This essay aims to explore the question 'For what reasons did Stalin suspend forced collectivisation in 1930?' In order to understand what drove Stalin - a man known to be uncompromising and callous to his people's suffering - to temporarily backtrack on his policy of collectivisation, the essay analyses the conditions in which collectivisation was undertaken and how peasants reacted to it. The period investigated is from 1927, when mass collectivisation was brought to the table of the Communist party, to 1930 when Stalin called for a temporary halt of the policy. To reach a balanced conclusion, I have used a wide range of sources, including secondary sources consisting of works published by western scholars, and textbooks on Communist Russia, as well as primary sources from the prominence within the Soviet government of the time. The subjectivity of the sources was assessed, with the knowledge of the prevalence of propaganda diffusion by the Party apparat during the period investigated, as well as the restrictions on the divulgation of Party documents before the fall of Communism.
B. Summary of Evidence.
Reasons for Collectivisation .
Collectivisation was established as part of the Five-Year Plan, as 'industrialisation could only be achieved by the mechanisation of agriculture'.1 .
At the 15th Party Congress in December 1927, Stalin argued that 'strengthening co-operative farms (kolkhozy) and increasing mechanisation could solve the inefficiency and backwardness of agriculture'.2.
'Stalin knew that the peasants would resist collectivisation', but 'aiming for rapid industrialisation and socialisation of the countryside, he accepted no compromise'.3 He also aimed to 'increase his own position and power at the expense of others within the leadership.'4.
Implementation of the Policy .
Stalin affirmed that the success of the policy rested on the 'voluntary character of the collective farm movement' and that 'collective farms must not be established by force.