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Joseph Stalin And His Reign Over The USSR

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The main idea of this paper is Joseph Stalin and the USSR. While researching my topic, I had a few questions. What was the USSR? The USSR was a collection of 15 different countries under the rule of Joseph Stalin, and previously Vladimir Lenin. Who was Joseph Stalin? Joseph Stalin was the dictator of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953. He proceeded with title of the dictator after Vladimir Lenin passed. What did Stalin do to help Soviet Russia? Although there were both pros and cons to his campaign and actions, many believe he was neither a hero nor a monster. Stalin turned a backward and enormous rural country into one of the world’s two superpowers in only thirty years, but this came at a dangerous cost which included millions of lives. It took many other countries centuries to do something like this; take China as an example, the country had multiple dynasties and people in power for centuries. Stalin did many centuries’ work in only thirty years, and I find that remarkable. There are many people involved in the Soviet Stalinist Era. These people include Stalin, the secret police (NKVD), other countries like Germany and America, all the peasants & industrial workers, and his political opponents/friends. I came to a conclusion that there were both pros and cons of the Soviet Union, but we must learn from our past and prevent any mistakes made in order to make a better future for all.

Joseph Stalin was someone who changed Russia for the better but at a great cost of millions of people’s lives. Joseph Stalin’s real name is Josef Djugashvili, and he was raised in a poor family environment. His father was always drunk and beat his son and wife, but his parents soon parted ways. According to the quote “Undeserved beatings made the boy as hard and heartless as the father himself”, it implies that there was some sort of trauma that developed Stalin’s personality. His father wanted him to learn a trade and work in a shoe factory, while his mom wanted him to go to school. His father later left him, and he was the top student at school. Stalin originally studied religion but then switched to revolution.

The Soviet Union wasn’t just one country, it was a group of them. It became one of the most powerful nations in the 20th century and was the world’s first communist nation. Communism is a system in which the government controls everything in society and wealth is shared equally among the people. The USSR was enemies with America, and they had a war called the Cold War. In the 1980s the Soviet Union was facing problems and eventually deteriorated completely in 1991.

A secret police organization to monitor the progress and plans of all of his opponents. He made sure that none of them were more successful than him. The organization was so powerful & intimidating that no one would go against it.

A series of forced labor camps that the NKVD set up forced labor camps that punished anyone who broke the law(s). An example would be treason. Treason was defined so broadly that almost anyone could be arrested and taken to the camps. After imprisoning millions of people, Stalin and the OGPU forced their prisoners into labor like building railways or working in the mines.

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During the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, communism was widely promoted using propaganda. Stalin wanted to get rid of regular citizens who owned any land and wanted to sell wheat internationally so that he can use the money to buy technology for one of his projects. ‘Collectivization was an attempt to get rid of the ownership of land by ordinary people.

Stalin wanted to destroy kulaks (people who were prosperous because they enjoyed the freedom and didn’t agree with his policies.) Two types of farms were introduced to the country; a State Farm, (sovkhoz) where all the land was owned by the government, all produce went to the government, and workers were paid wages. Then, there was the Collective Farm (kolkhoz) where workers were allowed to keep some of the lands for themselves. All farms were supplied with new tools, seeds, and tractors by the government. Most poor people weren’t able to use the machinery that was supplied, and many tractors didn’t work. Large numbers of kulaks resisted and destroyed crops and animals. Because of this, a large famine took place from 1932 to 1934 in which about 5 million people died. By 1937, the process of collectivization was almost accomplished, and wheat production went up. Some advantages because of collectivization were; Education and housing improved, and literacy increased, the availability of doctors and medical treatment went up, and industrial workers were given higher pay and rewarded w/ medals; some social security benefits. There was also an idea called the Five Year Plan. The Five Year Plans was a system of planning economic growth over a period of time. The main focuses were collectivizing agriculture and developing heavy industry, but as a result of this, there was a downfall in consumer goods. Collectivization led to famines in Ukraine (and Russia), that cost millions of people their lives. It improved the production of military weapons and equipment along with heavy military development which made the Western Powers mad.

Soviet technology was highly developed in the fields of nuclear physics, where strategy planners set aside materials for research in order to compete with the West in an arms race. This makes the Soviet Union was the second nation to develop an atomic bomb, four years after America. In addition, the Soviet Union detonated a hydrogen bomb in 1953, a ten months after the United States.. In October 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit; and in April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.

In 1934, Stalin’s last opponent was assassinated. The order was carried out by the secret police (OGPU). Genrikh Yagoda was a secret police official who served as director of the OGPU (the Soviet Union’s security and intelligence agency) from 1934 to 1936. He was not aware of the order, so Stalin no longer trusted him and moved him to another role. After this, Stalin had changed the name of the organization to the NKVD and placed another man in charge Nikolai Yezhov. After the appointment, the Purges had started. The NKVD arrested and executed many people, exact victims will never be known, but more than 20 million Russians were affected by it. High-profile “traitors” were brainwashed and tortured until they had confessed to their crimes. Some “traitors” were put on radio or television programs and were interrogated, these were called “show-trials”. Even the leader Nikolai Yezhov was arrested and shot in 1938 and was also blamed for the excess murders of the Purges. The Great Purge was a political campaign started by Joseph Stalin, to get rid of members of the Communist Party who disagreed with any policies introduced by Stalin and anyone else who was a threat. Soviet citizens were bombarded with posters and propaganda of Stalin’s political campaign. The program became very successful in the end because not a lot of people were protesting against him, nor his policies. Most people believe at least 750,000 people were executed from 1936-1938. Over a million other people were sent to labor camps. As a result of Stalin’s cruel ways, fear and horror were constant throughout the country.

The Soviet Union improved many things when it came to politics. Firstly, women’s equality. American women were sewing military uniforms and doing other low-status jobs, whereas Russia had female snipers on the borders during WWII. The Russians also sent women to be cosmonauts and paid both genders equally regardless of their occupation. Secondly, centralized economy: The Soviet Union got things rolling for Chinese, North Korean, Cuban, and Vietnamese centralized economies. A centralized economy is a system in which the government makes economic decisions rather than the consumers and businesses. Last but not least, nuclear power. Unlike America that nuked Japan before the world war’s end, the Soviet Union acted very maturely and showed everyone how a strong country like itself should act in a multiracial environment.

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Joseph Stalin And His Reign Over The USSR. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from
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