Stalin’s rule was disastrous in certain aspects such as industrialisation, collectivisation, the purges and the culture and social aspects of Russia at this time, but in the course of the hardship endured by all, a new and better country was formed. Through the period of Stalin’s dictatorship, it was not an ideal place to live, but his goals were substantially fulfilled for the model Russia.
Industrialisation was a major enforcement that mostly brought about disastrous effects on Russia and its people. At this time, Russia was approximately fifty years behind the dominant powers in technology and production rates. Stalin set about rectifying this problem by introducing the Five Year Plans. There were three in total, which saw Russia grow through the world’s depression. These Plans, however, did not have the people’s welfare as priority, but the country’s. As the people make the country, it is essential to put them first. Stalin was not concerned for the people’s comfort and happiness, which contributed to their reluctance to work hard that they were forced to do regardless of their preferred choices. Industry was Stalin’s main focus to aid the modernisation process. Iron, steel, oil and coal was the production which helped gain ties with other nations.
This was not necessarily a good thing as the prosperity promoted Russia as an asset to neighbouring countries during the war. The defeat of the Germans in World War II resulted in Russia being seen, as one of the leading world powers was one example of the Soviet Union’s success in industrialisation. Industrialisation was not a complete disaster, however, as Russia caught up many years to the principal powers. It was absolutely catastrophic concerning the people of Russia, as they had to work endlessly under atrocious conditions and great pressure from the authorities who were also being pressured by Stalin to fulfil his unreasonable requirements.
Collectivisation was disastrous in the way that millions died, peasants were forced to abandon their homes and farms and that agriculture did not become as successful as Stalin would have liked, however, collectivisation was a benefit to Stalin as he gained control over the countryside and the peasants. Not one person was left unhurt from the effects of collectivisation. Civil war soon developed – the peasantry against the authorities. As a result, millions of people died from either bloody warfare or starvation. Livestock had drastically reduced as the people ate them as a last resort. In this way, Stalin’s ideas were disastrous. The economy also suffered extensively from poor grain production. Politically, however, Stalin was successful as the Soviet Union controlled the people more than before. This was not ruinous for Stalin as the peasants could not control the prices of their produce and charge the state excessive amounts.
The purges were an absolute catastrophe for the people of Russia, with the exception of Stalin securing his absolute rule. Approximately twenty million people died as a result of the horrific purges. In the early 1930’s, Stalin began to realise that there was growing opposition to his policies. Public criticisms of him were mounting and consequently Stalin realised something had to be done to keep his power. This could have been the beginning of disaster for Stalin, but he managed to maintain his position by the executions of major political leaders on trumped-up charges such as conspiring against the Soviet Union, spying for the enemy and attempting to cause a movement against Stalin. Stalin did not stop there, but went on to execute members of the NKVD and top leaders of the Red Army.
Stalin called a halt to the purging process when there were young, fresh people totally loyal to Stalin as members of the party. Many people died who were important and who could have made a difference to Russia. Stalin’s rule was safe for the time being, enabling him to concentrate on the inevitable threat of war, which was looming in the near future. The purges were a part of Russia’s plagued history, which brought about much unhappiness and unrest in the community. The only positive aspects were that Stalin maintained his powerful, total rule over Russia, and the purges now saw job openings for those of the lower class, which was a great opportunity to serve Russia.
Stalin’s ideals on social life and culture for Russia brought about more misery than joy, as there were many dramatic alterations to daily life, which mainly had negative consequences. People were expected to live how the Communists wished them to live. Writers, artists and filmmakers were only to produce work to do with praising and promoting the Communist beliefs. This did not allow these people to express themselves in a natural way, which was disastrous as they were emotionally prisoners of the Soviet Union from being unable to work freely. A benefit for the people was that education was emphasised and illiteracy was almost eliminated by 1939. Women were treated with more respect and equality than previously and were allowed access to some jobs that were disallowed from them in prior years. In this respect of Stalin’s rule, there were only parts of daily life that suffered from the disastrous effects.
Stalin’s rule involved positive aspects, but mainly negative regarding the people’s welfare. Stalin benefited the most from his ideals. Industrialisation, collectivisation, the purges and the changes socially had devastating and marked effects on the people of Russia. To this extent, Stalin ruined Russia for the people but managed to modernise the country successfully.
Courtney from Study Moose
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