Joseph Stalin is known to many others as being a madman and a murderer. However, he was much more. He was the leader of russia after the age of the Czars. He was a communist and wanted create a completely communist russia. He was huge on forced labor and was indirectly charged with millions of deaths. Joseph stalin had one of the greatest impacts on russian history through the creation of a new nation and his engagement in world war 2 and the spread of his communist ideas world wide. The USSR had an extremely big impact on the culture of Russia. The USSR was created after the rule of the czars in 1917. It consisted of 15 different socialist republics and over 100 different nationalities which often caused large amounts of tension.(hingly)Out of all these cultures, ? of the population was made up of East Slavs. The USSR was absolutely massive and spread across 8,650,000 square miles. This caused problems with looking after the whole nation due to its size. It was so large that it took up 11 of the worlds 24 time zones. During its time it was the world’s largest country. They attempted to make a better government than the one that had existed before. They started by creating a constitution in 1930. They created the political foundation of the USSR. The supreme soviet was located in Moscow and had ruled. This system had two branches, the Soviet of the union and the Soviet of Nationalities. They had 750 members in each branch. All legislation created had to be approved by the supreme soviet until an amendment in article 6 of their constitution in 1990.(hingly) The system was very authoritarian and centralized. The foundation of the economy was “socialist ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange” and the entire economy was run by multiple five-year plans that set targets for production.(hingly)The USSR had many important impacts on Russia and it shaped the country we know today. When Stalin came into government he moved to a radical communist society. He attepmted to get  away from the  capitalist/communist economy of Lenin. It was time to “modernize” the USSR. He wanted to industrialize and modernize USSR. He had overworked his workers, his people were dying, and most of them in slave labor camps. In fact, by doing this Stalin had hindered the USSR and put them even farther back in time.( staff) a dictator, Stalin was very strict about his policies, especially working. For instance. Stalin had set quotas very high, as they were very unrealistic. The workers had very long days, and under the rule of Stalin most people worked many hours in overtime and resulting in no pay. Stalin treated workers very, very harshly.(Iwonder) Those who did not work were exiled to Siberia or killed. Some may say you got what you deserved in Stalin’s time. Those who worked very hard for Stalin sometimes got bonuses such as trips, or goods likes televisions and refrigerators. The workers had to conform to Stalin’s policies. Stalin’s harsh treatment of workers received a very unwelcoming response, but in fact, the liberal amount of goods that the workers had made, had, in fact, boosted the USSR’s economy.(McCoy) Therefore Stalin had created a country which seemed corrupt at the time, but later on, it improved by the hard work Stalin had forced upon them. When Stalin became the leader of the USSR the quality of life and standard of living dropped considerably. For instance, the people had no personal freedom. Meaning that they had to worship Stalin as all other religions had been abolished and most churches had been demolished. The people who went into those churches that were left standing were arrested or punished otherwise. Soon there were food shortages. Somewhere between 1932 and 1933, over 6 million people died of starvation. This was the greatest man-made famine in history. The famine came as a result of Stalin’s unrealistic goals. Also, people had poor family lives. Abortions came a dime a dozen as did It is not difficult to lay blame on either the United States or the Soviet Union for the causes of the Cold War; the blame is to be put on the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin was not looking to do what was best for the economy or the people. His ideas of being a dictator became bigger soon after the end of World War II. He immediately looked to take control over Eastern Europe. His reasons for doing so were not for economic gain but for becoming a major world dictator. There were many differences between the United States and the Soviet Union, the main being their political and economic systems. The United States was capitalist while the Soviet Union was communist. It was this political and economic difference among other things that led to the Cold War. Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights (, while communism a political theory derived from Marxism, advocating a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person is paid and works according to his or her needs and abilities. The United States and the Soviet Union also differed in every other aspect of politics. The US was in favor of free elections while the Soviets were not. The US had a democracy and the Soviets had a dictatorship. The US believed in personal freedom while the Soviet society was controlled by the NKVD (secret police). the United States and the Soviet Union were allies during World War Two they were soon faced with many opposing views soon after the war ended. Joseph Stalin the leader of the Soviet Union had wanted to gain complete control of Eastern Europe most importantly Germany and make it a communist society. Here in the US Truman started to worry about the spread of communism in Eastern Europe. The anticipation of the spread of communism was concerning Truman as if it did proceed to happen it would be greatly affecting the United States economy. It would limit trade with other countries and it opposed everything the United States system of laissez-faire economics believed in. In the meantime, the people in the Soviet Union were barely surviving, and it did not seem that it was Stalin’s major concern at the time; he was more interested in taking over Eastern Europe then taking care of the people.What led to the Cold War, in my opinion, was Stalin’s idea of a dominant communistic world. The United States was very much opposed to this idea as it was everything they were opposed to politically and economically. The United States did not want in to spread any further and did not want Stalin to gain any more control of Europe then he already had. Both the US and the Soviet Union were both selfish in the reasons for their actions. I feel that The United States was doing what was best for their economy and the world economy while Stalin and the Soviet Union was working to gain a dominant world. I feel that Stalin was not looking out for what was best for his people but what was best for his ego. Joseph Stalin is a polarizing figure. Decades after his death his legacy still continues to create a debate about his tumultuous years as the leader of the Soviet Union. This is evident throughout the four documents while some praise Stalin as impeccable others criticize his policies and lack of political, economic, and social progress during his regime. Even though Stalin was behind various violations of human rights he was able to maintain the Soviet Union during a time of turmoil both domestically and internationally, as a result, he has earned notoriety as a great leader and advocate for Marxist ideology. Among the first policies enacted toward economic prosperity and industrialization were the Five Year Plans. The first Five Year Plan included rapid collectivization of the villages in the countryside in order to make enough agricultural profit to fund industrialization efforts. This period was plagued with violence, unattainable production targets and the destruction of traditional village life. The Second Five-year plan began in 1933, in 1935 the term Stakhanovite began to be used to identify those workers who developed new innovation that allowed them to greatly surpass average production. The term was named after Aleksei Stakhanov who was a miner.(Fitzpatrick and Slezkine 2000) “Speeches of Stakhanovites” is comprised of several speeches given at national Stakhanovite meetings that included a member of the Politburo and Stalin himself. From these speeches, we can see that there was a very positive image of Stalin among the Stakhanovites.They all begin and conclude by praising Stalin and the party. This shows that they clearly supported the policies of the Five Year Plans even though they demanded over-optimistic goals of production. People recalling memories they had of what it was like to live under Stalin’s paranoid rule. During his five-year plans to become a more industrialized nation, Stalin had thousands of people forced into building the White Sea Canal. They were made to continue working until they dropped from exhaustion. When it was completed in 1933 the workers who were still left were drowned in the canal. Another paranoid act Stalin ordered to be carried out was the murder of over a thousand members of the seventeenth congress. When Stalin held a vote to elect who the general secretary would be, three hundred votes were against him. He feared that he would be overthrown by Sergei Kirov, who only received three votes against him. 1998, after the fall of communism in the now former Soviet Union, there is no longer the government forcing what they want the people to believe. The people of the former Soviet Union can now freely decide whether they believe Stalin to be a wonderful leader or a monster. The new generation must realize the horrible atrocities Stalin committed to their relatives and think him a terrible criminal. Hopefully, the generation that was alive at the time of Stalin and his successors, who were brainwashed into believing Stalin was a wise leader now realize that he was not all he was heralded to be. For the most part, people in the former Soviet Union must view him as the evil, paranoid man he was, but do realize his accomplishments at industrializing and beating Hitler in World War Two, though at terrible costs. There still will always be those few holdovers, who have been so confused with propaganda that they would still believe Stalin a good leader. For the most part, hopefully, the people of the former Soviet Union must recognize the horrific fact that Stalin murdered more than twenty million innocent people. He had most likely the biggest impact in Russian

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