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Economic Policy Change in Soviet Union From 1941 to 1986 Essay

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Economic Policy Change in Soviet Union From 1941 to 1986 The period 1941 - 1986 saw little change in the Russian economy, although attempts were made at reform by Khrushchev, for example, with his 'Virgin Lands' scheme. I believe that economic policy did not change between the years 1941 - 1986 but the change was often quickly reversed and change was not carried out to a great enough extent to have any significant bearing on the development of the Russian economy. Russia was almost destroyed by the efforts needed to sustain a war. Even though the first, second and third Five Year Plans had been heavily concentrated on the heavy industries such as coal and steel, which proved to be…show more content…
The need for labour and troops was intense and between 1941 and 1944 the gulag population decreased by two - fifths. Able - bodied men were conscripted from the collectives and women were left to care for the farms. Grain production fell from 95 million tons in 1940 to 30 million tons in 1942. This was a huge drop, and famine was common, particularly in the Ukraine and Siberia, where loss of life was most severe. The more relaxed attitude of Stalin during the wars years had nurtured a belief that life would be easier and less repressed after the war. However, this proved not to be the case. The Fourth Five Year Plan was intended to restore Russia's pre - war reputation as an industrial power. Industrial production recovered quickly, mainly through the use of over 2 million slave labourers. The rigid centralised economy imposed by Stalin was useful in this instance as it became easier to organise workers and factories. The Fifth Five Year Plan was concentrated slightly more on the consumer industries, helping to improve living conditions in Russia. The relaxation of Stalinist policy meant that although rigid central control was retained, Party power was weakened in the countryside. When Khrushchev came to power in 1953, he inherited the rigid centralised economy symbolic with the Stalinist era. In 1956
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