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Stalin - collectivisation


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Stalin's Five-year Plans dealt with industrial production, but something needed to be done about the food supply so Stalin introduced collectivisation. After years of resistance and famines Stalin eventually executed those who resisted, or sent them to labour camps.

Collectivisation in practice

  • Arrows

    Stalin advocated collective farms

    By the end of the 1920s, it was clear that Russian agriculture was inadequate. Although the kulaks [Kulaks: Wealthy Russian farming peasants, who strongly opposed collectivisation - Stalin killed many. ] were relatively wealthy and successful, the thousands of tiny, backward peasant farms were not producing enough to feed the population.

    In 1927, Stalin declared that the way forward was for people in each village to voluntarily unite their farms into one collective farm. This kolkhoz [Kolkhoz: A collective farm. ] would be able to afford machinery, be more efficient, and be able to create a surplus to send to the towns.

  • Farm house on fire

    the peasants burned their farms

    After two years, when everyone had ignored his idea and there had been a famine, Stalin made collectivisation compulsory.

    The peasants hated the idea, so they burned their crops and killed their animals rather than hand them over to the state. There was another famine in 1930.

  • Handcuffs, keys and flag

    kulaks were sent to the gulag

    Stalin relaxed the rules for a while, but in 1931 he again tried to enforce collectivisation.

    Again there was the same resistance and another, worse famine.

    Stalin blamed the kulaks, and declared war on them. They were executed or sent to the gulag [Gulag: Russian labour-prison camps. ].

  • map of Russia

    by 1939, 99 per cent of land had been collectivised

    By 1939, 99 per cent of land had been collectivised 90% of the peasants lived on one of the 250,000 kolkhoz. Farming was run by government officials. The government took 90 per cent of production and left the rest for the people to live on.


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