The Great Turn and the growing industrial scene in the early 1930’s

The Great Turn was the turning point for the Russian economy changing from the New Economic Policy that was instated by Lenin after the multiple revolutions of 1917 and 1922 and that of the New Five year plan that drove the Russian economy into industrialization. Without the change of policy by the Russian government, they would have been completely unprepared for the start of the Second World War. Much of the reasoning that caused the first five year plan was driven out of a fear that the West was gearing up for another invasion of the Soviet Union as many countries began to cut diplomatic ties. These fears drove in the need for Russia to rapidly industrialize and also increase their agricultural production.  There were many effects to the pressure of the Five year plan both politically, socially, and economically. One of the major changes that the first Five Year Plan brought in was the collectivization of farms across Russia in order to increase the production of grains for the nation. This changed cause many social changes for the peasants that worked across the vast plains of Russia. Under the Five Year Plan the leadership of the Kulaks were completely taken out of power as a way to free the peasants from servitude but in generally those that were not put in jail or killed by Stalin’s purges then died from starvation. By forcing collectivization on the peasants many people decided to kill of livestock to try to gain something from their animals instead of putting them into communal farms were they would not get any monetary benefit from them. Also grain production fell by almost half during these years because the lack of leadership and lack of monetary benefit. Also looking up to the poster that is at the top of the post was created by Varvara Stepanova in 1932. This poster was made as a proganda item that depicts the successes of the firs Five Year plan. It’s bold colors show soviet patriotism and has a large depiction of Lenin as a way to pay homage to leader of the great revolution. In red you can see the electric tower which is a symbol of the accomplishments of industrialization that came along because of the Five Year plan. Those benefits were not as felt to those farmers that lived outside of the major urban centers of Russia.

“Stepanova, The Results of the First Five-Year Plan,” accessed February 27, 2016, https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-1010/art-between-wars/intl-avant-garde/a/stepanova-the-results-of-the-first-five-year-plan

Schisms of the Russian Church

The Russian church was a major part of everyday culture to much of the population in Russia. Over the early 1920’s the major changes that occurred to the church caused it to lose its grip on the churches hold of power in Russian society. After the actions of Patriarch Tikhon who had condemned the Bolsheviks the relations between the church and the Soviet government became more rocky. After the Bolsheviks were condemned by the church, Lenin and his fellow conspirators came up with a three pronged approach to undermining the churches’ authority. One of these attacks was to take all of the gold and foreign currency away from the people. This action applied to the churches as well and the large amounts of gold that the church controlled. The reasoning behind this was to pay for the lack of food that was plaguing the nation at this time.

After carrying out a number of operations to undermine and split the clergy of the Russian church. This campaign by the Bolsheviks helped to drive religion farther out from the political world and thus opening the door for the Bolsheviks to take more control of Russian politics. The Russian governments stand against the church drove the populations of Russia to split into pro and anti-church units in which sides were harshly divided. This tactic to drive the people of Russia to different sides was used by many fronts during the Russian revolution in order to make the public easier to manipulate.