Stalin - collectivisation
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.
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.
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.
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. ].
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.
Stalin achieved most of his aims:
However, the human cost was immense:
Identify the six key dates on the course of collectivisation, and make bulleted notes about each date.
As part of your revision, think about the arguments and facts you would use to explain: