Stalin and Collectivisation

Analyse the purpose and impact of Stalin’s Five Year Plans and collectivization.

Stalin’s policies of collectivization and the Five Year Plans had a massive impact on Soviet society. The purpose of collectivization was to modernize agriculture, increase crop production for export to buy machinery, and the destruction of the kulak class. The plan was an economic and humanitarian failure, resulting in famine and decreased production values. The Five Year Plans aimed to modernize Russian industry, prepare for the possibility of war, and to solidify Stalin’s hold over economy and society. In these regards, the Five Year Plans proved to be incredibly successful.
Collectivization did not achieve its intended purpose of modernizing agriculture, but the procurement of grain allowed the USSR to purchase necessary machinery, and the destruction of the Kulak class was achieved.

Method of collectivisation:
  * Kolkhozee, or collective farms, would be established- farmers would pool their land and livestock
  * Sovkoze, state-run farms where farmers would be paid a wage
  * Livestock and grain were forcibly collectivized by the OGPU and Red Army units
  * Destruction of the kulak class: many were executed or deported to the Gulags, all 7 million of the Kulak class were eliminated
  * A consequential famine, many starved to death
  * Production values fell dramatically; the Kulaks were the most productive class, and peasants refused to work as wage labourers
  * Procurement rose; the state was able to purchase machinery needed for the following Industrialisation
  * Peasants no longer had control of the countryside; Stalin’s power solidified

Five Year Plans
  * The state took total control of the economy: decided what was to be produced, where it would be produced, and when, and which sectors of the economy had priority
  * Failure to reach targets was a criminal offense
  * Huge emphasis on heavy industry
  * Workers were excited at...