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Home > Free Essays & Book Reports > European History > Stalin's 5 Year Plan

Stalin's 5 Year Plan

Stalin was born in 1879 and died 1953. He was the leader of Russia and wanted to industrialize it because they were behind most of the other countries. A quote that Stalin made was We are 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us! In order to bring Russia up to the current level of industry he employed a variety of different ideas to help Russia. Stalin was a tyrannical leader and did what he had to do to keep Russia from falling more and more behind the more industrialized countries. He would kill many people if had to, and he did. In 1928 Stalin started the first of 2 five-year plans. For the first five-year plan Stalin forced farmers and industry to modernize. The Soviet economy was concentrated in agriculture. By the mid-1920’s there were about 25 million farms in the Soviet Union but many produced only enough to feed the families who worked them. The more successful peasants were called kulaks. In 1929 Joseph Stalin introduce a campaign to liquidate the kulaks as a class in order to “collectivize” agriculture. He felt that once the peasants saw the benefits of modern agriculture, they would join the state-run collective farms. They were more stubborn than Stalin expected. They were unwilling to sell their products at the low prices. They destroyed their livestock, tools and burned their crops or let them rot in the fields. Between 1929 and 1934 the number of cattle in the country dropped from 58 million to 33.5 million. The number of horses dropped from 32.6 million to 17.3 million. Livestock totals did not reach their pre-Five Year Plan levels again until the mid-1950’s. Stalin was unhappy with this so he sent diplomats (few) or just sent secret police or army units to deal with resisting cities, towns, or villages. In 1928 only 1.7% of the peasants were on collective farms but after the army or secret police came and “persuaded” them the total went up, in March 1930 there were 58%. By the end of the 1930’s there was a total of 99% of peasants working or in someway helping collective farms. When there were whole towns that refused or were more successful on there own they were killed. In some ways the First five-year plan was better than the Second Five-year plan. From 1928 to 1933 (1st 5-year plan) coal production steadily rose from 30 million metric tons to 90 million metric tons and coal stayed pretty much at zero. However livestock dropped drastically from the 30 million range to only about 15 million animals. Wheat was almost always fluctuating down and up but in the end there was more produced than at the beginning of the 1st five-year plan. In the second five-year plan Russia was a bit more productive. Coal went up to 150 million tons by the end of the 2nd five-year plan (ending 1938) and livestock went up but it wasn’t nearly as close to the original amount. Wheat increased and went up at a good rate and then dropped off close to 1938 but not by much.

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