Stalin Essay

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How far were economic problems responsible for Stalin’s decision to replace the New Economic Policy in 1928 with the first Five-Year Plan? There were many reasons why Stalin decided to replace the New Economic Policy with the first Five-Year Plan in 1928. These consisted of economic problems, ideological problems, political problems, as well as a fear of a capitalist invasion. Although economic problems certainly were an important reason for Stalin’s decision to change policy, the most significant reasons were political, since for Stalin the consolidation of power had always been his main priority. Economic problem certainly played a huge role in Stalin’s decision to change from the NEP. However what can’t be ignored is that the NEP had achieved successes that hugely benefitted Russia. By 1925 the NEP had returned the economy to its pre-war levels, and by 1927 both agriculture and industrial production exceeded their pre-war level. Peasants were allowed to live in a capitalist way, this included selling produce and homemade goods. It also allowed them to keep grain to feed them and sell the remainder at market for a profit. Although this led to many economic problems, mainly because the peasants were not producing sufficient amounts of grain to feed the rapid industrialisation of Russia that Stalin planned. The NEP had also made problems with the two biggest being the scissors crisis of 1924 and the grain procurement crisis of 1927-28. For Stalin and the communists who had supported the NEP did so because it was improving the economy in Russia. The grain procurement crisis brought its problems to the surface. Russia was still behind the capitalist west by 50-100 years in terms of industry and agriculture. In industry there was a real need for the economy to develop and compete with western countries that were far ahead of Russia. Economic problems were vitally important in Stalin’s thinking towards the implementation of the first Five-Year Plan, since Russia...
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