Purges, Gulags, and Five-Year Plans

The first communist
revolution occurred
in Russia in 1917.
Vladimir Lenin was
the first dictator of
this new social
of this new Soviet
After Lenin’s death, there was a
struggle in the Communist Party
to see who the next dictator of
the Soviet Union would be.
Through political machination and
cunning, Joseph Stalin succeeded
Lenin as the new leader of the
Soviet Union.
Stalin had used his position as
General Secretary of the Communist
Party to gain power.
Stalin controlled
all political
appointments and
over time,
everyone who
counted for
owed their position
to Stalin.
After Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin
removed all of his enemies from
positions of power. His purges
or executions of enemies ensured
his complete power over the
Communist Party and the nation!
Stalin also established gulags or
forced labor camps for enemies
of his policies or ideas.
While ensuring his absolute power
over the Communist Party and the
state, Stalin set about changing
the Soviet economy.
Stalin implemented a series of
five-year plans to rapidly industrialize
the Soviet Union.
By 1939, only Germany and the
United States outranked the Soviets
in industrial capacity.
Land was taken
from peasants
and a period of
of agriculture
began. Farms
were owned by
communities not
Peasants hated the loss of individual
control over agriculture. Sometimes
they burned their crops. Famine
Stalin’s rule was the rule of a
totalitarian dictator. Complete
government control of production
and ideas resulted. The free
exchange of ideas was not permitted.
Yes, Stalin changed life in the Soviet
Union. He increased industrial
production while facing
resistance among farmers. He
increased literacy rates while
restricting the free exchange of
Yes, Stalin
changed life
in the
Union and
ordered the
of many