evil genius’, Stalin wanted him dead but party appealed against it; 15th Party Congress, Kirov more popular than Stalin = Kirov assassinated; Stalin rounded up old foes =) Purge of Party, Army and People WHY? War Scare (Hitler’s R2P & need to ruthlessly eliminate opposition) Stalin’s Personality (Paranoia – imagined enemies; Evidence of opposition) Subordinates got carried away (Stalin only wanted to remove key opponents) Ideological (only means of destroying capitalism & achieving classless society) Soviet System (Introduced by Lenin & developed by Stalin; determined to establish socialism even if it meant ideological cleansing; ensure rapid modernisation; Economic Policy: Ryutin & 1934 Party Congress – need for terror to ensure “war v backwardness” prevailed Strengthened Stalin personally = absolute control e.g. incapacitated by shock of Soviet invasion but not ousted; eliminated enemies (Bukharin, Kirov; Trotsky) Soviet Union Weakened = Purge of Army weakened defences (Finland hard to defeat & encouraged Nazi attack); Economy damaged = Managers’ fear of failure; dekulakisation damaged agriculture; purging of managers hit productivity. ACHIEVEMENTS DESPITE RATHER THAN BECAUSE OF STALIN Cult of Stalin Indoctrination; Cult of Personality; Social Realism in the Arts The Great Terror Purges; Show Trials; Dekulakisation; Labour Camps Strengthened Stalin’s Dictatorship; Exerted control over populous; ensured pace of modernisation WORLD WAR 2 1939 – Soviet-Nazi Pact June 1941 – Nazi invasion of USSR (siege of Leningrad and Moscow) 1942 -43 – Battle of Stalingrad: turning point 1943 – 5: soviet offensive à capture of Berlin WHY? Stalin (despite purging Red Army and refusing to believe German Invasion, he had determined leadership, listened to military proposals, used patriotic propaganda, relaxed communist control (over agriculture & army) and his 5YPs enabled crucial war production) Geography (winter & mud = 100,000d of frostbite; ‘scorched earth’ policy = supply lines strained) US Lend Lease (400T lorries & 14m boots; USSR could concentrate of military arms production) War Production (working week extended to 12hrs 6days; producing more than Germany in 43’) Russian People (Capacity to endure worst; Propaganda = believed in Great Patriotic War; Toughened up by Stalinism; Stalin ordered no surrender Terror (severe battalions to detonate minefields; Red Army units to shoot deserters)

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