Plan of the investigation:
This investigation analyses the successes and failures of collectivisation in the Soviet Union, specifically looking at the impact it had on the peasants of Russia and whether it aided in satisfying the Soviet Union’s economic needs. In order to assess the extent to which collectivisation was a success, this investigation examines and evaluates the first few years of collectivisation, assessing collectivisation’s impact on the economy of the Soviet Union and the people, as a stronger economy would greatly improve the livelihood of the masses. Ultimately this investigation assesses the wisdom of Stalin’s decision to partake in collectivisation. This analysis does ...view middle of the document...
• The introduction of collectivisation was intertwined with the grain crisis of 1928, which was due to various economic factors including the incorrect relation between industrial and agricultural prices. However, Stalin credited most of the blame to kulaks, wealthier peasants, who took advantage of this inconsistency. Stalin accused them of hoarding their produce, making themselves richer at the expense of others.
• Bread and meat rationing was introduced in the winter of 1928 to 1929, with meat being collected forcefully from peasants.
• December 1929, Stalin moved forward with his new policy stating that the soviet party had “passed form the policy of restricting the exploiting tendencies of the kulaks to eliminating the kulaks as a class”. This resulted in the death of millions of kulaks as the OGPU were authorised to arrest and execute kulaks leaving their land to be seized by other peasants.
• In 1930, Stalin halted the process of collectivisation as he claiming his officials had moved too fast in collectivising Russia, however once the harvest for this year was gathered collectivisation resumed.
• 1930 harvest produced some of the best grain production of the 1930’s, with 83.5 million tons of grain harvest being produced. However there was a considerable decrease in the numbers of livestock.
• In 1931 the state collected 22.8 million tons of grain, however this occurred during a decrease in grain production as the harvest of this year produced 69.5 million tons. This decrease was credited to the upheaval of collectivisation and drought was faced in some parts of the USSR.
• Spring of 1932 welcomed a famine in the Soviet Union hitting Ukraine, north Caucasus and Kazakhstan the hardest. The famine started of in the Ukraine spreading to other regions of the nation. It lasted from 1932-1934 with an estimate of 7 million deaths during this time.
• Between 1929 and 1932, 12.5 million people entered the industry, of whom 8.5 million came from the rural areas. Passenger traffic between Russia and the Ukraine was then halted in 1932 as the red army surrounded the border.
• The grain harvest of 1932,1933 and 1934 produced lower numbers than the previous years but there was enough grain to feed the country. Thus, the famine is attributed to the poor distribution of grain. Grain was also exported to other countries during this time, making this a contributing factor to the famine.
• Soviet authorities had been well aware of the possibility of a famine, as some had made trips to the countryside and viewed the lack of seed in the kolkhozes and the decrease in livestock.
• Grain production began to recover and by the end of 1934, it was announced that 70% of peasant households were in collectives rising to 90% in 1936, however the figures never rose to what they were before the introduction of collectivisation.
Evaluation of sources:
The April 9, 1932 letter written by Feigin to Ordzhonikidze (a friend of Stalin’s) is a...