The Soviet Union Under Stalin By Josh Bloom, Ethan Heffentrager, and Abby Martin
A Totalitarian State • Under Stalin’s Rule, the Soviet Union was turned into a totalitarian state controlled by a powerful and complex bureaucracy • Totalitarian State=government in which a one party dictatorship regulates every aspect of citizen's lives.
Stalin's "five-year plans" • In 1928 Stalin proposed the "five-year plans" • It was aimed at building heavy industry, improving transportation, and increasing farm output • It brought all economic activity under Governments control • The Soviet Union developed a command economy, in which Government officials made all basic economic decisions • The plan set high production goals and pushed workers and managers to meet these goals by giving bonuses to those who succeeded and punishing those who didn't • Between 1928 and 1939 oil, coal, and steel production grew
Collectivization in Agriculture • Stalin brought Agriculture under Government control • Government wanted farmers to produce more grain to feed workers in cities • Collectives=large farms owned and operated by peasants as a group. The Government would provide tractors, fertilizers, and better seed. • Peasants were permitted to keep their houses and personal belongings • They resisted collectivization by killing farm animals, destroying tools, and burning crops • Stalin was furious and believed that kulaks, or wealthy farmers, were behind the resistance. • Peasants grew even angrier. In response the Government seized all the grain to meet industrial goals, leaving peasants to starve
Collectivization in Agricultural • This led to a terrible famine called the Terror Famine • It caused between 5 and 8 million people to die • Collectivization increased Stalin's control of peasantry but did not improve farm out put. • Feeding the population would still remain a problem in the Soviet Union
Stalin’s Terror Tactics • Stalin used terror as a weapon • He didn’t allow free press and any safe method of voicing protest • Critics and grumblers were sent to the Gulag, a system of brutal labor camps where many died • In fear that rival party leaders were plotting against him he launched the Great Purge • Stalin and his secret police began targeting old Bolsheviks, army heroes, Industrial managers, writers, and ordinary citizens • He charged them with a wide variety of crimes • The purges increased Stalin’s power • This loss would weigh heavily on Stalin when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
Propaganda • Was used by Stalin. • He used Propaganda as a tool to build up a "Cult Of Personality" and make himself appear as a godlike figure due to him trying to boost morale and his faith in the communists system. • The public was bombarded by relentless propaganda. For example, billboards and posters were telling workers to meet or over make their production quota. • Communists party newspapers would link enemies at home to foreign agents seeking to overthrow the communist regime.
Censorship of the Arts 1 • Soviet artists and writers believed that the Bolshevik Revolution was a big step of freedom to them. • Books, Art ,and Music were all controlled by the government of what was allowed to be published, displayed, and played to the public. • Socialist realism was used to show soviet life in a positive way and promote hope in the communist future. • Socialist realism - was when Stalin forced artists and writers to work in the type of style he wanted it in. • Socialist realism was following after the Russian greats Tolstoy and Chekhov. • If writers and artists were to criticize the government's expectations they would face government persecution.
Censorship of the Arts 2 • Writers, Composers, and Artists still continued to make great master pieces even though they were under very high restrictions. • One novel that was a high seller was written by Yevgeny Zamyatin was called One State this novel was telling about the future and how people would be called by numbers instead of names. • Quiet Flows The Don was a novel written by Mikhail Sholokhov and this novel was telling about a man fighting in World War I, Russian Revolution, and the Civil War. He later won the Nobel Prize for literature.
Russification • Russification was the act of making a nationalities culture more Russian. • 11 Soviet Socialist Republics made up the U.S.S.R. • The R.S.F.S.R. was the largest dominate republic and consisted of the old Russian heartland. • Other nationalities had their own languages, Historical Traditions, and Cultures. • Stalin changed his Policy about autonomy and tried to make cultures more Russian. • He required the Russian language to be used in schools and businesses.
Atheism(belief that there is no god) • The Communist party tried to strengthen its hold on the people, destroying their religious faith. • Atheism became an official state policy • Communists targeted the Russian Orthodox church, which had strongly supported the Czars. • Many Priests and religious leaders were killed or sent to prison camps. • At one show trial, 15 Roman Catholic priests were charged with teaching the youth. • The state seized Jewish synagogues and banned use of Hebrew. • Communists created their own "sacred" texts (made by Marx/Lenin) • They even created their own shrines such as Lenin's tomb.
The New Elite Takes Control • Communists destroyed the old social order of landowning nobles at the top and peasants at the bottom • Instead of creating a society of equals, they created a society where a few elite groups emerged as a new ruling class • The head of the society consisted of members of the Communist party • The Soviet Elite included industrial managers, military leaders, scientists, and some artists and writers. • The new system created many benefits and drawbacks
Benefits/Drawbacks • Although excluded from a higher social class, people did enjoy the new benefits. • These benefits included, Communist built schools, technical schools and universities, sport programs, cultural activities, political classes, medical care, etc.
Women in the Soviet Union • Under the Communists, women won equality under the law. • The gained access to education and a wide range of jobs. • By the1930's, many Soviet women were working in medicine, engineering, or the sciences. • Women contributed to Soviet economic growth. • Men and women earned the same low salaries.
Comintern(The Communist International) • Between 1917 and 1939, the Soviet Union pursued two very different goals in foreign policy. • Lenin and Stalin wanted to bring about the worldwide revolution. • They wanted the support of other countries. • In 1919 Lenin formed the Communist International. • Its purpose was to encourage world wide revolution, and it aided revolutionary groups around the world. • The Comintern gained support of groups outside the Soviet Union.
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