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Russia: Russia’s economic transformation is essentially one of conflict between the proletariat and peasantry.

USSR 1917-41 Historical Analysis




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Stalin's successors began their tenure with an unusual economic inheritance. Under the dictator's five-year plans, the Russians had achieved very uneven results.


At the height of the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine under Joseph Stalin, starving people roamed the countryside, desperate for something, anything to eat. In the village of Stavyshche, a young peasant boy watched as the wanderers dug into empty gardens with their bare hands. Many were so emaciated, he recalled, that their bodies began to swell and stink from the extreme lack of nutrients.


Dr. Harris explains why all Bolsheviks agreed on the need to overcome economic backwardness. He explores why Soviet industrialisation took the form it did in the late 1920s, and then explores a fascinating paradox: How the Soviet planned economy in the 1930s was at once both a spectacular success and a catastrophic failure.

The early years of Joseph Stalin's leadership of the Soviet Union saw enormous changes from the years of Lenin. A major change was in the economic policy of the communist party. Stalin moved away from the New Economic Policy and created a series of five-year plans aimed at modernizing the Soviet Union to match its western counterparts. There were some extremely nasty parts to the effort, and this is the story of how his plans worked out.

Written in March of 1906 prior to the Stolypin land reforms that would take place in November of the same year.

The five-year plans of the Soviet Union, sometimes referred to simply as the five-year plans, or as “пятилетки” in Russia, were a series of plans designed to improve the economy of the Soviet Union through increased agricultural and industrial production at the expense of consumer goods. Created by a state planning committee, the plans aimed to bring the Soviet Union up to par with other Western nations, and establish the USSR as one of the great superpowers of the world.

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Golosov- public domain

This paper studies structural transformation of Soviet Russia under Stalin in 1928-1940 from an agrarian economy to an industrialized power. We analyze this change through the lens of a two-sector neoclassical growth economy.



By Mark Harrison Edited by Silvio Pons, Università degli Studi di Roma 'Tor Vergata', Stephen A. Smith, University of Oxford

Publisher: Cambridge University Press pp 348-376



After the triumph of the October Revolution in Russia the issue of how to develop a backward economy towards a socialist society took pre-eminence. The relationship between agriculture and industry was one of the key issues.


The drive to nationalize all the land in the USSR reflected Bolshevik ideology far more than the interests and desires of the peasantry or even practical considerations.


At the turn of the nineteenth century, the long-standing dispute between Russian liberals and conservatives about the country’s development prospects was actively joined by a third force—the socialists, who professed to speak on behalf of the simple people.