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Stalin Essay Research Paper Thesis Statement Stalin

Stalin Essay, Research Paper Thesis Statement: Stalin’s plan of collectivization did not help but rather hurt Russia’s chances of becoming an affluent nation, free of agricultural plights.

Stalin Essay, Research Paper

Thesis Statement: Stalin’s plan of collectivization did not help but rather hurt Russia’s

chances of becoming an affluent nation, free of agricultural plights.

Outline

I. Introduction

II. Collectivism and it’s problems

A. Stalin’s declaration of collectivism

1. Procedures within the system

B. The Kulaks

C. ‘Dekulakization’ (the disposing of the kulaks)

1. Clearing them away from collectivism

D. Problems of collectivism after the Kulaks

1. The famine

E. Results of famine

1. Government reaction

2. Peasants reaction

III. Stalin’s feelings on occurrences during collectivism

IV. Failure of the early years of collectivism

A. Advantages of collectivism for Stalin

B. Stalin’s reasoning for collectivism

C. Collectivism as a waste

V. Conclusion

Abie Heiney

W. History Term Paper

3/27/’97

Mrs. Glickman

Collectivism Under Stalin

Collectivism, ‘a political or economic theory advocating collective control over production and distribution’ (Conquest 146), in Stalin’s mind, was the key to curing the agricultural ailment in Russia and in turn making Russia a more successful and powerful nation. Stalin’s plan to collectivize did not help but rather hurt Russia’s chances of becoming an affluent nation, free of agricultural plights. His methods were so inhumane that any morally correct person would never condone his outrageous behavior.

In May of 1928 Stalin decided that he wanted to take on a new form of agriculture, that which was collectivized. It required the peasants “to move lock, stock, and barrel to new farms which would be owned equally by every member, run cooperatively, and forced to hand over a certain amount of grain to the state each year.” The government felt that with the modern machinery they would be capable of producing more food with fewer workers. Individuality no longer remained in the world of agriculture in Russia, no independent selling, and no more New Economic Policy (N.E.P.), which was issued by Lenin in reaction to the post-revolution setbacks in agriculture and was considered capitalistic. It was a successful program which Stalin decided to do away with to help support his plans. Stalin said “The pause has finished, and we are returning to socialism and communism” in reaction to the N.E.P (Lewis 59-61).

There was only one thing that stood in the way of Stalin pursuing his dream and that was the Kulaks, who were the wealthier class peasants. The Kulaks, unwilling to give up the grain, which they had produced, to the Bolsheviks, started to assiduously hide it (Radzinsky 141). They did not support the plan of collectivism since they would end up having to give up their hardly acquired land and let the Soviet government become their landlords which they found to be unjust. The Kulaks were also ordered to sell the grain to the government at a low price, but they refused and Stalin felt that something had to be done about these troublesome people (Conquest 147).

Stalin’s decision on how to deal with the disagreeing Kulaks was extremely immoral. He made a plan of ‘Dekulakization’, which was the dispersing of all Kulaks from the collective farms along with anything that had to do with the plan of collectivization. In reaction the Kulaks destroyed all their crops and livestock in protest. Many of the Kulaks were forced into labor camps while others had to face their fate in the horrible death camps. The anti-kulak campaign death toll came to a rough three million people (McNeal 129-131). “Just as the German’s proclaimed that Jews are not human beings. Thus did Lenin and Stalin proclaim, Kulaks are not human beings (Conquest 160).”

Now that the Kulaks were no longer a problem Stalin thought that everything would begin to run smoothly, but he was wrong. Along with the Kulaks went the extreme farming skills they had acquired which the lower class peasants did not possess. In result the lack of efficient farmers lead to the lack of grain, and finally a devastating famine broke out among the collective farms which in no way helped the agricultural dilemma but rather deepened the predicament (Lewis 65).

There was total chaos among the peasants. Many people died every day.

A schoolgirl stated “In 1933 it really was frightening. Every day somebody did not show up for school. The children were very scared and all swollen up. I’ll never forget this. There were a lot of them who died in our class (Lewis 66).”

Around the mid-1930’s peasants started to realize that all of their hard work did not pay off because all of their produce was taken by the government and in reaction they ceased in the amount of effort they put into the collective farming (De Jong 236).

