Section 3 Overview

Section 3: Stalin and the Building of Socialism

Joseph Stalin succeeded Vladimir Lenin. Stalin extended Lenin’s reign of terror, and Stalinism was grafted on to Marxism-Leninism. Through plotting, pressure, and pervasive violence, Stalin systematically eliminated all threats to his power, ruling as the undisputed head of the Soviet Union from the late 1920s until his death in 1953. Alarmed that the USSR lagged so far behind the West, Stalin was determined to vindicate communism and industrialize the nation no matter the cost—even the imprisonment and killing of millions, by violence, terror, and state-imposed famine. The first Five-Year Plan, which called for collectivization of farms and the confiscation of crops, resulted in mass starvation in the countryside. The famine was most severe in Ukraine, where millions of men, women, and children were deliberately starved to death in what is now known as the Holodomor. No one was safe from Stalin’s ideological ruthlessness and paranoia: even Communist Party faithful were subject to arrest and execution on the flimsiest of pretexts. Fear and suspicion ruled, and one wrong word could lead to the Gulag.

In Section 3, Stalin and the Building of Socialism, students will explore Stalin’s communist policies and the dire consequences of his decisions for the Soviet Union. Students will learn about the Five-Year Plan, the use of engineered famines, the Great Terror, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty with Adolf Hitler, and the impact of Stalin’s rule on the USSR, Europe, and the world.

Learning Objectives

•Understand and explain Stalinism. 
•Understand and explain the Five-Year Plan, industrialization, and collectivization. •Define “dekulakization” and understand the effects of collectivization on farmers throughout the USSR and on food production. 
Define the Holodomor and describe how Stalin’s orders and policies used famine as a weapon against the people of Ukraine.
Describe the Great Terror and identify Stalin’s use of the tools of communism both to spread the ideology and to gain and maintain his position of power.
Understand Stalin’s role in the beginning of World War II and explain the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Identify the effects of Stalin’s leadership on the Soviet Union during World War II and on Europe in the war’s immediate aftermath.

Content Standards

· NCHS World History 8.2C, 8.4A, 8.4B 8.5A
• NCHS World History 9.1B
• SS.912.CG.2.11, SS.912.CG.3.1, SS.912.CG.4.1
• SS.912.A.6.1
• SS.912.W.7.5, SS.912.W.7.6

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