“Stalin Transformed Russia from a Backward Country Into a Great World Power… but the Cost Was Certainly Exorbitant."Discuss.

1059 WordsSep 10, 20135 Pages
“Stalin transformed Russia from a backward country into a great world power… but the cost was certainly exorbitant” (The Guardian newspaper, 6 March 1933) Discuss. After becoming leader of Russia, a country that by his accounts, ‘was 50 to 100 years behind advanced countries’ Joseph Stalin sought to enhance Russia quickly, before ‘being crushed by his opponents’ (Stalin, 1931) To make up the vast difference between the agrarian country he had, and the superpower he dreamt about, Stalin determined to use every method available to him, often extending to exorbitant levels. He needed to modernize the agricultural system, rapidly increase Russia’s industry and change the soviet people’s social and political ways of life. Whilst eventually…show more content…
As a result, kulaks were either deported to labour camps or shot, and according to historian, Robert Conquest, about 7.5 million people died from dekulakization. Additionally, some areas of the greater Soviet Union were neglected as a result of collectivization. Conquest again argues that masses of food were taken away from the Ukrainian people, and they were barred entry into Russia. These factors instituted the Holodomor, the famine in the Ukraine. An estimated 7.5 million people starved to death. Despite the good effects of collectivization, the sheer number of deaths related to instituting the program shows the cost outweighs the means. Stalin also managed to build a massive industry, but at the excessively high cost of millions of lives. Firstly, Stalin created a massive, booming industry, enough to bypass generations of normal work, in ten years. To do this, he devised two five-year plans, to turn Russia from Agrarian to a modern industrial society. Looking at the numbers, the two plans were very successful. The amount of electricity produced was multiplied seven fold, and coal and oil production tripled. The increased productions allowed the Russians to run a war machine capable of stopping anyone, even the Nazis. Those who were enthusiastic about their work, and tried extra hard, were rewarded. Workers like Alexey Stakhanov, a normal guy made famous by stalin for mining 14 times his quota,

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