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The Soviet State Under Stalin

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1 The Soviet State Under Stalin

2 The Soviet Union Russia renamed to Soviet Union in 1924 (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -- USSR) It contained 11 semi-autonomous republics. The 1936 Stalin Constitution created the Supreme Soviet (parliament) directly elected by all citizens 18 and over.

3 The Soviet Government In reality, state control was exercised by the Communist Party. Central Committee was the apex of Soviet power (about 70 people in 1930s) Politburo: About a dozen members; dominated discussions of policy and personnel General Secretary: highest position of power; created by Stalin

4 Power Struggle Power struggle ensued after Lenin’s death in 1924: he left no chosen successor Joseph Stalin believed in "Socialism in one Country": first, Russia had to be strong Establishment of a Socialist economy without the aid of the West

5 Power Struggle Leon Trotsky believed in "permanent revolution": continuing a world revolution Party leaders believed Trotsky was too idealistic; Russia first had to survive Stalin gained control in 1927 and had total control by 1929; Trotsky exiled soon after.

6 Stalin’s Victory Stalin maneuvered to gain support in the Communist Party. He allied himself with various members of the party. He had Trotsky expelled then exiled to Mexico, where he was murdered by a Stalinist agent in 1940.

7 The Five Year Plans "Revolution from above" (1st Five Year Plan), 1928; marked end of NEP Objectives: Total industrial output to increase by 250%; steel by 300%; agriculture by 150% 1/5 of peasants were scheduled to give up their private plots and join collective farms “We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years. Either we do it or we shall go under.”

8 The Five Year Plans Results: steel up 400% (now 2nd largest steel producer in Europe); oil up 300%; massive urbanization (25 million people moved to cities) Costs: quality of goods suspect; standard of living did not rise

9 Collectivization Collectivization was the greatest of all costs
Purpose: bring peasantry under absolute control of the communist state Consolidation of individual peasant farms into large, state-controlled enterprises. Farmers paid according to amount of work; portion of harvest paid to gov't

10 Collectivization Goals:
Use of machines in farm production, to free more people to work in industry Gov't control over production Extend socialism to countryside

11 Collectivization Results:
Opposed by farmers as it placed them in a bound situation like the mirs. Kulaks, wealthiest peasants, offered greatest resistance to collectivization Stalin ordered party workers to "liquidate them as a class." 10 million dead due to collectivization (7 million in forced starvation in Ukraine)

12 Collectivization Results: Agricultural output no greater than in 1913
By 1933, 60% of peasant families were on collective farms; 93% by 1938. Eventually, the state was assured of grain for bread for urban workers who were more important politically than the peasants. Collective farmers first had to meet grain quotas before feeding themselves.

13 Soviet Reforms Benefits for workers:
Old-age pensions, free medical services, free education, and day-care centers for children Education was key to improving one’s position: specialized skills and technical education. Many Russians saw themselves building world’s first socialist society while capitalism crumbled during the Great Depression USSR attracted many disillusioned Westerners to communism in the 1930s.

14 Stalin's propaganda campaign
Purpose: To glorify work to soviet people--an at­tempt to encourage worker productivity Used technology for propaganda Newspapers (esp. Pravda), films, and radio broadcasts emphasized socialist achievements and capitalist plots. Sergei Eisenstein: patriotic Russian filmmaker (socialist realism) Writers & artists expected to glorify Stalin and the state; work was closely monitored Religion was persecuted: Stalin hoped to turn churches into "museums of atheism"

15 Women Russian Revolution immediately proclaimed complete equality of rights for women. In 1920s divorce and abortion made easily available. Women urged to work outside the home and many women worked as professionals and in universities. Women still expected to do household chores in off hours as Soviet men considered home and children women’s responsibility. Men continued to monopolize the best jobs. Rapid change and economic hardship led to many broken families.

16 The Great Purge First directed against peasants after 1929, terror used increasingly on leading Communists, powerful administrators, and ordinary people, often for no apparent reason. The "Great Purge" resulted in 8 million arrests Show trials used eradicate "enemies of the people" (usually ex-party members)

17 The Great Purge Late 1930s, dozens of Old Bolsheviks tried and executed (Lenin's closest followers) Purges: 40,000 army officers were expelled or liquidated (weakened USSR in WWII) Millions of citizens were killed, died in labor camps, or simply disappeared.

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