Tuesday, August 27, 2019
5-Year Plans and Its Role in Russian History between 1924 and 1945 Essay
5-Year Plans and Its Role in Russian History between 1924 and 1945 - Essay Example A third Five Year Plan was also launched in 1938 to double the 1937 levels, however, this came to a premature end in 1941 when the Soviet Union entered the Second World War and the focus changed from industrialization and national growth to weapon production to support the Soviet military. In effect, the three Five Year plans brought holistic and comprehensive changes to Stalin's Russia which moved the former backward agrarian country to the class of dominant world powers. This paper examines important elements and components of the three Five Year Plans and their impact on Russian history between 1924 and 1945. Background The Five Year Plans of Stalin was a move from the backward peasantry that existed under the Tsarist regime to a modern industrialized nation under the new Communist regime (Sladkovski, 1966). The overthrow of the Tsarist regime in 1917 and the Russian Civil War led to the complete collapse of Russia's already backward systems. In 1921 when the Bolshevik consolidate d power, Lenin introduced War Communism where communes were filled with the concept of a proletariat state where the working class and commoners were to work for the betterment of the society without a bourgeois class who were seen as rich business owners who exploited the commoners. In his vision, the society was to remain classless and everyone was to work for the betterment of the society without being exploited, according to the Marxist theories. Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy to stimulate economic activity in trade, manufacture, and agriculture (Bonnell, 1999). The New Economic Policy of Lenin blended Capitalism with Socialism (Life Magazine, 1943). It permitted peasants to sell surplus foods on the open market (Life Magazine, 1943). After the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin took over and one of the things he did was to abolish the New Economic Policy. Stalin's Motivation and Vision When Stalin took over power, he took drastic steps to reorganize the Soviet economy and social order. In doing this, Stalin built on some elements of Lenin's ideas and this include 1. A single party state 2. Single official ideology 3. Manipulation of legality and 4. Promoting state's economic dominance (Service, 2005). The plans were meant to consolidate important elements of the Soviet Union in order to attain the following ends. Stalin, therefore, used all the opportunities and power at his disposal to do so by launching the Five-Year Plans which created a framework within which the country strove to attain the four ends that were identified from the era of Lenin. By the era of 1929 and 1930, the Soviet Union was heavily reliant on technology from the United States and Germany (Jacobson, 1994). Russia needed structures to become self-dependent. In doing this, there was the need for the country to have the right structures. One of them was to be able to manufacture its own inputs in areas like steel production and in primary research.