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The Effects Of Stalin's Economic And Social Policies

2989 words - 12 pages

The Effects of Stalin's Economic and Social Policies

One of Russia's most prominent political leaders of all time, was a
man named Joseph Dzhugashvili. A man, who at one time was being
trained to become a priest, and would one day become a major
revolutionary in the history of the USSR. The name that Stalin went by
was not his given name, but one meaning "man of steel," that he made
up. Stalin's rule is one of history's more controversial topics and
still, even years after his rampant rule in the USSR between 1927 and
1940, certain policies and events must be evaluated, in order to come
to a conclusion about whether there is justification in what he did to
achieve his goals. During his time in power he dictated many new
policies and several of the policies created by Lenin, were thrown
out. He was ruthless and cold-heartedly showed no one mercy during his
reign, but because of him and some of the cruel policies that he
enforced, Russia became a super power.

Some of Stalin's economic policies that he so barbarously enforced
were good for the economy of the USSR, but took a devastating toll on
the people who had to carry it out. One of these policies was The Five
Year Plans. There were three Five Year Policies in total, implemented
from 1928 to 1941, which did the economy of the USSR a long awaited
boost. Although the USSR's economy soared, the people suffered
immensely. With each 5 Year Plan, the industries were given a target,
as were the smaller factories. Most of the targets were extremely
unrealistic, but the punishment for failure was brutal and there were
no exceptions. The first 5 Year Plan brought all industry under state
control and the state was able to make decisions about all development
that went on in the industry. Stalin controlled what was being
produced, where it was being produced and how much was to be produced.
Heavy industries like coal, iron, oil, steel and electricity were
emphasized more in the second Five Year Plan, as well as the new
chemical industry and railways. The third, and last Five Year Plan put
heavy emphasis on the creation of weapon production in Russia. Since
Russia's retreat from World War One, none of the allies would trade
with Russia, so she needed to be self-sufficient enough to make her
own weaponry. Although Russia needed to speed up the rate of
industrialization, the rate that Stalin demanded was almost impossible
and could not have been done without the near slave labor of the
Russian citizens. Life for the average man or woman working in an
industry at the time of the 5 Year Plans, was not a pleasant
existence. Not only was the pay poor for the average worker, but there
was nothing being produced, for the people to buy, because the focus
was not on consumer goods, but on heavy industries that would produce
iron, steel or any other...

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