Essay Joseph Stalin

Essay Joseph Stalin

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Joseph Stalin is a polarizing figure. Decades after his death his legacy still continues to create debate about his tumultuous years as the leader of the Soviet Union. This is evident throughout the four documents while some praise Stalin as impeccable others criticize his policies and lack of political, economic, and social progress during his regime. Even though Stalin was behind various violations of human rights he was able to maintain the Soviet Union during a time of turmoil both domestically and internationally as a result he has earned notoriety as a great leader and advocate for Marxist ideology.

Among the first policies enacted toward economic prosperity and industrialization were the Five Year Plans. The first Five Year Plan included rapid collectivization of the villages in the countryside in order to make enough agricultural profit to fund industrialization efforts. This period was plagued with violence, unattainable production targets and the destruction of traditional village life. The Second Five year plan began in 1933, in 1935 the term stakhanovite began to be used to identify those workers who developed new innovation that allowed them to greatly surpass average production. The term was named after Aleksei Stakhanov who was a miner.(Fitzpatrick and Slezkine 2000) “Speeches of Stakhanovites” is comprised of several speeches given at national Stakhanovite meetings that included member of the Politburo and Stalin himself. From these speeches we can see that there was a very positive image of Stalin among the Stakhanovites.They all begin and conclude by praising Stalin and the party. This shows that they clearly supported the policies of the Five Year Plans even though they demanded overoptimistic goals of produ...


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... a change in this image to a realization that Stalin’s suppression of dissidents and opposition had real effects on soviet society and can not be justified by Marxist and Leninist Ideology instead they were just Stalin looking to maintain his autocracy.







Works Cited

Fitzpatrick, Sheila, and Yuri Slezkine. "N.I. Slavnikova Et Al. "Speeches by Stakhanovites"" In the Shadow of Revolution: Life Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2000. 331-41. Print.
"From Autocracy to Oligarchy." The Structure of Soviet History: Essays and Documents. Ed. Ronald Grigor. Suny. New York: Oxford UP, 2003. 340-50. Print.
"International Seminar 'Stalin Today'" Revolutionary Democracy Journal. N.p., 1994. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. .
A. Solzhenitsyn, excerpt from Gulag Archipelago. 1973

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