What was the main purpose of Stalin’s 5 year plan

Joseph Stalin’s five years plan is an important way of planning economic growth over a limited period of time. The five-year plans are created with the objective of making a proper plan so that economic growth can be achieved as expected. It was fully utilised in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin, and later it has been adopted by many socialist states. The first five year plan in the Soviet Union started in 1928 and continued till 1932 under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The main purpose of this first five year plan was on developing heavy industry and collectivising agriculture and at the same time it was aimed at achieving a drastic fall in consumer goods. The main purpose of Joseph Stalin under the five year plan was to convert the Soviet Union into a world power. This is to achieve by way of a massive agricultural and industrial advancement within a short period of time of five years.

Collectivisation of agriculture remained the focus area in first five year plan

Agriculture was collectivised during this period of five years with the objective of achieving bigger farms under state control. Collectivisation of agriculture means the land would no longer belong to individual peasants and it is acquired by the state. However it does not prove to be effective because it has resulted into a grain crisis and there was lack of effective participation in this collectivisation among many of the peasants. The strategies used by Stalin to ensure active participation were highly abusive and those who disobeyed were shot or sent to labour camps. Collectivisation was forced among the peasants with the objective of industrialisation of agriculture, but there was resistance identified among many of the peasants to collectivise. They were highly interested in working on their own land rather than supporting the attempt to collectivise.

Industrialisation is used as a factor to promote collectivisation

Industrialisation was an essential requirement for the collectivisation to succeed. There were requirements for tractors and agricultural machines by bigger farms, and emphasizes were made on heavy industry and rapid industrial progress. The overall infrastructure was developed at a rapid pace with new factories and towns were set up in record time. New roads and railways were built up with the objective of supporting industrialisation and ultimately collectivisation. The target set up by the government was highly ambitious and industrialization was aimed to accomplish through forced labour, terror, competition and incentives, low wages, technical training and literary programs.

Success/failure of the Stalin’s first five year plan

The overall Emphasis of the first five year plan was therefore on achieving industrialisation and collectivization through forceful measures, and Stalin has declared the success of the first five year plan by all these strategies. Such claims of success of the first five year plan were made on the basis of exceeding the production goals for heavy industry. However, in reality, the plan was considered a failure despite many actions because it failed to meet all the quotas and had a negative implication on human life. All the initiatives to achieve industrialisation were made at the cost of human life and it is the major factor that indicates the failure of the first five year plan. Joseph Stalin carried out many such five year plans after recognising the first one as a successful one.

Subsequent five year plans for Stalin to promote economic growth

The second five year plan started in the year 1933 and continued till 1937 and the focus of this five year plan was on continuing the objective of the first plan i.e. to collectivisation and industrialisation. In addition to this, the second five year plan also emphasised on stanlinist policies and they have created terrible famines that caused the death of millions of people. The third five year plan was carried out from 1938 to 1942 and it focused on the production of armaments. The fourth five year plan started from 1946 and lasted till 1953 and the main emphasis during this period was on heavy industry and military build-up. As a result of this development, the western powers got angry with the Soviet Union.

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  • ‘Stalin was ruthless in his mission to implement communism in Russia through the Five-Year Plans, from 1928 to 1939.’Critically discuss this statement. Use relevant historical evidence to support your line of argument.
  • The first Five-Year Plan, introduced in 1928, concentrated on the development of iron and steel, machine tools, electric power and transport. Joseph Stalin set the workers high targets. He demanded a 110% increase in coal production, 200% increase in iron production and 335% increase in electric power. Write an essay in which you discuss the impact of Stalin’s Five-Year Plans on the Soviet Union.
  • Discuss the impact of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan on the people of the Soviet Union. KEY ASPECTS Introduction Stalin’s economic policy of industrialisation – make a statement linked to the question. Purges and show trials of the 1930s and the effects of Stalin’s policies on the Soviets

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