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What were the central features of Stalinism in Eastern Europe?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The basis of Stalin's ideology
  3. The political system under Stalin
  4. Support for the system
  5. The industrial proletariat supporting Communist rule
  6. The major aspects of the Stalinist political program
    1. Economic reform and a transformation of the production base
    2. Precarious.working conditions
    3. The lack of support for farming
  7. The aspects of Stalinism which made it a totalitarian system
    1. The cult of the late Lenin
    2. The presence of one ruling party and one single ideology
    3. The direct and overt control of mass media
  8. Social consequences of the totalitarian system
  9. Conclusion
  10. Bibliography

The term ?Stalinism? refers to the brutal dictatorship which lasted from 1927 to 1953 in Russia and Eastern European countries. Although he was the leader of Soviet Russia, after the Second World War Stalin soon became the dictator of a Soviet Union which had expanded to most of Eastern Europe. Indeed Stalin along with the Western leaders, rapidly divided up the spheres of influence of the victors of WWII, during unofficial meetings, such as in Churchill's visit to Stalin in October 1944, or official ones, such as the Yalta or the Potsdam meetings, in February and June 1945 respectively. By the end of Potsdam, the satellization of Eastern Europe was nearly complete , and soon the Stalinist system applied to Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. Stalin's government has been defined as ?A totalizing system, legitimized in terms of perfection, managed by convinced utopians and backed up by terror?. What were the central features of Stalinism in Eastern Europe?

[...] This was the case in Hungary or Romania for example, where all non-communist parties were absorbed into the government as part of a coalition government, whereas in reality they had no say. Parliaments were expression of party dictates and all ministerial appointments were made amongst communists. Any potentially independent groups such as the middle stratum which consisted of survivors of the ancient elite, the entrepreneurial class, or the intelligentsia were crushed. ?Through reform as the carrot and the use of terror as the stick the communists backed by the omnipresent NKVD and the Red Army, crushed all political opposition.? . [...]

[...] These pressures were efficient, as for example in Czechoslovakia we can see that the percentages of collectivized arable land rose from 25% in 1950 to 48% in There was clearly a desire amongst the party for agricultural population to assimilate itself to the urban population, with a purely economic function and target-reaching work organisation. Indeed quotas of production were set by party members, who were not familiar with agriculture, and thus set incoherent demands. This illustrates the party's refusal to acknowledge the fact agricultural work necessitates certain skills for it to be efficient. [...]

[...] Although ideally, the state was supposed to wither away once socialism had been established, Stalin argued that there was still some need for government control notably in the fields of distribution, even once he had declared socialism had been reached in Stalinism thus represents a communist ideology, with some variants in its practice. The political system under Stalin was hierarchical and disciplined, with Stalin gradually attaining the status of a in the USSR. All leaders of Eastern Europe were under orders from above. [...]

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