The rule of Stalin

The rule of Stalin

Stalin’s Consolidation of Power

  • First Five-Year Plan: Stalin initiated the first Five-Year Plan in 1928 to industrialise the economy.
  • Collectivisation: Agriculture was collectivised to increase output and enable more state control.
  • Great Purge: Stalin orchestrated mass purges in the late 1930s to eliminate opposition, targeting party officials, army officers and ordinary citizens.
  • Cult of personality: Stalin cultivated an image of a great leader, utilising propaganda and education to instil loyalty.

Economy under Stalin

  • Rapid industrialisation: Stalin’s plans led to significant growth in heavy industry, such as coal, steel, and oil production.
  • Collective farming: The agriculture sector was forced to combine smaller farms into larger collective farms known as kolkhozes.
  • Famine: The forced collectivisation led to severe famine during 1932-1933, particularly in Ukraine.

Political Policies of Stalin

  • Socialist realism: This was a style of art and literature promoted by Stalin which glorified the workers and the state.
  • Great Turn: Stalin’s abandonment of NEP (New Economic Policy) in favour of rapid industrialisation.
  • Totalitarian control: Stalin established a totalitarian regime where the state had control over every aspect of life, with widespread use of secret police and informers.

Stalin’s Social and Cultural Impact

  • Education reform: Emphasising on technical training to rapidly industrialise and support the growth of the economy.
  • Promotion of Russian culture: Stalin promoted Russian language and culture over the diverse ethnic and cultural groups in the USSR.
  • Persecution of religion: Stalin continued Soviet atheist policies, leading to demolitions of churches and the persecution of religious communities.
  • Women’s emancipation: Stalin’s regime promoted women’s right to work and paid maternity leave, however the traditional familial roles remained largely unchanged.