|Stalin DBQ #1
Joseph Stalin came to power in Russia in the years after the Russian Revolution. He strengthened Communist rule in Russia through a series of Five Year Plans, creating a command economy, and ultimately by setting up a totalitarian state. Though Stalin was effective in rapidly industrializing Russia, he was not an effective leader because far too many people died for no reason under his rule.
To start, Stalin was very effective in rapidly industrializing Russia, which was very far behind the rest of Europe at this point. According to Stalin himself, in a speech he gave to his people, “We lag behind the advanced countries by fifty to a hundred years. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or we shall be crushed.” Here, Stalin is try to impart a sense of desperation in his people. Russia had just been crushed in WWI because they were not advanced. He wanted to change that, and the statistics in Document 2 show he succeeded. According to the graph, the production of coal, electricity, oil, and steel are increased greatly during his Five Year Plans.
However, in order to accomplish his industrialization, Stalin neglected and even killed millions of his people. According to an article in the Wallstreet Journal, “Today, reliable estimates place the number of Ukrainian victims of starvation at 4.5 million to 7 million…The famine was a clear result of the fact that between 1931 and1933, while the amount of food harvested was steeply declining, Stalin’s commissars continued to confiscate grain to support the work going on in the cities.” This indubitably shows that Stalin was not effective because he did not truly care about his people. He only cared about accomplishing his industrial goals, even if millions died from famine because of it. He did not stop there, however. During the Great Purge , Stalin would directly kill anyone that disagreed with him. 1.5 million died. Clearly, he was not an effective leader.
To conclude, while Stalin accomplished his goals, he cannot be considered an effective leader because he killed his own people and clearly did not care about them at all. Effective leaders try to improve the lives of the people they lead. Stalin did the opposite.
Stalin DBQ #2
Stalin became the total leader of Russia in 1928. This happened after he had his main rival, Leon Trotsky, killed with an ice pick. This represents Stalin well. Stalin was an effective leader of Russia because he got things done.
One of the things that Stalin got done was the industrialization of Russia. He did this through a series of Five Year Plans. According to the statistics in the chart from Twentieth Century History, electricity production increased by 7x, coal increased by 4x, oil increased by 4x, and steel increased by 4x. This clearly shows the Five Year Plans were successful, and clearly shows Stalin was getting things done. Before WWI, Russia was in the gutter and was getting beaten up by all of Europe. They even lost WWI! After Stalin, Russia was industrialized and strong.
Stalin was able to get things done because he crushed anyone that tries to stop him. This also shows he is effective. According to Nadezhda Khazina, “On every floor of every building there must always be several apartments where the residents have suddenly been taken away. The remaining inhabitants will be model citizens for the rest of their lives.” She is a primary source that tells us how Stalin made his people into the perfect citizens. They obeyed him, and Stalin got things done because of this. This shows Stalin was a very effective leader.
Stalin was a very effective leader of Russia. He industrialized them very quickly, and made sure they did what he said. This is why they called him the Man of Steel, and why I think he was an effective leader.