In his quest to transform the U.S.S.R to a modern industrial country, Stalin had to strategies and came up with policies that favour industrialisation. The plans that Stalin put in place include but not limited to the collectivisation of the agricultural sector, rapid industrialisation, the formation of a totalitarian state and improving socialism as opposed to capitalism and finally putting the interest of the country and socialists at the forefront. Thought he had come up with several policies in his leadership. The primary policies that were aid industrialisation were the collectivisation especially in the agricultural sector and the five years industrialization plan. Tucker (1977). His main aim was to turn the Soviet Union into a modern world power and demonstrate the communism superiority over capitalism. He also had the ambition to transform and improve the living standard of the union's citizens.
To improve industrialisation in the Soviet Union, Stalin created the five years plan. He divided the program into three main stages each stage aimed at fulfilling specific targets. The first plan that ran from 1928 to 1933 was focused on heavy industries. The phase gave priority to the coal, steel, gas and oil industry. Dams and hydroelectric plants were erected to provide energy for the sectors. The stage also emphasised on hard work to increase production. Workers were given targets they had to beat. This phase resulted in an increase in output and mushrooming of cities. Due to this, food was required to feed the increasing population. Also, due to the rise in industries, there was a shortage of workers.
The second and third phase of the plan that ran from 1933 to 1941 saw continued development in the heavy industry. The phases also were mainly used to improve the working conditions and address the problems that emerged from the flagship phase. Sahoboss. (2017, May 08). The issues that were addressed in this phase were employment. Women were encouraged to take part in work and were viewed as equals to men. Also, due to the purge that faced most of the intellectuals, Stalin's government brought on board foreign engineers and expert to help in industrialisation.
By the time industrialisation was kicking off, cities had started to witness an increase in population. The population required food and shelter. Stalin came up with the collectivisation policy to counter the capitalist in the agriculture sector. Sahoboss. (2017, May 08). These capitalists used the demand and supply system to maximise their profits. The capitalists in agriculture would hold the farm produce to make sure supply is law hence increasing demand and consequently selling their produce at a higher price. The increase in prices of basic needs would cause the government to raise wages. Stalin could not afford to increase fees and therefore had to make sure the food prices were lowered. to achieve low prices for grains, Stalin encouraged the farmers to unite their farms and make use of tractors to increase productivity. The government provided tractors to replace horse-drawn ploughs that were slower. Use of tractors would increase produce and efficiency.
The capitalists who had invested in firming never welcomed the move to form a communist approach to farming and production of grains with a warm hand. They resisted the move. Some of the peasant farmers also opposed the move to join their land with others. This lead to resistance from both the peasant and the capitalist.
Ways that transformation cost the U.S.S.R citizens
Change is sometimes inevitable and comes at a cost. The cost varies in degree from one situation to another. The Soviet Union citizens never had a great time in the realisation of change during Stalin's rule. The transformation of the country to a modern industrial nation and difference in ideologies came at a high cost both economically, socially and culturally. Many people lost their lives. Some were killed for opposing change, and some lost their lives in demonstrations. Many people lost their lives in the industries and different construction which aided the development. Apart from the loss of lives, some citizens suffered their properties. The peasants who resisted giving their land for the collectivisation of agriculture were forced out of their farms, and some kept in concentration camps .this section will discuss the consequences the Russian citizens faced in the process of transforming the nation.
During the first phase of the five years plan, many citizens were against the collectivisation of resources and production. This lead to loss of lives and property for both the wealthy and the peasant farmers. The government sent the farmers who were against the collectivisation to concentration camps. The capitalists and peasants homes and properties were destroyed as a punishment for their resistance. The cost of the introduction of the collectivisation's of the agriculture sectors was suffering and loss of life. Life was not only lost due to the purge, but also in the industries. The new industries that were put up had provided poor working conditions for the workers. The wages were too low. This lead to the breakup of diseases which caused death and suffering to the workers. Collectivism also leads to chaos in the countryside, and food production fell significantly in the year 1932 to 1933. The drops in food production lead to famine in the rich agricultural regions.
