1. Communist government in the USSR,1917–85:
i) Establishing Communist Party control, 1917–24:
● How did the Communists create a one-party state?
● What was the nature of government under Lenin?
● How did the government become more centralised?
ii) Stalin in power, 1928–53:
● How and why did Stalin eliminate his opponents in the Party and government?
● What happened in the purges of the 1930s?
● What power did Stalin have over party and state?
iii) Government, 1953–85
● How did Khrushchev attempts to reform government (including de-Stalinisation)?
● What policies did Brezhnev follow to return the USSR to stability, 1964–82
● How did political stagnation develop, 1982-85.
2. Industrial and agricultural change, 1917–85:
i) Towards a command economy, 1917–28:
● The nationalisation of industry (state capitalism)
● War Communism
● The New Economic Policy;
ii) Industry and agriculture in the Stalin era:
● The Five-Year Plans and Industry
● Collectivisation and its impact
● Recovery from war after 1945.
iii) Changes in industry and agriculture, 1953–85:
● Khrushchev's economic policy: the promotion of light industry, chemicals and consumer goods; investment in agriculture and the Virgin Lands Scheme
● Brezhnev and Andropov's limited attempts at reform after 1964;
● Reasons for Soviet economic decline.
3. Control of the people, 1917–85:
i) Media, propaganda and religion:
● State control of mass media and propaganda
● Attacks on religious beliefs and practices
● The personality cults of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev.
ii)The secret police:
● Attacks on opponents of the government
● The roles of Yagoda, Yezhov and Beria
● Andropov’s suppression of dissidents, 1967–82
● The continued monitoring of popular discontent, 1982–85.
iii) The state and cultural change:
● Art: Proletkult, avant-garde and Socialist Realism, 1917–53
● Nonconformity from the 1950s
● Clashes between artists and the government to 1985.
4. Social developments, 1917–85:
i) Social security:
● Full employment, housing and social benefits, 1917–53.
● Khrushchev, Brezhnev and the promotion of a stable society, 1953–85.
ii) Women and the family:
● The changing status of different groups of women in towns and countryside
● Changing government attitudes towards the family as a social unit.
iii) Education and young people:
● The growth of primary, secondary and higher education;
● The reduction of illiteracy
● State control of the curriculum.
5. What explains the fall of the USSR, c1985–91?
● The significance of the economic weaknesses of the USSR and the failure of reform.
● The effects of Gorbachev’s failure to reform the Communist Party and the Soviet government.
● The impact of the nationalist resurgence in the late 1980s in the Soviet republics and in the communist states of Eastern
● How far Gorbachev and Yeltsin can be seen as responsible for the collapse of the USSR in 1991?