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[O] History(Elect) Smart Guides

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  1. Unit 1: The World in Crisis

    1. Impact of World War I in Europe
    14 Topics
  2. 2. Stalin's Soviet Union
    12 Topics
  3. 3. Hitler's Germany
    27 Topics
  4. 4. Outbreak WWII in Europe
    13 Topics
  5. 5. Germany's Defeat in World War II
    21 Topics
  6. 6. Outbreak War in Asia Pacific
    6 Topics
  7. 7. Japan's Defeat
    10 Topics
  8. Unit 2: Bi-Polarity and the Cold War
    8. Reasons for the Cold War in Europe
    21 Topics
  9. 9. The Korean War
    19 Topics
  10. 10. Cuban Missile Crisis
    25 Topics
  11. 11. The End of Cold War
    19 Topics
Chapter 2, Topic 11
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Stalin’s Dictatorship (Impact of Policies on Various Social Groups)

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Impact of Stalin’s Rule

Impact of Policies on Various Social Groups

1. Minority Nationalities

Negative

  • Various minority republics of former Russian Empire lost their autonomy with the creation of the Soviet Union.
  • Stalin’s policies of collectivisation and industrialisation were also carried out in these minority republics and members of nationalist groups who resisted the policies or who wanted their republics to break away were purged during the Great Terror.
  • Thus, Stalin’s rule ensured tight central control by Moscow and increased the resentment of these minority groups with Stalin’s rule, thus inhibiting the development of the Soviet Union.

2. Creating the New Soviet Man’

Negative

  • To build the USSR into a great nation, Stalin launched the Cultural Revolution from 1929 to 1931. The New Soviet man’, the ideal Soviet citizen who was proud of being part of the modern industrial society, and was willing to serve the state selflessly and enthusiastically was created.
  • Intellectuals, the privileged class, & religious leaders were attacked as being un-proletarian & ordinary people such as factory workers and miners who had connections with the Party were instead hailed as role models.
  • To encourage people to work harder, there were rewards for those who produced more than their targets. One worker called Alexey Stakhanov, was made into a national hero and the title Stakhanovite was given to anyone who did anything similar.
  • However, the pressure to perform up to the state’s standard, as well as the oppression faced by those who failed to do so, had a negative psychological impact on Soviet society.
  • Therefore, Stalin’s dictatorship had limited the contributions of the Soviet citizens who worked out of fear and not out of their loyalty to the state.

3. Women’s Entry into the Workforce

Positive

  • The Soviet constitution guaranteed equal rights to women.
  • After the October Revolution, Russia legalised abortion and divorce so that women could have more control over their own lives without interference from their husbands.
  • Stalin’s industrialisation efforts encouraged women to enter the workforce. State-run childcare centres were built to enable women to work in the factories.
  • Therefore, Stalin’s dictatorship had increased manpower for the workforce due to Stalin’s attitudes towards women and this would contribute to Stalin’s industrialisation programme.

Negative

  • However, many such services were poorly maintained.
  • In 1936, abortion was again made illegal in order to `protect motherhood and childhood.’
  • Soviet women were expected to fulfill both the role of worker and housewife without adequate support.
  • Therefore, Stalin’s dictatorship had not exactly liberated women who now faced greater burden as a worker as well as a home-maker, and thus aroused resentment of this group against Stalin’s rule.

4. Compulsory Schooling and Increased Literacy Rights

Positive

  • A great advancement of the USSR under Lenin and Stalin was in raising literacy rates. Before the revolution, only 40% of males between the ages of 9 and 40 years were able to read. By 1939, this had risen to 94%.
  • School attendance was compulsory. Every child was entitled to at least 9 years of free education.
  • Thus, Stalin’s rule had increased literacy rate of the population & improved ability of the people to contribute as more of them were educated to learn new skills required as a result of the greater use of technology.

Negative

  • Education like everything else was closely watched by the secret police, and although it was compulsory and free it aimed to indoctrinate the children. Finally, an attempt was made to clamp down on the Orthodox Church: churches were closed and clergy persecuted.
  • Schools and universities also emphasised technical subjects that would help meet national industrialisation targets. As a result, the growing literacy rate only served to further the interests and influence of the Communist Party.
  • Stalin wanted to win the loyalty of young people to maintain his image as the father of the people. Teenagers were encouraged to join the Komsomol (Communist Union of Youth), which took them on outdoor activities and indoctrinated them to be loyal to Stalin and the Communist Party. Many of them were later promoted to prominent Party posts by Stalin.
  • Children aged 10 to 15 were similarly encouraged to join the Young Pioneers. These children & young people were sent out across the Soviet Union to work on political campaigns or on collective farms and industries.
  • Thus, Stalin’s rule had slowed down development of its nation as Stalin was more concerned about educating the young to be loyal to him rather than about educating the young for the future development of the nation.