The process of industrialisation had both positive and negative impact on the citizens. The industries provided employment and income for most of the citizens. Thought this was the case, Most of the workers were exposed to poor working conditions and treatment. Sahoboss. (2017, May 08). The introduction of the targets and high worker regulations imposed suffering to the employees. The laws were harsh to the workers. In case a worker was not able to bit his/her target, a punishment was imposed on them. The penalty could be either a cut in the salary or increase in work portion for the next day. Though this saw an enormous increase in production, it harmtoed the workers.
Stalin's government shut down all the private enterprises in favour of communist enterprises. The capitalists were in charge of the private enterprises which Stalin found to be a threat to his government Sahoboss. (2017, May 08). The enterprises gave rise to a wealthy class. The emergence of a wealthy could be a problem to his collectivisation policy that required production and supply to be state controlled. He, therefore, shut down most private enterprises which lead to loss of property and profits for the owners.
From the above discussion, it is evident that the development and transformation of the USSR came at a high cost to both the government and the citizens. The governments faced a lot of resistance and in turn responded by destroying property and deportation of people. Some of the people were killed, and some died from hunger. The reform also brought up a class of wealthy people who favoured the day's government. The discuss affirms that a considerable cost was incurred to realise Russia as a modern industrial state.
Stalin's involvement in international affairs
Stalin's ambition was to transform the USSR into a modern industrialised state. To achieve this goal, he introduced the socialist in one country policy. This policy gave Stalin the mandate to concentrate on industrialising the soviet union. Though this was the case, he could not achieve his ambition with the high illiteracy level and resistance he faced from the peasants and the wealthy elite. He, therefore, performed the purge on these citizens and was forced to concentrate on importing workforce from overseas. The need for skilled workers gave the departure to his involvement in international affairs. He had to create relationships with other nations to have skilled labour and bring in investors to industrialise the country. He imported skilled worker from the United States and Britain. The companies would set up industries and later on handing them over to the government. Through this, Stalin had to enter into agreement and signing of treaties with different countries.
Stalin made several alliances and agreements for the benefits of Russia. He needed hard cash to fund his policies and bid for industrialisation. For him to get the required funds, Stalin had to create a large market for the farm produce. Neumann, (2013). The need for a market made him kin in making sure he has as many allies as possible to increase his demand. Though his farm produces faced a massive blow due to the resistance and burning of grains a killing of animals by farmers, Stalin kept on exporting his farm produce. His primary focus in international affairs was, therefore, both labour and marked for the products he created.
According to Rupprecht, Stalin fully participated in the international arena after signing treaties and formation of alliances. The Soviet Union had formed a partnership with France. Thought the agreement was not as strong as it was required to be, but it held for some time before the isolation of Russia during the Munich conference of 1938. Stalin also went into negotiations with Britain and France in 1939. Stalin also signed a treaty with the German. The Nazi-Soviet agreement was mostly a security pact. The Russians would provide most of the Germans arsenals. The contracts were good business for the Russians. Therefore from the discussion above, it can be deducted that Russia came into the world stage to gain benefits from exports of produce and import of skills and labour. Security was also another aim than came out late.
Neumann, I. B. (2013). Russia and the idea of Europe: a study in identity and international relations. Routledge people. Retrieved from https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/impact-lenin-and-stalins-policies-rights-russian-people
Rupprecht, T. (n.d.). Introduction: The end of Soviet isolationism after 1953 - Soviet Internationalism after Stalin. Retrieved from https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/soviet-internationalism-after-stalin/introduction-the-end-of-soviet-isolationism-after-1953/38C2329B72139992E79DE19FAEC931AD
Sahoboss. (2017, May 08). The impact of Lenin and Stalin's policies on the rights of the Russian
Tucker, R. C. (1977). The Emergence of Stalin's Foreign Policy. Slavic Review, 36(4), 563-589.
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