How effective was terror in controlling the people of the USSR in the period 1929 to 1941?

Essay by nic_groveHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2006

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Stalin, the "Man of Steel" is known for his use of terror during his legendary rule. He was the kind of leader that would stop at almost nothing to accomplish his goals. "Stalin is a Genghis Kahn, an unscrupulous intriguer, who sacrifices everything else to the preservation of power....He changes his theories to whom he needs to get rid of".

Through his 5 year plans, Stalin introduced Collectivisation into the rural parts of Russia to control the peasants and Industrialization in urban areas to control the workers. Anyone who opposed Stalin's regime were executed, imprisoned or sent to the Gulags, large scale Labour camps with extreme conditions. Stalin's Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (NKVD - secret police) was responsible carrying out the tortures, executions, arrests, imprisonment and many other atrocities. The height of Stalin's ferocity hit in the early 1930's when he began a series of purges on the army, police and the wider side of society to rid himself of all his enemies or people, who he said, "threatened the revolution".

Through his use of terror and the "iron fist" method of rule Stalin very easily manipulated the Russian population and took control of the whole country right up until his death on the 5th of March 1953.

The use of terror was very effective because it targeted key population groups, there were serious consequences for not conforming, and the methods of terror sent the population into a constant state of unease.

In November 1927, Stalin launched his "revolution from above" by setting two goals for the soviet domestic policy: rapid industrialization and Collectivisation of agriculture. His aims were to erase all traces of the capitalism that had entered under the New Economic Policy (NEP) and to transform the Soviet Union as quickly as possible into an industrialized and completely...