And The Russian
People Essay, Research Paper
Stalin ruled Russia from 1928 to 1953. He had some short-term impact on
Russia but he was single-minded and not pragmatic- unlike Lenin-
therefore his impact was mostly long-term.
A significant belief of Lenin?s had been that everybody should be
equal. Where women were concerned Stalin had other ideas. He reversed many
laws from the 1920s relating to women?s emancipation, in favour of
strengthening the family. For example, divorce and child support (if
unmarried) became more difficult to obtain, abortion was made illegal, and
women lost rights in the family. Reasons being that many children had been
born out of marriage. By 1930 Moscow was awash with a high number of
homeless children who had no family and were seen as a stain on the
perfect communist society that Stalin aspired to. Women lost the rights they
had received under Lenin?s rule, silently infuriating them. Traditional
Russians, tsar-like minded, were pleased to see women relegated to the
second class again. It had mixed impact for different groups.
Like the women under Stalin?s Russia, artists and freethinkers were
oppressed and reverted to the Tsarist-like censorship. Individuality was
forbidden under Stalin and writers and artists were forced to produce
work that glorified workers, peasants and the revolution. Likewise,
newspapers were strictly censored and communist papers were exclusive.
Education had been of great importance to both leaders and was strictly
controlled under Stalin. The old Tsarist forms of education e.g.
discipline and examinations were abolished. This produced a batch of poorly
educated and unruly pupils. In 1932 Stalin introduced a rigid programme
of education i.e. exams were reintroduced and much more discipline.
History was a subject Stalin wanted children to mainly focus on,
especially as he had textbooks rewritten to exaggerate his greatness and
importance to historic events, pasting himself onto many photos and erasing
people like Trotsky. This was tightly controlled by the government and
acted as propaganda in favour of Stalin also.
Outside of school time, Stalin ensured that children were encouraged to
attend political youth groups (started by Lenin) such as the
Octobrists, the Pioneers and the Komosol. These youth groups were an ongoing
concept by Lenin, tightly linked with education of the time and shaping the
children into young Stalinists. At the time these youth groups were a
continuation of a positive programme, enabling mothers to have time to
themselves and for children to socialise, interact and learn.
Stalin had a hugely positive impact on Russian peoples? leisure time.
Sport and fitness was encouraged to improve the general health of
Russian men and women. Every worker was entitled to a holiday- something that
was unheard of before the revolution. Trade unions and collective farms
played a large part in providing clubs, sports facilities, film shows
(propaganda of course), festivals and general entertainment. Children
were given the ?Archimedes club? for child inventors, ?hall of
interesting occupations?, table games club, toy pavilion and car games.
The biggest (and most positive) impact Stalin had, however, was to
industrialise Russia and create a superpower from a destitute nation. This
was a result of Stalin?s three five-year plans. This was a long-term
impact, which later enabled Stalin to conquer the surrounding countries
in Eastern Europe.
Once Stalin had established dictatorship (after 4 years), he abolished
the When Stalin put an end to the NEP so abruptly there was mixed
feelings. The Bolsheviks and extreme communists were pleased to see the NEP
go, as it did not conform to communist ideology. Conversely, the
peasants and factory owners were not. Even with the NEP in full flow 27
million people had been queuing up on the bread line, more people? those
who depended on the policy- were now to join them. There quickly followed
mass famine across Russia, yet Stalin still made the decision to
collectivise. Collectivisation was Stalin?s solution to the appalling state
of Russia?s agriculture. He believed that Russia had to be
self-sufficient. Indeed his Five Year Plans were dependent upon the peasant
farmers providing food for the workers in the factories.
Such rapid industrialisation could only be achieved if agriculture was
made more efficient, as sufficient food had to be produced to feed the
workforce. Surplus food could then be sold for money to boost the
industrial sector. This was where collectivisation came in. Collectivisation
was implemented in 1928 and was initially on a purely voluntary basis-
at a moderate and achievable pace. In practice this wasn?t the case. In
a bid to increase collective membership, peasants were granted
incentives to join the collectives in 1930. Stalin introduced the machine
tractor station in Russia, where collectives could borrow machinery and
increase their productivity in return for payment in the form of crops.