Account For The Changes In Soviet Society Between 1929 And 1941.

1886 words - 8 pages

Stalin's arrival as the undisputed leader of the Bolshevik party in 1929 changed all aspects of Russian society over the next decade. His influence was felt through all spheres of society as the lives of Russian citizens were severely influenced by his policies. Collectivisation was one of the first policies Stalin implemented which had a large influence on Soviet Society. Then came the mass industrialisation and the Five Year plans which had a vast impact on the Soviet economy. The purges, show trials and terror were an instrument for Stalin to maintain a hold on his power and were a large political change in Soviet Society. Soviet foreign policy also changed largely in the decade from 1929 to 1941.

Collectivisation was one of the most drastic changes to the economy in the Soviet Society under Stalin. Collectivisation was a policy of acquiring the privately owned land by peasants and joining them together as a collective farms (or sovkhoz). The larger farms were aimed to increase productivity which enabled cheaper production and therefore cheaper prices. The implementation of the NEP saw the return of a richer class of peasants or Kulaks which Stalin stomped down hard on. Stalin intended to “Liquidate the kulaks as a class”. The introduction of collectivisation was a considerable change from the NEP that was implemented before Stalin’s rise to power. Collectivisation achieved its goal of supplying enough food to the Red Army and cities but the peasants suffered greatly. There was widespread famine under collectivisation and peasant opposition led to a reduction in grain production from 73 million in 1928 to 67 million in 1934. Collectivisation did have some benefits such as controlling the peasants and the countryside. Most historians believe that Collectivisation was a large change and it did not achieve its goal of of supplementing Stalin’s operation of industrialisation. As historian Geoffrey Hosking, a professor of Russian history, states “collectivisation destroyed the structure of the traditional Russian village in almost all areas, bequeathed a demoralised rural population and a permanently agricultural system’. This quote from his book shows that he is of the opinion that the change to collectivisation tainted the system of order between the peasants and the government. The change of traditional farming to collectivisation was a great change in Soviet Society. It did not impact the nation just economically but also politically and socially. Although collectivisation was a Soviet ideology, it was a drastic change in Soviet society that impacted the peasants and similar classes negatively and it did not achieve its goals which stimulated Stalin to introduce new measures to gain results.

Industrialisation was Soviet Society’s greatest economic change in the period of 1929 to 1941 and one of Stalin’s most famous and effective policies. Stalin introduced industrialisation through fear that the western capitalist nations who were...

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