Stalin’s policy priorities were not building a ‘worker’s paradise’ or a classless society, but protecting Russia from war and invasion. In 1928, Stalin launched the first of two ambitious five-year plans to modernize and industrialize the Soviet economy. These programs brought rapid progress – but also significant death and suffering. Stalin’s decision to nationalize agricultural production dispossessed millions of peasants, forcing them from their land to labor on gigantic state-run collective farms. Grain was sold abroad to finance Soviet industrial projects, leading to food shortages and disastrous famines in the mid-1930s. Soviet Russia was dragged into the 20th century, transforming from a backward agrarian empire into a modern industrial superpower – but this came at extraordinary human cost.
In the late 19th century Russia had been notably behind Europe economically, they weren’t in possession of the modern farming technologies that could efficiently provide for a large country. As a result 90% of the Russian population were peasants (Massey, 4). The serfs lived in deep poverty; they didn’t have the appropriate apparatus to produce enough crops and most of their landlords had unbelievably high demands. In an effort to reform the economy’s recession tsar Alexander II liberated the serfs. However this created more bad for both the serfs and the nobles. In the beginning the serfs saw this is a great victory and another reason to be thankful for their tsar. But as timed pass by the peasants saw this life of liberty and freedom to
Russia was a country rich in raw materials that had been undisturbed by modern extraction and refining techniques until then, however, the majority of the countries resource rich areas were nowhere near any railways, with the bulk of the heavy materials such as steel, iron, coal and copper being in the Urals, almost 1,000km away from the nearest railway system in 1860. Oil, another key ingredient in industrialisation was almost 1,500km away to the south, in the Caucasus area3. This lack of transportation in a period when steam powered machines were producing the goods and steam powered trains were delivering them and leading the industrialisation in other countries like Britain, the USA and a future foe in Germany is an indicator of the distance that Russia was behind its rivals under the leadership of the Tsar. So the Tsar’s Russia was largely an agrarian one, but even in the agricultural sector Russia was lagging far behind the rest of the West in terms of the methods employed by farmers, little fertiliser was used and the labour saving machines used in countries with enormous agricultural output like the US were nowhere near as widespread in Russia. The weaknesses of the Tsar’s management of the agricultural sector were highlighted in 1891 when famine hit. Due to the heavy tax on consumer goods, peasants had been forced to sell more of their
Over the period from 1855 to 1964, Russia saw various reforms and policies under the Tsars and the Communist leaders that had great impacts on its economy and society both positive and negative. Lenin definitely implanted polices that changed society and the economy for example with war communism. However whether his policies had the greatest impact is debatable and in this essay I will be assessing the view whether Lenin had the greatest impact on Russia’s economy and society than any other ruler between the period from 1855-1964.
This was achieved with the emancipation of the serfs. Still without a middle class, the government played a strong role in the early decisions with industrialization. The tsar during this time, Alexander II, had a great railroad network created that allowed for more efficient use of Russia’s plentiful natural resources.
The Russian government is creating a notable history of political and economic system changes, as well as leaders. Although the age of the Russian Empire was the beginning of the established long-lasting power, it had some fundamental faults in terms of wealth and equality of its citizens. Tsars and tsarinas had too much power to provide the necessary equilibrium of social growth and development. This problem was developed and used to convert the country into the era of socialism, which later became the communist era. Despite strong hopes of positive changes after the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the current, “semi-presidential” Russian federation hasn’t gone too far from its wealth-egoist past. However, it raises the question: what
The Russian Revolution of 1917 set the country on a course that few other countries took in the 20th century. The shift from the direction of a democratic, parliamentary-style government to a one party communist rule was a drastic change that many did not and could not predict. Looking back on this key moment in Russian history, many historians ask the question ‘why did the political power in Russia shift to the Bolsheviks’? Since the revolution in 1905 Russia was becoming progressively more democratic, distributing power throughout the political sphere. This came to an abrupt halt when Vladimir Lenin was put into power by the Bolshevik takeover of the Provisional Government. Many authors have had different takes on this event. Two particularly interesting ones were Arthur Mendel and John D. Basil. Their pieces On Interpreting the Fate of Imperial Russia and Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution give various perspectives on the Russian Revolution and attempt to answer the question of the power shift. This key point in Russia’s history sets the tone for the next 100 years. Russia became a superpower, an enemy of the United States, started multiple wars directly and indirectly, and started using an economic system used by various countries around the world. Today we still see the effects of the 1917 Revolution. Looking at both Mendel’s and Basil’s attempt to answer why the power shifted to the Bolsheviks. Since both historian 's account of the events is different they cannot
Russia, as a country, has had a long and proud history. However, for a small time starting in 1917, things started to take a turn for the worse. There was widespread famine, disease, and killing by the instituted government. There was also no Russia. Instead, there was the glorious United Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR. This new country did not come around peacefully, but instead under the 1917 Russian Revolution and the revolting communist Bolsheviks. The Russian people were not in a better condition after the Russian revolution due to Stalin’s leadership of his country; the reason being the GULAGs that Stalin was sending his people to, the communes that the peasants were sent to, and the disastrous effects of his five year plans.
