Faculty Advisor

Dr. John L. Rector

Department

History

Document Type

Document

Publication Date

4-2013

Abstract

Joseph Stalin embodies the idea of a totalitarian dictator influenced by few and challenged by none. This view of Stalin’s role in Soviet history has proven incorrect in many respects since the fall of the Soviet Union and the opening up of Soviet archives to scholars around the world. The event that most demonstrated the lack of homogeneity within the Soviet government and the persistence of resistance to Stalin’s complete authority is the forced collectivization of agriculture. Soviet collectivization was an ambitious plan and for Stalin one of the most controversial policy initiatives he would pursue. Ultimately, the documentary record reveals that the agricultural policies that Stalin endorsed, which led to full scale collectivization, were not the product of a monolithic government ran by Stalin, but rather were contested at nearly every stage of development from 1928 through 1934.

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