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The Emergence ofJoseph Stalin aka “Joe Steel”
The Emergence of Joseph Stalin • Russia became the USSR (or Soviet Union) in 1922 • Lenin died in 1924 • The nation was still in poverty • though geographically vast, it had few great cities in early 20’s • its rivers were unharnessed, its minerals untouched
though railways existed there was not much in the way of modern transportation • in 1925 only 7448 cars, 5500 trucks and 263 buses
80% of people lived on farms • most of these were peasants (120 million) • most peasants were desperately poor--even in 1928 five and a half million families still broke soil with wooden ploughs • half the nation’s grain harvested with scythes and sickles • richer peasants who owned farm machinery & employed labourers = kulaks.
Enter...Stalin Born IosifVissarionovich Dzhugashvili December 21, 1878 in Gori, Georgia- Russian Empire.
1901 he was accepted into the Russian Social Democratic Labor (Marxist) Party. • Gained political experience • Arrested and sent to Siberia a number of times (he kept escaping) • Administrative role in Russian Civil War • Interviewed local administrators to test loyalty to Bolsheviks Stalin = “man of steel”
Rise in political power • Stalin becomes member of Politburo (policy making body of the Communist Party during civil war) • Elected as General Secretary of the Central Committee in 1922
General Secretary 1) Began as an administrative position
General Secretary • Initially communist party members perceived Stalin as a boring “stats” man
General Secretary 2) Stalin changed it into being the leader of the Communist Party 1) Began as an administrative position 3) Stalin was able to place his supporters into positions of power
Confidence Grows - 1922 • Stalin, surrounded by his supporters, begins to oppose Lenin • Lenin feared Stalin now and asked Trotsky for help and support
Posturing Stalin “tampered” with photos/sketches, positioning himself beside Lenin who, in fact, preferred Trotsky as his replacement
Stalin angers Lenin • Stalin intercepts a letter from Lenin to Trotsky • Stalin makes an abusive phone call to Lenin’s wife
Lenin’s Last Will and Testament • "Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary, has concentrated enormous power in his hands: and I am not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient caution. I therefore propose to our comrades to consider a means of removing Stalin from this post and appointing someone else who differs from Stalin in one weighty respect: being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite, more considerate of his comrades."
Lenin dies - 1924 • before any action can be taken against Stalin
Lenin’s Death = Power Vacuum Leadership struggle between ...
Two groups / schools of thought emerge: • Moderates 2) Left Opposition
1) Moderates: - maintain NEP - slow transition to Communism - limit pressure on peasantry - Stalin pretended to be a Moderate (gain support)
2) Left Opposition - want quick transition to Communism - want rapid transition in heavy industry - Trotsky part of this group.
“Socialism in One Country” International Socialism
Stalin Defeats Trotsky HOW: 1) Stalin offers Russians peace / security not war 2) General Secretary of the Party = powerful
Stalin Defeats Trotsky cont. RESULT: 1. Trotsky exiled 1929
Stalin Defeats Trotsky cont. RESULT: 1. Trotsky exiled 1929 > assassinated by KGB in 1940 (Mexico)
Stalin Defeats Trotsky cont. RESULT: 1. Trotsky exiled 1929 > assassinated by KGB in 1940 (Mexico) 2. Extreme economic restructuring (5 Year Plans)
U.S.S.R. (1924-1929) Economically: Chaotic - mix of capitalism & Marxism -peasant dominated -not advanced industrially -food shortages in urban centres - agric. conditions improved so food prices drop - but price of manufactured goods still high so peasants can't get goods they need or want. - debate forms: heavy industry or consumer goods... also, need to re-arm U.S.S.R - leads to "guns or butter" question... (arms vs. consumer goods) * Stalin opts for "guns" - most of GNP deployed to industry (not private consumption)
Economy under Stalin: • Stalin recognized that U.S.S.R economy was far behind other modern nations. • Quote: “We must do in ten to fifteen years what you have done in 150”. • He would force U.S.S.R to rapidly industrialize by instituting his “Five Year Plans”
A. 1st Five Year Plan (1928) • Command Economy: - gov't controls production, distribution, consumption - attempt to dramatically increase industrial production by setting quotas/ targets - focus on “Heavy Industry” w/ emphasis on power, energy, dams, oil, transport, concrete, iron, steel - total state control of economy (exact opposite of free market economy)
A. 1st Five Year Plan cont. 2. Collectivization: WHAT? - a process of forcing peasants to give up their own land and become workers on collective farms > state owned - create collective farms “Kolkhoz”: > Grouping together of livestock > Small farms pooled into larger farms (thousands of acres of land with hundreds of peasants working them) > Pool equipment, resources, expertise
A. 1st Five Year Plan - Collectivization cont. WHY? • increase efficiency > better use of modern farm equipment (tractors, combines) • implement Communism; eliminate private land ownership • increase gov't control over the economy and peasants (quotas) • increase Stalin's power over the state
Humanitarian Consequences of Collectivization: “You Can’t Make An Omelette Without Breaking Some Eggs...”
Humanitarian Consequences of Collectivization: a). Kolkhoz working conditions: • Grueling hours, backbreaking work • System of internal passports prevented peasants from leaving their farms • If born on a Kolkhoz, had to stay there for whole lives. • Essentially “neo-serfdom” – Communist bureaucracy replaced the former landowners.
Humanitarian Consequences of Collectivization cont. b). Kulaks: • wealthy peasants > targeted by Stalin • self-sufficient > did not want collectivization Stalin's Response: - sees them as "enemies of the state" - "liquidated" - eliminated as an example > killed or > marched to Siberia to Gulags - die /work in mines until dead
Humanitarian Consequences of Collectivization- Kulaks cont. Why?Kulaks were a symbol of free enterprise (capitalism) and therefore a threat to collectivization. Result: • approx. 5 million Kulaks died / "disappeared" • massive famine & persecution led to millions more deaths • estimated 6-7 million die from 1920-1938.