Stalin: Did his Rule Benefit Russian Society and the Russian People?


I. Introduction
A. Thesis
B. Statement of problem
II. Beginnings
A. Childhood
B. The Making of a Revolutionary
III. The Five Year Plans in Industry
A. Progress and Benefits to Russia
B. Downfalls for the People
IV. Agricultural Changes
A. Collectivization
B. The Liquidation of the Kulaks
C. Famine
V. Social Changes
A. Social Benefits
B. Personal Advancements
C. Woman in Society
VI. Purges
A. The Party
B. The Army
C. The Burial Pits
VII. Conclusion
A. Summary
B. Final Statement



In this paper I plan to prove that even though Stalin made improvements
in the Russian industrial system, his rule did not benefit Russian society and
the Russian people. In order to accomplish this, several questions must be asked.
How did Stalin affect Russia's industrial power? How did Stalin try to change
Russia's agricultural system? What changes did Stalin make in society? What were
Stalin's purges, and who did they effect?
Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili was born on December 21, 1879, on the
southern slopes of the Caucasus mountains, in the town of Gori. His mother,
Ekaterina was the daughter of a peasant who married at fifteen and who lost her
first three children at birth. Vissarion, his father, was a self-employed
shoemaker who had a violent temper (Marrin 6-7).
Young Djugashvili was small and wiry and had a deeply pitted face from a
small pox attack that nearly killed him. He also had blood poisoning in his left
arm that was probably caused by Vissarion's beating fists. The arm would stiffen
at the elbow joint and wither, making it lame and useless for the rest of his
life (Lewis 8; Marrin 8).
He was dedicated to only one person, his mother, and her only ambition
was for her son to become a priest and to bless her with his own hands. But,
this dream was crushed when Joseph was expelled from Tiflis Theological Seminary
for reading "forbidden books" such as Marx and Lenin (Lewis 8; Marrin 20).
After his expulsion from Tiflis school, Joseph became a revolutionary.
He organized strikes and demonstrations at factories and also found ways to
gather money for Lenin and the Bolshevik party. He was banished to Siberia six
times between the years 1903 and 1917. Each time, he escaped easily, except the
last, when he was released because of the February revolution (Lewis 19; Marrin
24). After the death of his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, Joseph became more
cold and tough. He gave the child that his wife bore him to her parents and even
chose a new name for himself, Stalin, the Man of Steel (Marrin 26).
Then came the October Revolution and the rise of Lenin and the
Bolsheviks. Stalin became general secretary of the Bolshevik party's Central
Committee. He was also the commissar of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate
and the commissar of nationalities (McKay 927; Treadgold 205). After Lenin's,
death Stalin gained power by allying himself with the moderates to fight off his
rival, Leon Trotsky, who was a radical and another member of the Central
Committee. Stalin expelled Trotsky and suppressed his radical followers. Then he
turned against his own allies, the moderates. Stalin at last had gained complete
control (McKay 927-928).
One of the great achievements that Stalin made for the Soviet Union were
the Five Year Plans in industry. Russia had not yet had their industrial
revolution and were far behind the other powers of the world. Even Stalin said,"
We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good
this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or we shall be crushed." So, that
is what Stalin set out to do (Dmytryshyn 158).
The First Five Year Plan was adopted in April 1929 by the Sixteenth
Party Conference. It's purpose was to increase Russia's industrial production.
On December 31, 1932, the First Five Year Plan was declared officially completed
ahead of schedule. Total industrial output increased two hundred and fifty
percent, steel production increased three hundred percent, production of large-
scale industry showed an increase of one hundred and eighteen percent,
production of machinery and electrical equipment increased one hundred and
fifty-seven percent, heavy metal increased sixty-seven percent, coal output
increased eighty-nine percent, and consumer goods increased about seventy-three
percent (Dmytryshyn 158; McKay 928; Treadgold 266).
After the success of the First Five Year Plan, the Seventeenth Party
Congress formally adopted the Second Five Year Plan, covering the years 1933-
1937 in January, 1934. To overcome the lacking of iron and steel, the Second
Plan ordered construction of forty-five new blast furnaces, one hundred and
sixty-four open-hearth furnaces, and one hundred and seven rolling mills. Other
goals of the second plan