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Stalin - collectivisation

Why did Stalin collectivise the farms?

  • He wanted more food to feed the workers in industry.
  • He needed a surplus of food to sell overseas to bring money into the country.
  • He needed people to leave the land and go to work in industry.
  • He wanted an excuse to destroy the kulaks, who believed in private ownership, not communism.

How successful was collectivisation?

  1. Stalin achieved most of his aims:

    • Grain production rose to nearly 100 million tonnes in 1937, although the numbers of animals never recovered.
    • Russia sold large quantities of grain to other countries.
    • Some 17 million people left the countryside to go to work in the towns.
    • The kulaks were eliminated.
    • The peasants were closely under the government's control.
  2. However, the human cost was immense:

    • Perhaps 3 million kulaks were killed.
    • There were famines in 1930 and 1932-3 when 5 million people starved to death.

Back to Russia/USSR 1905 - 1941 index

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