How Did Industrialisation Benefit Russia?

What Is Industrialisation? Industrialisation is a process of social and economic change where a human society is transformed from pre-industrial to industrial. This social and economic change is closely entwined with technological improvement, particularly the development of large-scale energy production. What were Stalin’s industrial policies? The GOSPLAN was an organisation that was set up to control what had to be achieved. GOSPLAN set up the overall targets for an industry and each region was told its targets. Then the region would set targets for each mine, factory etc.

The manager of the mine/factory would set targets for each foreman and then, finally, the foreman would set targets for each shift and even for an individual worker. The Five Year Plans Stalin introduced the Five Year Plans in 1928. The Five year plans brought all industry under government control and all industrial development was planned by the government. The government decided what would be produced, how much would be produced and where it should be produced. An organisation called GOSPLAN was created to plan all this out.

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The first five year plan was from 1928 to 1932. The second five year plan was from 1933 to 1937. The third five year plan was from 1938 to 1941 when the war stopped it. Each plan set a target which industries had to meet. Each factory was set a target which it had to meet. The targets were very hard to meet, most of the targets were not met, however some were and vast improvements were made. The policies had their eyes set on improving output from heavy industries such as coal, oil, iron and steel and electricity.

Coal35 million tons64 million tons (75 million tons target)128 million tons (152 million tons) Oil12 million tons21 million tons (22 million tons target)29 million tons (47 million tons target) Iron Ore5 million tons12 million tons (19 million tons target)unknown Pig Iron3 million tons6 million tons (10 million tons target)15 million tons (16 million tons target) Steel4 million tons6 million tons (10 million tons target)18 million tons (17 million tons target) These seem to be fantastic results, however this is the bottom line for Russia in 1927 and it was small compared to west European standards.

Nevertheless, the improvements did show a massive leap forwards. The second five year plan continued to focus on heavy industries but there was also a difference made to the communication systems such as railways and new industries such as the chemical industry. The third five year plan put emphasis on weapons production (which required an input from heavy industries) as war did seem to be approaching. Collectivisation Farming was organized into communal fields. Each Farmer gave up their land and made one big farm, where it was easier to run and make more efficient.

Stalin wanted Collectivisation for many reasons such as, Farmers were keeping the grain which lead for there to be shortages of food, there would be more food for industrial workers, it was more communist, and it was a much more efficient method of farming. Why did Stalin need them? Stalin needed these policies so that Russia could be wealthier as there would be more money and industry. The industry was needed to prepare for future wars (World War Two). This also led for its military force to be stronger.

If Russia’s industry was very good and it was in a stable economic climate, it could have been possible to achieve one of his aims to make Russia self sufficient. What were the benefits of the policies? There were many benefits to Stalin’s Industrial policies such as Female labour increased, this was a major benefit as females were also earning money to support their families, and this also helped Stalin to reach his aims as there were more people working to achieve the aims.

The USSR developed a powerful military force and it was built to be strong enough to defend itself (Russia) In World War Two. Russia also became the second most powerful nation (Following the USA), which would have delighted Stalin; this was achieved through the higher output of heavy industry and the Strength of Russia’s military force. However the people did benefit out of these things too as many useful public works were built. Who did not benefit?

Although it may seem as though there were many positives to industrialisation there are also many factors in which one may think that the cost of lives is too great to overthrow the benefits. Many people worked in bad working conditions, many injuries were endured as the conditions were unsafe, these unsanitary conditions could carry disease and illness effecting workers in such a way that it may not be possible for them to do their job.

These workers also did not know how to use the new equipment that was given to them. Dispite industrialisation there was very few consumer goods for people to buy. Sometimes the targets for industrialisation were not even met. However these are all “Light” subjects compared to the human cost during the industrialisation of Russia, as millions of political prisoners went to labour camps as Stalin wanted to remove everyone who was a threat to his power, this included eliminating ordinary people.

They were not just sent to these labour camps there were tortured for information and eventually killed, this era was called “The Purges”. Conclusion Yes, Russia did greatly increase its output of resources, meet some of its targets and was prepared for World War Two, however I think that the human cost was to great to been seen as an agreeable success as millions of people died. One of the reasons that Stalin was able to control Russia is that he scared them to work for him to create a communist society.

I think that relative success at reaching the targets is masked by the many failures and the cost of Human lives. Yes, some punishment is needed but Stalin did not need to wipe out innocent civilians in order to get his own way. The actual failing to meet the aims enforces that industrialisation did fail, however not entirely as they did make huge progress. To decide whether industrialisation was a success is completely based upon personal opinion, mine is that industrialisation failed due to the failure of meeting targets and the Cost of human lives.

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How Did Industrialisation Benefit Russia?. (2016, Sep 30). Retrieved from