Modern Europe

Section I – Identify in several sentences five of the individuals or terms below from chapters 10 and 14 of Edward Berenson’s Europe in the Modern World, Volume II. (2 points each)

Bloody Sunday of 1905 The Socialist Reolutionaries
Alexander Kerensky The Kornilov Affair
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk of 1918 The Cheka
The New Economic Policy The Great Purge
Solidarity Trade Union Movement Perestroika
The Velvet Revolution Boris Yelsin
Commonwealth of Independent States

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Section II – Answer each of the five questions below in a paragraph based on Joseph Stalin’s Speech on The Tasks of Business Executives of 1931 found at https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1931/02/04.htm (5 points each)

1. What are the “objective conditions” for rapid industrial development in the Soviet Union that Stalin identifies in “the Tasks of Economic Executives?”

2. How does Stalin compare the economic conditions of the Soviet Union with those of the major capitalist countries during this same period in the early 1930s?

3. Identify one of the major problems Stalin claims is under-mining effective management of new industrial enterprises in the Soviet Union.

4.Why does Stalin reject the idea of slowing down or “slacking” the pace of industrial growth his economic plan is creating in the Soviet Union?

5. Stalin claimed in this speech that “we are 50 to 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years or we will go under,” and that “those who fall behind get beaten.” Is there any truth for this view or was it in your view or merely Stalin’s way of justifying his imposing his policy of rapid industrialization on the Soviet Union?

Section III – Answer each of the questions below based on Parts I, II and III of Stalin’s Results of the First Five Year Plan of 1933 found at https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1933/01/07.htm (5 points each)

6. Identify some of the initial reasons in the Western press that Stalin points to when the First Five Year Plan was introduced in the Soviet Union.

7. Identify some to the goals of the Five Year Plan as described by Stalin in Part II of his 1933 speech on the subject.

8. Stalin used extremely repressive measures to force most agricultural producers to surrender their small farms and work on large state-owned farms. What was his justification for this policy?

9. Stalin pointed out that industrialization in other countries depended on either “big loan, or by plundering other countries, or by both methods simultaneously.” How did he think the Soviet Union could industrialize?

10. What does Stalin claim were the successes of the Five Year Plan by 1933 and how does he say this compared with other countries by that year?

11. In Part III of this speech Stalin acknowledges that the Soviet Union was not producing sufficient consumer goods for its people. How does he justify this failure?

12. Identify some to the goals Stalin sets out for the Second Five Year Plan that was about to be launched.

Section IV – Answer both of the questions below based on Nikita Khrushchev speech of 1956 outlining Stalin’s abuse of power and repression found at https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1956khrushchev-secret1.asp (5 points each)

13. In 1956 the new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev claimed that Stalin had several “character defects” that contributed to his repressive policies. What were some of these “defects?”

14. Khrushchev also pointed out that Stalin accused many people of being so-called “enemies of the people.” What according to Khrushchev were the consequences of this labeling of individuals?

Section V – Answer both of the questions below based on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s 2009 interview about the end of European Communism found at
https://www.thenation.com/article/gorbachev-1989/ (5 points)

15. Some observers have claimed that outside pressure or events explain the collapse of the Soviet Union. What was former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s response to this view in his 2009 interview on the fall of the Soviet Union?

16. Why according to Gorbachev did the economic problems of Russia become so severe after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991?

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