These Document Based Questions must be completed in black or blue ink and brought to school tomorrow. Document 1
The following is an excerpt from “The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens” included in the Soviet Union’s Constitution of 1936.
Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure…ensured by the reduction of the working day to seven hours for the overwhelming majority of the workers, the institution of annual vacations with full pay for workers.
Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work…at state expense, free medical service for the working people
All citizens of the U.S.S.R. who have reached the age of eighteen, irrespective of race or nationality, religion, educational and residential qualifications, social origin, property status or past activities, have the right to vote in the election of deputies and to be elected.
What rights were guaranteed to the citizens of the Soviet Union?
This excerpt is from A History of Russia, the Soviet Union, and Beyond by David MacKenzie and Michael W. Curran, published in 2002.
From the inception of the Bolshevik regime, the party placed high priority on eliminating illiteracy, which was especially widespread in rural areas but also affected many urban workers. As early as 1919 a campaign was inaugurated to eradicate illiteracy. In 1921 so-called rabfaki (worker’s schools) were established in factories to offer instruction in basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. Evening classes were held in factories; their success may be measured by the millions who learned the rudiments of literacy in their crash courses.
How did the communist government address the problems of illiteracy in Russia?
This excerpt is from The Making of the West by Lynn Hunt, et al, published in 2005.
Unskilled workers faced a grim plight, often with real dedication. Newcomers from the country side were herded into barrack like dwellings, even tents and subjected to dangerous factory conditions. Many took pride in the skills they acquired. “We mastered this profession—completely new to us—with great pleasure,” a female lathe operator recalled. Because fulfilling the plan had top priority as a measure of progress toward Communist utopia, official lying about productivity became ingrained in the economic system. Both the grim conditions and honest commitment to Communist goals turned the Soviet Union from an illiterate peasant society to an advanced industrial economy in a single decade.
According to the author, how did industrialization affect the workers of the Soviet Union?
This excerpt, from “Forced Famine in the Ukraine: a Holocaust the West Forgot” by Adrian Karatnychy, was printed in The Wall Street Journal, on July 7, 1983.
Today, reliable academic estimates place the number of Ukrainian victims of starvation at 4.5 million to 7 million….the famine was in part the by-product of Stalin’s relentless drive to collectivize Soviet agriculture. The famine was a clear result of the fact that between 1931 and 1933, while harvests were precipitously declining, Stalin’s commissars continued to…confiscate grain. Peasants were shot and deported as rich, landowning “kulak”…While the drive to collectivize agriculture was a wide-ranging phenomenon common to the entire USSR, only in the Ukraine did it assume a genocidal character. Indeed there can be no question that Stalin used the forced famine as part of a political strategy whose aim was to crush all vestiges of Ukrainian national sentiments.
According to the author, what were two explanations for the elimination of between 4.5 and 7 million Ukrainians between 1931 and 1933?
When the first Five-Year Plan was announced in 1929, targets for industries were set that began rapid industrialization. (Twentieth Century History, Tony Howarth, Longman Group Ltd., 1979)
Target for 1933
Electricity (milliard kWh)
Coal (million tons)
Oil (million tons)
Pig-iron (million tons)
Steel (million tons)
What is the goal of this Five-Year Plan?
For what specific areas were goals set?
Agricultural output during collectivization
Grain (millions of tons)
Sheep and goats (millions)
Source: Adapted from A. Nove, The Soviet Economy, 2nd Ed. (New York, 1967), p. 186
According to the chart, how did the USSR’s collectivization affect agricultural production in the Soviet Union?
Boris Vladimirski - Roses for Stalin
According to the painting, what role did Stalin have in the Soviet Union?
In this excerpt, the French ambassador to the Soviet Union describes the public trials that were part of the Great Purge of Stalin.
I personally attended the second and third Moscow trials, those of 1937 and 1938…Pyatakov [another defendant] arose…confessed….to a number of crimes. Did these “confessions” carry any share of truth? It is possible that the accused were hostile to Stalin’s regime…But the lessons they recited must have been forced from them… It is also probable that the accused gave in some form of pressure…Some would give in to save their families, others in the hope of saving their own lives.
According to the French ambassador, what happened at the trials?