‘’Explain the methods taken by Stalin to transform the Soviet Union in the period 1924-1939’’
Commencing from the year 1924 and ending in 1939, Stalin undertook many methods to change the Soviet Union socially and economically. Socially, he developed a ‘cult of personality’, which portrayed Stalin as an all knowing and powerful figure, consequently ensuring his position as leader of the communist party and justifying many of his policies and actions. However, to maintain his position as dictator of the Soviet Union he deployed many atrocious methods, mainly repression of the people. Methods he undertook were; institutionalised terror which found expression in the purges, thus introducing the idea of ‘class enemies’ or ‘class war’.
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Failure to reach these targets was a criminal offence while success would bring bonuses. The first two plans focused heavily on improving heavy industry while the third plan focused more on defence as the country geared itself for an oncoming war. Despite phenomenal results such as an increase of coal production from 36 million tonnes to 130 million tonnes and iron production from 3 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes, a drive for heavy industry left the consumer sector neglected and the standard of living dropped immensely for a Soviet Citizen. Strikers were shot, and wreckers (slow workers) could be executed or imprisoned. Thousands died from accidents, starvation or cold. Housing and wages were terrible, and no consumer goods were produced for people. With all negatives and positives considered, the five-year plan did transform the Soviet Union, the Soviet economic expansion was occurring while the world was suffering from the Great depression and vast factories were built in places like Stalingrad, Leningrad and other cities across the Soviet Union. They also built hydro-electric dams, canals, railways and other infrastructural projects.
A way in which Stalin changed the agricultural sector of the Soviet Union was through collectivisation of agriculture. In 1924, 80 per-cent of the Russian population were part of the agriculture section. Many of these farmers lived in primitive conditions using backward ways of farming; the