Stalin's First Five-Year Plan

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In 1928, Stalin had introduced his First Five-Year Plan and made a main focuses on the rapid increase of heavy industry output. The need for rapid advancement was to establish the Soviet Union an independent nation that, in the time of war, would not need to rely on the industrial imports from other nations. The success of the First Five-Year Plan is largely debated, as the rapid increase of several heavy industries is seen as a success in the needs of the Plan as a whole. However, many historians view the outcomes of the Plan in the context its goals, and take the perspective that it had failed in its aspirations. Although Stalin’s first five-year plan was successful in drastically improving the iron, coal, and steel industries, it was his…show more content…
The overall goals of the First Five-Year Plan were to experience “a 250 percent increase in overall industrial development and a 330 percent expansion in heavy industry alone” (Library of Congress). Stalin’s goal to meet such high percentages was unrealistic for the Plan and largely not met. The failure of these goals is seen by the fact that the industries of coal, iron, and steel did not even meet a 100 percent increase, let alone one above 200 (Strauss). The unrealistically high goal that Stalin had set for the First Five-Year Plan set it up to be a failure from the beginning. Although individual products had shown evidence of drastic increases, they were incapable of meeting the overall goal that Stalin had set. Due to this unrealistic goal setting, the developments of industrial output were largely failure because they did meet their planned amounts. Historian Michael Kort also notes the difference between the planned output of cast iron and the actual production. Only 6.2 million metric tons of cast iron were actually produced in 1932 compared to the desired amount of 17 million (Khlevniuk). The actual production of cast iron by the declared end of the First Five-Year plan was not even close to the planned amount. This marks another failure of the plan, in the context of iron, based solely upon the fact that production did…show more content…
Furthermore, the achievement of the First Five-year Plan during its first year further displayed that Soviet Russia had the initial means the allow the Plan to be a success. That said, it was Stalin’s overambitious resetting of the goals that ultimately led to the Plan’s failure to meet its desired means. The overall goals that Stalin had set for the First Five-Year Plan had proven themselves to be unobtainable, as the outcomes of the industry did not meet his endeavors in the long run. Thus, it was Stalin’s own ego while setting goals that caused the actually successful increases to be undermined as failures in comparison to Stalin’s unrealistic

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