To what extent was Stalin's collectivization and industrialization successful for Russian society following World War I?

Essay by grandimundiHigh School, 12th gradeA, April 2008

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Collectivization and industrialization did produce positive changes for Soviet society up to 1914. Due to collectivization and industrialization, both the proletariats and the peasantry did receive benefits. Furthermore, collectivization and industrialization also increased the education of the population. However, collectivization and industrialization also brought in violent coercive methods to increase productivity. Furthermore it created a period of terror especially during the Shakthy Trials of 1929. Furthermore, by 1941, the living standards of the Soviet population had diminished.

Due to collectivization and industrialization, education amongst the peasantry and proletariats improved. According to Nove, Stalin believed that in order to build a modernized economy an educated work force was necessary for success. Stalin famously announced that, the Soviet Union was a fifty to a hundred years behind other capitalist nations. Nove believed that in order for Stalin to reduce this gap, compulsory education was introduced as a policy to modernize for the future.

Duetscher further goes onto say, by 1934 the literacy rate of Russia was 82% which was a vast improvement of 55% in the early 1920's. Educating the workforce meant that the peasantry and proletariat could work in the intelligentsia which was vital for the modernization of the Soviet. Due to collectivization and industrialization, the positive change of increased education occurred.

Furthermore, collectivization and industrialization brought with it benefits for the population if productivity ratios were good. Nove points out that the period was beneficial to some especially the Stakhanov miners who exceeded the arbitrarily set productivity quota and due to this, received many benefits such as better housing, better consumer goods and received other health benefits. Westwood further goes onto say that the benefits received by the workers and the peasantry gave them an incentive to increase their productivity. However at the same time, McCauley argues that the benefits...