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Stalin’s Economy. How Russia’s workers were sacrificed for “the greater good”. Some Background: The Industrial Revolution: 1760-1870. New Technology. Advancements. Power Steam Electric Coal Machinery Tools. Mass production Production line “Heavy Industry” Steel Petroleum.

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stalin s economy

Stalin’s Economy

How Russia’s workers were sacrificed for “the greater good”

some background the industrial revolution 1760 1870
Some Background: The Industrial Revolution: 1760-1870

New Technology


  • Power
    • Steam
    • Electric
    • Coal
  • Machinery
  • Tools
  • Mass production
    • Production line
  • “Heavy Industry”
    • Steel
    • Petroleum
some background the industrial revolution
Some Background: The Industrial Revolution
  • Farmers moved to cities to become factory workers (urbanization)
the industrial revolution
The Industrial Revolution

“The Industrial Revolution brought severe consequences to society. Factory owners, needing cheap, unskilled labor, profited greatly by using children and women to run the machines. By the age of 6, many children were already working 14 hours a day in factories! These kids had no free time to do anything else and earned low wages. Some got sick and died because of the toxic fumes, while others were severely injured and sometimes killed working at the dangerous machines in factories. Obviously, the Industrial Revolution had both good and bad sides.” (“Industrial Revolution.”

fuel for marx s fire
Fuel for Marx’s Fire…
  • More visible separation between classes
what about russia
What about Russia??

System of serfdom (land-owners exchange land for work from unfree peasants)

  • nobility didn’t want to give up their laborers to production or infrastructure contruction (roads, canals, etc.)
  • outlawed in 1861
in the 1920s
In the 1920s…
  • Russia had just been through a huge civil war
  • The Russian economy was in shambles
  • Fewer than 20 out of every 100 people lived in the cities
  • The peasants had no industrial equipment
  • The job was to now unify the whole country mainly made up of peasants
stalin s five year plans
Stalin’s Five-Year Plans
  • "Other countries are 50 years ahead of Russia. We must make this up in 10 years."
  • Proposed the first of several "five-year plans" in 1928
  • Aimed at building heavy industry, improving transportation, & increasing farm output 
  • Government now controlled all economic activity
  • Unrealistic goals: 250 percent increase in overall industrial development, and a 330 percent expansion in heavy industry alone
life for the workers
Life for the Workers
  • Minimal pay
    • Nothing to buy anyway: focus on industry meant few consumer goods
  • Dangerous working conditions
  • Absenteeism harshly penalized
  • Poor living conditions (gov’t-provided)
    • In Moscow, only 6% of households had more than one room (
collectivization in agriculture
Collectivization in Agriculture
  • Agriculture under governmental control
  • All peasants farmed on either state-owned farms or on collectives
  • Liquidated kulaks, wealthy land owners, as a class and took their land
  • 1 million kulaks deported to gulags

"Agriculture is developing slowly, comrades. This is because we have about 25 million individually owned farms. They are the most primitive and undeveloped form of economy. We must do our utmost to develop large farms and to convert them into grain factories for the country organised on a modem scientific basis."

the results
The Results
  • Government hoarded grain to sell and reinvest in industry
  • Grain production declined from 1928 to 1932
  • Led to widespread famine
    • 1932-3: The Great Famine
    • 10 million people died



“Collectivization of Agriculture in Russia.” n.p. Web. March 13, 2013.

“Industrial Revolution.” Oracle. Web. March 15, 2013.

“Life in USSR Under Stalin.” n.p. Web. March 13, 2013.

“Russia under Stalin.” Oracle. Web. March 13, 2013.

“Stalin.” n.p. Web. March 13, 2013.