Government and Politics

Iron Curtain

What were the five-year plans?

These were the plans initiated by premier Joseph Stalin (1879–1953) of the Soviet Union to speed industrialization of the U.S.S.R. and organize agriculture under the collective control of the Communist government. The first five-year plan began in 1928, and subsequent plans were carried out until 1958, at which time the new Soviet leadership developed a seven-year plan (1959–65) aimed at matching—and surpassing—American industry. Under Premier Leonid Brezhnev (1906–1982), the five-year plans were reinstated in 1966 and continued until the dissolution of the Soviet Union during 1990 and 1991. Other Communist countries also instituted five-year plans, all with the goal of bringing industry, agriculture, and the distribution of goods and services under government control.


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