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Emergence of Josef Stalin – Part II

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1 Emergence of Josef Stalin – Part II
By Mr. Baker

2 Stalin’s New Constitution
In 1936, Stalin decided that it was time to draft a new constitution which would: Preserve his autocratic power Give the appearance of democracy to Russia It was adopted by popular vote and went into effect in 1938

3 Stalin’s New Constitution
Included a Bill of Rights: Freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion Right to employment and holidays with pay Universal suffrage was ensured for every man and woman aged 18 or over (and secret ballot) The Communist Party was the only legal party in Russia

4 Criticism of the Constitution
Although elections were held, only communist names appeared on the ballot Russia remained a police state. Many thousands of people suspected of disloyalty to communism were sent to labor camps, exiled, imprisoned or put to death without trial The Constitution consolidated the Communist Party’s hold over the country

5 Social Control Stalin’s goal of “Socialism in One Country” put productivity before any social programs Religion, education, youth programs, and culture were all geared to increasing industrial and agricultural production

6 Social Control The secret police were renamed from the Cheka to the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) The purpose of the organization was to purge counter-revolutionaries The Gulag, or forced labor camps contained several million inmates of both criminal and political dissenters

7 Life of Workers Unemployment in Soviet Russia was unknown and crime was scarce Workers received free education, day cares, free medical services, and old-age pensions

8 Life of Workers However, the pay was poor and consumer goods were simply not produced There were few individual freedoms for workers Working conditions were dangerous and if targets were not met, severe punishments would be inflicted Overcrowding and poor sanitation were common Food prices were high in the early years of collectivization Most houses only had one room

9 Life of Workers Workers worked hard anyhow because:
Stalin was known as “Uncle Joe” – they believed in his propaganda and thought they were working for a better society Groups of workers were encouraged to compete against one another for rewards Those who did not work hard were sent to Gulags (missing work carried a prison sentence)

10 The Purges Involved “the removal of unwanted or potentially threatening elements from the country”: Intelligentsia Religious groups Non-Russian nationalities Fabricated charges were laid to intimidate suspects into naming other potential threats to the Soviet regime

11 The Purges – Show Trials
Show Trials of prominent communists were often staged based on forced confessions and ending in hangings or shootings Kamenev and Zinoviev were arrested and given a Show Trial for the murder of one of Stalin’s officials They were shot

12 The Purges – Show Trials
Bukharin was arrested and forced to confess to several murders, treason, and espionage He was executed Trotsky fled to Mexico, where he was killed by an NKVD agent in 1940

13 The Purges Other officials, church members, army officers, kulaks, and counter-revolutionaries were purged

14 Reasons for the Terror The reasons for the purges were:
To remove rivals and those who weren’t for Stalin’s ideology To replace people with officials who were devoted to Stalin To create a source of slave labor to reach industrial goals Terrorize the population by arresting the innocent as well as the guilty, so that no one could feel safe To rid of opposition who would’ve opposed an alliance with Hitler Stalin had a brutal personality Stalin believed that traditionally people valued a strong Tsar Overzealousness to settle personal scores

15 Effects of the Purges Approximately 20 million died
Opposition to Stalin was removed The Cult of Personality around Stalin grew Many of the most talented and proficient members of Soviet society were eliminated Initiative became dangerous The purge of Soviet army officers weakened the army and may have encouraged Hitler’s attack Millions of innocent people were executed or imprisoned

16 Easing Restrictions on Freedom
Army – Many people served who were indifferent to or hostile to communism Some people were promoted from labor camps Party – There were no meetings of the Politburo, Central Committee, or National Congress The USSR was governed by the State Defense Committee (GKO)

17 Easing Restrictions on Freedom
Industry – Needed war materials and had to reintroduce some elements of a market system Local initiative was allowed Agriculture – Peasants could work the land in a collective and take the rest for their own profit Could use public facilities and tools for private work Ideology – Stalin appealed to traditional patriotism and nationalism to defend “Mother Russia” rather than Marxist-Leninism

18 Stalin as a War Leader The bad:
Was unprepared since Stalin had been banking on time to prepare and launch an attack Stalin interfered with operational decisions and no one dared to contradict him People hastened to propose what he would wish to hear, so he didn’t get good advice He blamed failures on scapegoats Stalin would sacrifice men and materials without a second thought

19 Stalin as a War Leader The good:
The Five Year Plans provided a good base for transition to a wartime economy The movement of huge industries east, out of the path of the invaders, was one of the greatest achievements Stalin learned to leave military tactics to local commanders The victory preserved and legitimized Stalinism

20 Restoration of Controls
Army – Marshall Zhukov, the victorious war leader, was transferred to the distant military district of Odessa Officers taken from the Gulags were put back there Party – The Politburo and Central Committee began to meet again; the National Congress didn’t meet until 1952

21 Restoration of Controls
Industry – Wartime labor regulations were not lifted, preserving military discipline in the factories Agriculture – The wartime drift to privatization was reversed Could no longer use public facilities and tools for private work Ideology – Was tightened – close supervision of media, literature, and arts was reimposed

22 Opposition There was a purge and massacre of those who had supported Hitler POWs returning from the West were: Put into labor camps (if Russian) Shot (if non-Russian)

23 Assessment of Stalin’s Rule
He made the Soviet Union a superpower in both land and political status Played a major part in defeating Hitler Workers who did not offend the state were better off than under the tsar Russia’s military forces benefited from industry Stalin provided a stable government structure Millions died in fame and purges

24 Assessment of Stalin’s Rule
Agriculture remained at the same level in 1930 as in 1928, but had 40 million more people Russia became a “telling” society – the secret police actively encouraged people to inform on neighbors, workmates, and family members Many of Russia’s most talented people were murdered or exiled Russia imposed Communism on many countries

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