What Methods Did Stalin Use to Control the Soviet Union?

12 December 2016

This idea of propaganda had helped manipulate fellow Russians to believe that Stalin was somehow god-like due to his superior rank. Education and censorship were strictly controlled and played an important role in part of Stalin’s key features of control. Books were rewritten, censored and introduced to teach everyone the ideas of Stalin in schools. Stalin had also had all the history of the old communists erased from education books and reprinted to modified version that gave him more of an elevated role in the textbooks.

Political youth groups were also introduced to train children in socialism along with various activities such as sports and camps. This ultimately gave Stalin control over the young generation of the Soviet Union, as they were lead to believe in what was taught to them. Another method that was carried out was based around the arts and the sciences. Writers and artists were regarded dangerous to Stalin and so they were forced to produce work that suited Stalin and the soviet workers. This method was known as ‘socialist realists’.

What Methods Did Stalin Use to Control the Soviet Union? Essay Example

However, any other work that was produced in which criticized soviet rule, painters or writers would find them selves in harsh labor camps. The sciences was particularly paid much attention to by Stalin for he felt improvements in technology and production in nuclear weapons would help industrialize Russia and grow as a nation. This time period hence was named ‘ the golden ages’ for Russia. On a larger scale Stalin had introduced two major methods that enabled him with complete control over the Soviet Union.

These aspects were focused around industry and agriculture of Russia. In 1929, collectivization was introduced to increase agriculture over a 5-year plan. It was appointed to the peasants in whom they were encouraged to group strips of land together and form a collective farm where they would work together and share everything from food to clothing. This form of collective farms was called ‘ Kolkhoz’ and it helped the peasants to farm efficiently as well live better, make Russia more modern and promote communist ideas.

However, there were disputes against the idea of collectivization from the peasants as they felt rationing food will cause starvation for themselves. In later cases, this did lead to famine when harvest was bad in 1932. But the real purpose of this 5-year policy was to gather grains and food so that workers could be fed within the industrializing cities and factories but also gain money for industrialization. Even though this policy gave Stalin ultimate power over agriculture and the working class, millions had died and starved in result. Fear was also part of this method.

Fear from dekulakisation was commonplace as Stalin blamed Kulaks for everything that has gone wrong. These kulaks were often known as rich peasants that would not agree to the term of collectivization and were found either dead, sent to labor camps or deported. In all, collectivization had caused tremendous damage to the lives of peasants and farmers but gave Stalin more power and control over the Soviet Union even though it was not a completely finished method. Industrialization was another method introduced however this was directed towards the industry.

This plan consisted of 5 year plans that were basically targets to increase production in industry over the given time period. The reasons for the introduction of this method was firstly to provide enough machinery to mechanize farming and agriculture, enable Stalin to control the production of goods, to have a strong industry that can produce armament, independence as a nation and have the government to control state planning. However the conditions for peasant during this 5-year plan were astronomically bad.

Working conditions were very harsh as it consisted of little resources, poor hygiene, long working hours and heavy punishment if any of the workers were unable to complete tasks. The Gulag was also a feature part of industrialization, however workers were expected to live less than 2 years in the forced labor camp. Following on, this method did involve propaganda to encourage potential workers to join in the plan through a propaganda story of Stakhanov; a hard working employee. Stalin had run this plan 3 times all of which did not meet all of its aims and targets but he did gain a developed control over the work force.

In overall, Stalin had created and introduced numbers of methods, whether they were forced or ideas to catapult him to more control over the Soviet Union. He had also targeted different groups from children to farmers in order to build power nation wide through propaganda and fear. This in summary had made him more superior for he controlled what was produced and how it could be used within the country so Russia could develop into an independent country. Even though some methods were unsuccessful they were very effective in favor of Stalin and his rule of power.

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