Stalin’s Economic Policies


1. Russian farming backward and inefficient
2. Millions of tiny peasant farms to be forcibly gathered into large state-run farms
3. Surplus grain to be either sold abroad to buy machinery for modern farming or for industries in the cities or to feed the bigger populations needed in the cities for industrial growth
4. Dispossessed peasants to be moved to cities to work in the new factories
5. Poorest peasants happy – steady job and wage
6. Richer farmers (Kulaks) stand to lose so resist fiercely – burning crops and killing livestock
7. Famine results – up to 7m die
8. Kulaks as a class of people, 7m strong, either killed or sent to work camps (Gulags)
9. Collectivisation generally seen as a disaster

Collectivisation – Why?

1. Soviet agriculture too backward and needs to be modernised (old machinery & subsistence)
2. More food needed for workers in towns (essential for 5-year plans)
3. NEP not working (cities are 20m tonnes of grain short)
4. More workers needed for towns
5. Cash crops needed
6. Kulaks needed to be brought in line (resisted communism)

Collectivisation – Results:

1. 99% of farmland collectivised
2. More modern (machinery, methods etc)
3. 1937 – 97m tonnes of grain produced plus other cash crops for export
4. 1937 – 17m peasants now working in industry in towns/cities
5. Stalin has total control over agriculture
6. Millions died from famine
8. Kulaks class eliminated. 7million killed.
9. 1937 – livestock numbers still not recovered to levels of 10 years previously

Five - Year Plans

1. 1928-1932 – Development of Heavy Industry, Industrial machinery and Agricultural equipment. Good progress made.
2. 1933-1937 – Continued machinery production and some Consumer Goods -
3. 1938-1941 – Consumer goods soon overshadowed by War Production

Five - Year Plans

1. Mainly concentrate on heavy industries – coal, oil, steel etc