The government did not care about the people during the famine. A lot of the grain that they had, they exported, and all the leftovers were left in granaries to spoil or given to feed city workers. They made it illegal to eat any crops in the field and if one happened to violate this law they would be deported to a prison camp in Siberia. The people consumed anything that seemed edible that they could possibly get their feeble hands upon. One man even resorted to killing his own child for it’s meat (Lewis 66).

How did Stalin feel about all of this confusion? Truthfully, he really did not care. Stalin felt that it was the people’s faults because of their inexperience of knowing how to run the fields; he wanted them to realize that it was also the Kulaks fault for resisting the plans of collectivization, resulting in not being able to help the peasants make the fields more productive (Lewis 68).

Collectivization as a whole was not a success in improving Russia’s agricultural difficulties at the time, nor did it help the country to become a more powerful nation. The only thing collectivization proved was that Stalin had a massive amount of power in the way he ran the country. Stalin cared little about anyone other than himself after the death of his first wife. He said “This creature softened my heart of stone. She died and with her died my last warm feeling for people (Lewis 21).” Obviously all Stalin cared about was to improve the problems in the country even if it meant the death of many people because in 1932-33 about seven million people died in the treacherous famine, and a total of at least seventeen million died from 1929-1940 (Lewis 109). “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic (”Stalin” Com. Soft.).”

Considering all of the extreme downfalls collectivization caused upon Russia why would Stalin have ever thought of doing it in the first place? and why would he deport the most ablest farm workers? It is said that Stalin felt that the lower and middle-class peasants would be capable of handling the idea of collectivism and also Stalin might not have been thinking only about collectivism. Stalin was also worrying about a possible future uprising by the peasants, so by running collectivism he would have an absolute power over those people (De Jonge 236-237).

For several years Stalin’s collectivization plan ran the country’s agriculture to a massive low. It in no way helped the post revolutionary agricultural problems because when Stalin finally got his way in 1938 and ninety percent of all peasants lived on collective farms the production increased to the way it was before the plans of collectivization even started in 1928. The early years of collectivization caused an enormous amount of death in the Russian peasant population and did not accomplish Stalin’s goals of better production (Tucker 347).

Stalin’s ideas were looked at as a good way to make Russia’s agriculture more productive but actually it really started a civil war between peasants and the government.

The disposing of unwilling people turned out to be a bloody massacre not a productive plan (Deutscher 324).

Collectivism as a whole from 1928 to 1938 was a complete failure in increasing the productivity of agriculture in Russia and making it an affluent nation. A huge famine broke out, many people perished, a small war began, and agricultural production dropped. Stalin wasted ten years of precious time to run the country’s agriculture into the ground and later bring it back up to the level it was at before. Would one call that an accomplishment? Would one think it helped Russia in any way? Would one say that what Stalin had done was irrational and immoral? and finally Was Stalin’s collectivization plans really about helping the agricultural problems? Or not.

Conquest, Robert. Stalin: Breaker of Nations. New York: Penguin Group,

1991.

De Jonge, Alex. Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union. New York:

William Morrow and Company Incorporated, 1986.

Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin. New York, Oxford University Press, 1967.

Lewis, Jonathan and Phillip Whitehead. Stalin: A Time for Judgement. New

York: Random House, 1990.

McNeil, Robert H. Stalin Man and Ruler. New York: New York University

Press, 1988.

Radzinsky, Edvard. Stalin. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

“Stalin, Josef.” Microsoft Bookshelf’s Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Computer software. . Power CD, ‘93 ed. IBM, PC Windows 3.1, CD-ROM.

Tucker, Robert. Stalin as Revolutionary. New York: W.W. Norton and

Company, 1973.

Works Cited

Conquest, Robert. Stalin: Breaker of Nations. New York: Penguin Group,

1991.

De Jonge, Alex. Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union. New York:

William Morrow and Company Incorporated, 1986.

Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin. New York, Oxford University Press, 1967.

Lewis, Jonathan and Phillip Whitehead. Stalin: A Time for Judgement. New

York: Random House, 1990.

McNeil, Robert H. Stalin Man and Ruler. New York: New York University

Press, 1988.

Radzinsky, Edvard. Stalin. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

“Stalin, Josef.” Microsoft Bookshelf’s Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Computer software. . Power CD, ‘93 ed. IBM, PC Windows 3.1, CD-ROM.

Tucker, Robert. Stalin as Revolutionary. New York: W.W. Norton and

Company, 1973.

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