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Mao and Stalin

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To what extent did either Mao’s or Stalin’s domestic policies solve the problems they faced?
Answers to this question should identify the problems and specific policies and assess the extent to which such policies addressed the stated problems.
Stalin’s problems included the economy – with limited industrial development and food shortages. His solution was to adopt the policy of rapid industrialization at the expense of the peasants by implementing the Five Year Plans and Collectivization. Political problems included the need to fully establish the one-party state, to increase his own control of the party and control of all aspects of social and cultural life to ensure the population served the needs of the state. Policies to achieve this included purges of the party and other potential opponents, using coercion to control the population at large, issuing a new constitution in 1936, using the party and state to control arts, education and the Orthodox Church.
Mao’s problems were: devastation of the country after the civil war and the war with Japan; to improve the conditions of the peasant masses that supported him; to organize the country; to eliminate opposition. The policies were: agrarian reform (redistribution of land and collectivization of farms); Five Year Plan to promote industry; the Hundred Flowers campaign in 1957 (calling for constructive criticism); the Great Leap Forward in 1958 (to meet China’s needs – a policy that was not based on Soviet experience and which introduced the communes and emphasis on small factories to promote industrialization) and the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1969 (to “save” the revolution and uproot opposition). Politically – by the mid-1950’s China had become a one-party state and the CCP formed the basis of all political and administrative structures. N.B. The focus of this question is rule and not…...

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