In 1917, Russia was crumbling into pieces. The World War I was draining all of Russia’s resources. There was shortage of food throughout the country, which left people starving. At the battlefront, millions of Russian soldiers were dying, they did not possess many of the powerful weapons that their opponents had. The government under Czar Nicholas II was disintegrating, and a provisional government had been set up. In November of 1917, Lenin and his communist followers known as the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government and set a communist government in Russia. However, in 1924, Lenin died and Josef Stalin assumed leadership of the Soviet Union, which was the name for the communist Russia. Stalin was a ruthless leader who brought many changes to the Soviet Union. Stalin’s goal was to transform the Soviet Union into a modern superpower and spread communism throughout the world, and he was determined to sabotage anyone who stood in his way. He used many methods such as collectivization, totalitarianism and five year plan’s to achieve his goals. Stalin’s rule brought both harmful and beneficial consequences to the Soviet Union; however, the negative factors were so terrible, that they overwhelm the positive factors. To modernize the economy, Stalin came up with Five-Year Plans, which were plans that would rapidly develop the economy over a five-year period by setting up high production goals for heavy industry. In 1928, Stalin gave a speech before launching the first Five-Year Plan. Stalin said that they were falling behind other nations. We lag behind the advanced countries by fifty to a hundred years” “And those who fall behind are beaten”, he told the people “you must end our backwardness”. In 10 years, he thought the technological gap between the Soviet Union and the more advanced nations would be filled. He used this speech as a method of motivating the Russian people into participating and supporting his Five-Year Plan. “Either we do it, or we shall be crushed. ” (Document 1) Stalin utilizes Russian pride to try and push people so that they can be a more prosperous nation.
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