The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was born on December 30, 1922, formed after the October Revolution of 1917. Its creation brought with it a time of economic prosperity and a new model of society.

The USSR, also known as the Soviet Union, was made up of four socialist republics: Russia, Transcaucasia, Ukraine, and Belarus. These countries approved the Creation Treaty and the Creation Declaration, which was signed by leaders Mikhail Kalinin, Mikha Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze and Grigory Petrovsky, and Aleksandr Chervyakov on December 30, 1922.

Origin of the USSR: The October Revolution

In 1917, the October Revolution, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the regime of Tsar Nicholas II, who had to abdicate and a provisional government was installed.

Shortly after, in 1922, the USSR was officially established, but it was not until February 1924 that it was officially recognized by Great Britain, France and Italy.

Lenin becomes the first state leader to be appointed president of the Council of the Soviet Socialist Republics.

What was the USSR like?

At birth, the USSR had only four Soviet Socialist Republics, formed directly after the October Revolution. But over the years it continued to grow until it had 15 republics in 1940.

His government had a Central Executive Committee and a Council of Commissioners. The members of the government, called Soviets, were elected by local councils, and these reported to Congress.

This socialist federation occupied 22,402,200 square kilometers. Its territory stretched between eastern Europe and the northern portion of Asia. For this reason, the USSR had a very varied climate, from subtropical and continental to subarctic and polar.

On the other hand, the Soviet Union had more than 150 ethnic groups and a total population of 293 million inhabitants until 1991, being surpassed only by China and India.

USSR prosperity

Since its inception, the Soviet Union had the objective of restructuring the economy and politics in order to improve the social conditions of the population. At that time (1917) Russia was a very backward country, impoverished and devastated by imperialist war.

One of the most important projects was the Goelro Plan , which created a network of 30 regional power plants, ten large hydroelectric plants, and brought electricity to the main companies in the country. It was thus that only in its first years, the USSR brought electricity and industrial development to the population.

After Lenin’s death in 1924 and with Stalin in the leadership of the Party, guidelines were drawn up to face the capitalist siege and the bitter class struggle that continued inside the country. Under Stalin’s leadership, the industrialization of the country was carried out and the economic foundations of socialism were laid, transforming the backward and abandoned agriculture. More than 242,000 kolkhoz (socialist cooperatives) and more than 4,000 sovkhoz (state farms) were established.

In this way, the Soviet Union became an economic power. Its industrial production increased from 5.5 to 20 percent between 1913 and 1980.

The socialist system and the new relations of production, the suppression of the exploitation of man by man, allowed an impetuous development of the productive forces, accompanied by the constant elevation and improvement of the economic and cultural level, and of the social conditions and of life in general of all the peoples of the Soviet Union. Stalin personally encouraged scientific research based on dialectical materialism, both in agriculture, where discoveries and successes of universal importance were achieved, and in the field of technology and industry.

Significance and legacy

It was the first state to build a socialist society with the working class at the helm. This constituted a great difference with the countries of feudal, slave and capitalist systems. The impulse of this socialist society had international significance, since it inspired revolutions in different parts of the world.

In addition, the USSR and its Red Army played a decisive role in defeating the fascism that hung over the world. Therefore, the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union became the most important events of the 20th century.

Source: NR Telesur Universidad Obrera