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Stalin

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Stalin's dictatorship. Five-year plans, collectivization, great purges, Moscow trials

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Stalin

  1. 1. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  2. 2. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship • Stalin defeated Trotsky after Lenin’s death (1924-1927) • Stalin’s economic program  Quick industrialisation of a backward country to construct “Socialism in one country” and transform the USSR in a world power • The state took over all the sectors of the Soviet economy • The government passed five-year plans to conduct a centralised economy • Collectivization of agriculture  terrible social consequences because peasants’ refusal to give up their new acquired lands • Results: • Quick industrialisation based upon heavy industry (iron and steel, coal, armament) • Utter failure in farming • Cruel repression and terrible death toll
  3. 3. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  4. 4. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  5. 5. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  6. 6. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  7. 7. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  8. 8. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  9. 9. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  10. 10. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship • Industrialisation took place at a terrible social cost • From the very beginning, Stalin set up a dictatorship based upon terror • Anticommunists • Trostkyists • Farmers against collectivisation… • All sort of opponents within the Communist Party
  11. 11. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship • Unlike Hitler, Stalin’s repression was carried out massively within his own party (SUCP) • Power in the USSR was completely centralised  SUCP  Secretary General (Stalin) • “Great Purges” or “Moscow Trials” started in 1934 after Sergei Kirov’s assassination • The world was astonished when a great part of the Bolshevik leaders went into trial, accused of being counter- revolutionaries • After being drugged and tortured they confess that they have been plotting against the USSR for years (“show trials”) • In 1939 70% of the SUCP had been purged  90% of the Red Army generals were shot or sent to the Gulag (concentration camps)
  12. 12. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  13. 13. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship • Not only the SUCP was persecuted • Soviet society as a whole suffered the consequences of Stalin’s dictatorship • The Checka, GPU, NKVD, KGB (Soviet subsequent secret political police) repressed Soviet people • The year 1937 became was the apex of Stalinist repression • Over the purges of 1937 and 1938: • 1.700.000 civilians were arrested • More than two million were purged from their jobs • About 700.000 were executed • Millions of Soviet citizens were sent during Stalin’s dictatorships to the Gulag (Soviet concentration camps system
  14. 14. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  15. 15. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  16. 16. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  17. 17. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship • As a result of the repression, more and more power was concentrated in Stalin’s hands • Stalin’s “cult of personality” was established in the USSR • Even in a more acute way that in the Duce or the Fuhrer, the figure of Stalin was constantly praised by the Soviet propaganda
  18. 18. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  19. 19. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  20. 20. Stalin: a society shaped by terror • Soviet society was shaped by the urgent drive for industrializing the USSR • Farmers went through all the hardships caused by collectivization • Urban workers toiled 8 hours a day, 7 days a week • Subbotnik or “Communist Saturdays”: days of volunteer work that became obligatory later
  21. 21. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  22. 22. Stalin: a society shaped by terror • The Constitution of 1936 proclaimed that the USSR was classless society… reality was altogether different • SUCP bureaucracy (about 14 million people) made up a new upper class with different privileges: • Higher salaries (4 to 20 times the average salary) • Food extra rations • Better accommodation… • All the members of the Communist bureaucracy were subjected to Stalin’s will • 1930s purges reminded everybody of this.
  23. 23. Stalin: a totalitarian dictatorship
  24. 24. Stalin: a society shaped by terror • After some social changes after the revolution, Stalin forced the Soviet to return to the traditional values of hierarchy and authority (teachers, parents, army commanders…) • The achievement of different women’s rights (divorce, legal abortion - Decree on Women’s Healthcare-) and the difficult social conditions over the civil war reduce the Soviet birth rate  Stalin imposed again the traditional family model (restrictions to divorce, abortion illegal…) • Internationalism was substituted by Russian nationalism

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