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30 -- Part 4: The Great Depression and
The NEP was successful both economically and politically.
It was a compromise between the Soviet Union's peasant majority and the government.
Prewar levels of industrial and agricultural production were brought back by the NEP.
An intense power struggle began in the Communist Party's inner circles after the economy recovered.
Stalin and Leon Trotsky were the principal con tender.
The Red Army was created by Trotsky, who had planned the 1917 takeover.
Stalin won because he gained the support of the party, the only genuine source of power in the one party state.
Between 1922 and 1927, Stalin achieved absolute power.
He used the moder ates to destroy Trotsky and then turned against the moderates.
The congress of the party in December 1927 condemned all deviations from the general party line.
The end of the NEP marked the beginning of the era of socialist five-year plans.
By 1930 the country was experiencing economic and social change.
Stalin unleashed his "second revolution" for a number of reasons.
Stalin and his supporters understood socialism as they understood it.
Stalin believed that the Soviet Union's survival depended on catching up with the Western capitalist nations.
There was a problem with peasants.
For hundreds of years peasants wanted to own the land.
The Communists believed that the peasants would become conservatives and threaten the regime.
In 1929 peasants were ordered to give up their land and animals and join a collective farm.
Disaster was caused by forced collectivization.
Peas ants burned their crops in protest.
State-controlled farms were not more productive.
Grain output barely increased, and collectivized agriculture made no significant contribution to Soviet industrial development during the first five-year plan.
The policy of collectivization was instituted by Stalin in order to destroy expressions of Ukrainian nationalism and to break the will of the Ukrainian peasants so they would accept Soviet rule.
The purge of the intellectuals and political elite began by Stalin.
He set a high grain quota for the collectivized farms.
Before any peasant could receive a share, the grain quota had to be turned over.
The forced collectivization campaign was ordered by Joseph Stalin.
The government created large-scale farms by seizing land and forcing peasants to work on it.
Stalin looks on approvingly as farmers are encouraged to complete the five-year plan of collectivization.
The outcome was a disaster.
People died in the famine.
The Communist Heavy industry was able to increase their total industrial output by 250 percent.
The agricultural output will increase by 150 percent.
The collectivized peasants were no longer a political threat because they were employed by the state.
The five-year plans had an industrial side.
In 1937, the Soviet industry produced four times as much as it did in 1928.
No other country has ever achieved such rapid industrial growth.
Heavy industry led the way.
Huge resources were required for the sudden creation of dozens of new factories.
Heavy hidden sales taxes were used to collect funds for industrial expansion.
Firm labor discipline contributed to rapid industrialization.
Most of the power of the trade unions was lost.
Factory managers were sent peasants from collective farms when they needed more workers.
Many of the new factories were built by foreign engineers.
Newly trained Soviet experts began to replace highly skilled American engineers after the depression years.
Siberia's steel mills were modeled on America's best.
Stalin's planners harnessed the skill and technology of capitalist countries to promote the surge of socialist industry.
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