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The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSR which was established in 1922 was the first communist state in the world Run by the general secretary the equivalent of the position of the president in the United States the communist party controlled the government and the government controlled all of the industry and agriculture Yet under such strict government control the Soviet Union ended in collapse in the year 1991 The main contributing factor towards the downfall of the USSR was the poor state of the economy which in turn triggered the second main factor the mistakes of the party leaders in their attempts to make changes Vladimir Lenin was the man who led the Bolsheviks the All-Russian Communist Party during the early stages of the USSRs development but he was never officially appointed as the general secretary In 1921 Lenin accepted a compromise the New Economic Policy NEP which kept the important aspects of the economy finance transportation heavy industry and foreign trade in state hands but allowed individuals and small private firms to carry out trade small-scale manufacturing and farming On April 3rd 1922 Joseph Stalin was appointed to the new post of general secretary and by the end of the 1920s him and his allies rejected the NEP conveniently after Lenins death in 1924 and confiscated private property and launched the first Five-Year Plan The planned economy was in place by the mid-1930s Almost all assets were now controlled by the state and its agents The plan set goals and priorities for almost the entire economy its main goal being an overall increase in production A system of collective and state farms was set up despite the widespread peasant opposition Some of the more comparatively prosperous peasants called kulaks who refused to join the newly set up agricultural institutions were ruthlessly destroyed by the government due to their lack of cooperation Over 5 million peasant homes were eliminated their property confiscated and most
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