The Policies and Sanctions of Joseph Stalin

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The Policies and Sanctions of Joseph Stalin The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 was a 'new model of modernization' for Russian society and government. Although it changed society profoundly, the Stalin revolution, 1928-1932, may have had a more dramatic effect on the society and government of Russia. The sanctions that Stalin imposed in the late 1920's created the tension and opposition that led to the mass repression of the mid thirties. One of his first governmental changes was called the Five Year Plan. The plan involved major economic and social changes, which were based on some of Marx's ideas. The five year plan was designed to strengthen and enrich the country, make it militarily and industrially self-sufficient, lay the groundwork for a true workers' society, and overcome the Russian reputation for backwardness. In a speech in 1929, Stalin said "We are becoming a country of metal, a country of automobiles, a country of tractors. And when we have put the USSR in a motor car and the muzhik in a tractor. . . we shall see which countries may then be 'classified' as backward and which as advanced." (Palmer/Colton 763). In order to relieve Russia from being considered a backward country, Stalin said that they (the Russians) must achieve some sort of economic prowess. In order to achieve this 'economic prowess', Stalin set up an agency called the Gosplan to administer a new economic policy. The Gosplan had total control over anything remotely concerning economics. They determined how much of every article the country should produce, how much national effort should go into the formation of capital, and what wages each class of workers would receive. They decided which raw materials to get, how much to buy, what to produce wi... ... middle of paper ... ...of the worker, with children, or with Lenin. He became the source of all wisdom and authority in Soviet society. Such propaganda had created a cult around his personality. Stalin consolidated his totalitarian rule through his effective use of terror and coercive methods. Stalin combined with the control of the secret police over the civilian population, the creation of an atmosphere of public paranoia, and the increase in party loyalty due to purges to consolidate totalitarian control over Soviet Russia by 1939. Stalin's revolution, spanning over the years of 1928-1932, changed society as well as Russian government profoundly. The sanctions and policies Stalin imposed led to the revolution and the undeniable tensions and contradictions that contributed to the mass repression of 1937 and 1938. These results influenced the Soviet government for many years to come.
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