OCR GCSE History: Russia, 1928–1964

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A1:4 Russia, 1928–1964

This depth study focuses on the relationship between the Russian people and the Communist regimes that ruled Russia from 1928–1964. Learners will need to be familiar with the key issues specified in the introduction to the non-British depth studies on page 14 of the specification. These issues will be assessed.

Stalin’s Russia 1928–1941

  • The abandonment of the NEP;
  • Collectivisation, including reasons for the policy, resistance to it and its effects;
  • The Five-Year Plans, including reasons for the policy, attitudes towards it, and its effects;
  • The return of conservative social policy, including education, marriage, the effect on nationalism and policies towards religion;
  • Use of propaganda;
  • The cult of Stalin;
  • Youth organisations;
  • Repression, including the early purges, Show Trials, the Great Purge.

The Great Patriotic War and its effects 1941–1953

  • The effects of the German invasion of the USSR in 1941, including the Siege of Leningrad, the Soviet war effort, the effect of war on industrial production and workers, wartime propaganda, the rise of nationalism and the effect of war on minorities including Ukrainians and Jews;
  • Damage done to the Soviet Union;
  • Post-war purges and treatment of returning prisoners;
  • New Five-Year Plan;
  • Government clampdown on Western cultural influence.

Khrushchev’s Russia 1953–1964

  • Khrushchev’s more liberal policies, including the Secret Speech and its effects in Russia, the relaxation of censorship, the release of political prisoners, reform of labour camps, prisons and judicial system and new laws against corruption;
  • Continuing oppression, including the creation and actions of the KGB and attacks on the Orthodox Church;
  • Economic and social policies, including the decentralisation of agriculture, changes to kolkhozy and state farms, the reasons for and effect of Virgin Lands policy, new Five-Year Plans and focus on consumer goods;
  • Changes in living standards, changes to compulsory education and extension of higher education.

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