Even though the state budget more than doubled because of Witte's work , the dependece on loans from abroad , which had to be paid back, should not fall in oblivion.Moreover Witte didn't aid the local industries and the agricultural modernasation since he thought the peasant could just be forced into
The last Tsar Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894 and was faced with a country that was trying to free itself from its autocratic regime. The serfs had recently been emancipated, the industry and economy was just starting to develop and opposition to the Tsar was building up. Russia was still behind Europe in terms of the political regime, the social conditions and the economy. Nicholas II who was a weak and very influenced by his mother and his wife had to deal with Russia’s troubles during his reign. In order to ascertain how successfully Russia dealt with its problems by 1914, this essay will examine the October Manifesto and the split of the opposition, how the Tsar became more reactionary after the 1905 revolution, Stolypin’s
Joseph Stalin’s three decade long dictatorship rule that ended in 1953, left a lasting, yet damaging imprint on the Soviet Union in political, economic and social terms. “Under his inspiration Russia has modernised her society and educated her masses…Stalin found Russia working with a wooden plough and left her equipped with nuclear power” (Jamieson, 1971). Although his policies of collectivisation and industrialisation placed the nation as a leading superpower on the global stage and significantly ahead of its economic position during the Romanov rule, this was not without huge sacrifices. Devastating living and working standards for the proletariat, widespread famine, the Purges, and labour camps had crippling impacts on Russia’s social
This demonstrates that since the stress of waging war was tremendous, it should be no surprise that the first war could be a primary cause of the Russian Revolution. Moreover, the major powers of Europe hurt Russia in World War I; yet, by 1917, all the combatants horrifically suffered from the strains of war economically, proving this to be a long-term cause. This was, to a great extent, considerable because the military defeats and social strains of World War I had created a crisis in Imperial Russia. Before, Russia had some military accomplishments and they were on their way to being successful. Nevertheless, their triumphs were not long-standing; hence, Russia was not able to be victorious due to the fact that Russia decreased in economy because of the limitations in Russia. Similarly, restraints included the shortage of food and the huge problems with getting the obligatory materials for the army during World War I, which shows that this was momentous. Along with Russia being defeated and having a scarcity of supplies, Russia also showed economic oppression due to the pressure in jobs workers faced.
Many historians argue The Emancipation of the Serfs in 1861, to be a key turning point within Russian history. It drastically altered Russia’s economic, political and social stipulation. One could propose the argument that this event lead to the fall of communism in 1990, further more suggesting the extent to which this event affected Russia. Hence this is ‘perhaps the most defining moment in Russian history, with its impact being seen many years after the event itself’. Although historians identify short term effects of this event, the significance to which this event
Stalins father, Besarion was born a serf. He was not allowed to leave the land and be independent. He was under total control of a lord. Many serfs tried to improve their income. Yet, the nobles always said no. Finally Czar Alexander the second was scared that he could no longer control the serfs. In 1861, he issued the Emancipation Edict,
Stephen Hoch in a study that he conducted on a small Russian village called Petrovskie makes some insightful inferences about the serf system there. In Russia, as well as Europe in the 17th century, the serfs were ?managed? in a way that more closely represented exploitation. Very little was invested in improving the state of the land that they cultivated and instead the emphasis was placed on compelling the serfs to produce more. Meanwhile the landowner merely reaped the benefits and rarely reinvested in the venture. This study is relevant because it was taking place at the same time as the Manifesto was being written.[v] The system led to a series of revolutions because as Hoch deduced, ?Serf behavior and attitudes were in fact an integrated human response to the ecological constraints at work in the society and to the inhumane degradation of being reduced to property.?[vi]