Make a list of positives and negatives during Stalin's rule.
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Clearly, the list of negatives will be quite a bit longer, and it cannot be emphasized enough that no equivalence or balance is implied by stating the positives. But Stalin's rule did witness the following positives:
- the rapid industrialization and modernization of the Soviet economy.
- education for many Soviet citizens, especially those in cities.
- growth of the Soviet Union into a global power, dwarfing the European powers and rivaling the United States.
On the other hand, the human cost of these advances was astonishing. The negative consequences of Stalin's rule included:
- millions of small farmers forced onto collective farms, and starved (deliberately) due to Stalin's policies. This was particularly horrible in the Ukraine.
- the murder of millions of alleged opponents of Stalin's rule during the infamous purges.
- the devotion of resources to industrialization at the expense of standard of living.
- harsh limitations on speech and expression, reaching totalitarian levels. Stalin developed a police state that exceeded even the considerable brutality of the tsarist regime.
- expansion into Eastern Europe, establishing client states.
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