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Flashcards in Stalin - Industrialisation Deck (16):

Explain why the Soviet regime decided to promote a policy of rapid industrialisation
in 1928 (12 marks)

-The NEP was implemented temporarily by Lenin and was increasingly unpopular within the party.
- It was a promising policy because the Soviet people's future was up to them rather than world revolution.
-Industrialisation was necessary for a socialist workers state
-Needed to industrialise to strengthen the USSR in a hostile capitalist world


‘The Five-Year Plans ensured that, by 1941, the USSR had become a modern industrial state.’ (24 marks)

-Great increase in industrial output by 1941, plus an improvement in infrastructure (eg. railways)
-The USSR had changed from being dependent on agriculture to being one of the greatest industrial powers in the world.

-There were still shortages, eg. chemicals, imbalance in economy
- Production was exaggerated to meet targets, quantity over quality adapted and inefficient and unskilled workers also caused low productivity
-Disrupted by the Great Terror - skilled workers and factory leaders were purged due to being 'class enemies' so workers were less efficient and there were less people to fix machinery etc.


‘The New Economic Policy was an economic disaster for the USSR.’ (24 marks)

- Heavy industry was very inefficient under the NEP.
- It didn't meet the objective of satisfying all Communists, many were hostile to it.
- although it was meant to win over peasants, many were still not reconciled to the regime.
- The economy was not secure: the peasants reluctant to supply food led to procurement crisis where grain exports had to remain high to pay for industrialisation.

- Economy was in better position than 1921 or even 1924.
- There had been recovery in some areas, many people had prospered.
- The NEP has met its political objective of bringing stability and the Party develop its hold in urban areas.

(Short term success of recovering from civil war but strengthened different classes so not on the way to socialism)


‘By the end of the First Five-Year Plan, the Soviet economy was in a much stronger
position than it had been in 1928.’ (24 marks)

- Particular successes in electricity (production trebled) coal and iron (doubled) and steel (up a third).
- It succeeded in building up a new workforce - including women, convicts and displaced peasants.
- new technology acquired from abroad.
- acquired more control over countryside with collective farms which was necessary to strengthen economy.

- The disruption and opposition involved in collectivisation had significantly reduced agricultural output and resulted in millions of deaths.
- Important consumer industries such as house-building suffered a serious decline because they were given a low priority and quantity over quality was adapted.
- Targets not met in some key areas such as chemicals and transport.
- Major problems such as lack of skilled workers, inefficiency, wastage, mistakes in allocation of resources and major projects such as hydroelectricity power stations not finished

(A start had been made, social costs and economic costs)


‘The Five-Year Plans had failed to create a successful industrial economy in the USSR
by 1941.’ (24 marks)

- The plans didn't reach all of their targets, for example in modern industries like chemicals.
- Imbalences in Plans - focus on heavy industry meant consumer goods were neglected: the economy couldn't sustain both a defence capability and high standard of living.
- Emphasis on meeting quantative targets, therefore quality was compromised and variety recduced.
- There was difficulties: poor communication meant resources often didn't get where they were supposed to and it was not as productive as things such as Stakhonovite movement showed, many new unskilled workers/peasants, managers and skilled workers purged.

- Massive rises in poduction in important industries such as coal and steel
- The USSR economy changed from relying on agriculture to industry. The industry was now able equip the USSR for war etc.
- Despite shortages, workers gained some advantages: slightly more pay, more to buy in shops.


Strengths of the First Five Year Plan

- Construction of industrial cities from scratch, eg. Magnitogorsk.
- Impressive gains in areas of heavy industry eg. electricity, coal, iron, engineering.
- Wages rose due to managers wanting more labour in order to fulfil the targets.


Weaknesses of the First Five Year Plan

- Small scale, consumer goods industries received little resources so suffered.
- Problems caused by gaps in infrastructure: road and rail transport weren't good enough to meet the industry's demands.
- Transport and housing also weren't able to cope with the increasing urban population.
- Not all targets were met, eg. steel and chemical.
- There was now a shortage of labour compared to the unemployment during NEP, and many workers were unskilled peasants.
- There were few consumer goods to spend money on so there was rations.


Strengths of the Second Five Year Plan

- It was better organised and planned: the USSR was suffering a famine and shortages so it was more realistic in the planning.
- Magnitogorsk came into full production and the USSR benefited from the infrastructure laid down in the first plan.
- Consumer goods received slightly more attention.
- Higher priority given to defence: output rose by 300% from 1933-38.
- The USSR was able to survive on fewer imports such as machine tools: they were more self-sufficient.
- Workers had more incentive to work: more goods to buy and Stakhanovite movement.
-Big rise in coal/electricity


Weaknesses of the Second Five Year Plan

- Targets for electricity, coal, rail transport and consumer goods not met.
- Higher real wages target not achieved (income based against the worth of things not balanced.)
- Oil industry still disappointing and not meeting full potential


Strengths of the Third Five Year Plan

- Helped prepare for war eg. Lorry production dropped from 180,000 in 1937 to 136,000 in 1940 due to lorry factories being used to construct tanks etc.


Weaknesses of the Third Five Year Plan

- Original targets couldn't be met due to the changing in priorities due to the war.
- Serious shortage of skilled labour and oil


The impact of industrialisation on Society - peasants (5 points)

- Remained as peasants in the countryside and had much of their produce taken from the state.
- Some had small private plots so were allowed to jeeo their own produce or sell it in private markets
- Some moved to towns if they were forced off the land from collectivisation.
- It was easy to find work in towns because work forces were rapidly expanding.
- However it was hard to adapt in towns as they were used to less labour discipline and punctuality. They were rarely used to handling machinery.


The impact of industrialisation on Society - workers (5 points)

- Many welcomed improved conditions from the NEP
- Many young party members were enthusiastic about industrialisation because there was a meaning for it.
- The reaction against bourgeois experts meant they could get rapid promotions.
- Skilled workers were in high demand and well paid in comparrison, and recieved special perks such as special food shops.
- Less enthusiastic workers suffered: absenteeism was punished and leaving a job without permission involved dismissal or even prison.


The impact of industrialisation on Society - women (5 points)

- About 10 million women joined the work force during 1930s.
- were usually less well paid.
- received fewer training opportunities.
- Had home responsibilities to deal with too.
- Stalin wrote 1937 that 'the triumph of socialism has filled the women with enthusiasm .. to be active in the struggle for high labour productivity.'


The impact of industrialisation on Society - convict labour (2 points)

- Many died whilst working in the camps or on great projects such as the Baltic White-Sea Canal.
- Given the hard conditions they weren't likely to be enthusiastic.


Why did Stalin introduce the five year plans

- all party members knew industrialisation was necessary for socialism to survive.
- pre-war levels reached in 1926 but nowhere near as good as they could be.
- State control would give gov. direct control of economy to produce essentials which would support industrial growth and could use full potential of resources.
Fear of foreign invasion.
- anti-communist countries were much more powerful and they needed to industrialise.
- Hitler's anti-communist statements.