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Lenin and Stalin’s Attempt to Improve the Soviet Economy Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

Lenin and Stalin both attempted to improve the soviet economy, they each had a number of successes and failures. The Civil War between the Red and the White army had destroyed the Soviet economy. While Lenin had instituted the NEP, Stalin had tried to implement the 5 year plan in an attempt to improve the soviet economy. During the NEP the workers and farmers were much happier and they produced a lot of goods. However this method was highly ineffective because the farms were small (Source E, test booklet). They were allowed to sell their excess food and produce in the open market as long as they would pay taxes to the government. A new class was known as the Kulaks were formed. It was made by farmers that had gained wealth from leasing their land and frim hiring workers. During the NEP small and medium sized businesses were privatised while the more important aspects of the industry such as transport and foreign trade were handled by the government (Source E). By the late 1920’s the economy was much stronger than before it was before the revolution. NEPMAN was a term used to describe factory owners and independent retailers that had started their own establishments and businesses.

The five year plan had been drawn up by Stalin and the GOSPLAN. Stalin believed that the country had the potential to overtake the capitalist countries. In one of S

talin’s speeches he wrote about how the Soviet Union had been turned into a modern country capable

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of mass producing and with modern means of attack (Source 6). Stalin lived in fear that Germany would attack Russia so he tried to modernise the industries in order to defeat the people them. Included in the five year plan was collectivisation, which involved modernising the agriculture, increasing the rate of production. It also included grouping everyone’s land and equipment called Kolkhoz and to work under instructions from, the communist party. Stalin’s collectivisation had been successful in that 90 percent of Russia had been collectivised. Workers had been placed where ever they were needed by communist officials. The production levels had been very successful and not only were they able to make produce for them but they had cash crops for export. New modern methods had been introduced to try produce more and for other purposes (Source F) Even though the collectivisation was very successful it had many failures.

There was a famine caused because of this that could have been prevented and it could have saved millions and millions of people. The communists that were in charge eliminated anyone that disagreed with them especially the Kulaks whom Stalin had blamed all the resistance on. The amount of stock and produce they had begun to fall. There were many downfalls to the NEP that made Stalin put Collectivization into place. Before the workers only grew enough food and grain for themselves or if they wanted to make a profit. They were also behind the times and desperately needed to modernise everything they had to improve productivity. Many of the workers lived in the country and were able to receive income to support themselves by selling their surplus produce.

The Kulaks opposed communism and were very influential. They lead the opinion on the peasants and this later led to many of them being eliminated under Stalin’s rule. We see many similarities in both Lenin and Stalin’s economic policies. Throughout both periods millions of Russians were murdered. Some were murdered as a result of starvation while others were murdered for having different views. To both Stalin and Lenin this was not about helping the country but rather about gaining power and respect for themselves. Through their successes and failures Stalin and Lenin attempted and succeeded in different ways to improve the soviet economy.

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