In an 8-10 page paper you will evaluate the evidence that we have reviewed in the course as well as whatever additional evidence you have gathered on your own address the question of how we should properly interpret the Soviet experience in the 1930s. As your starting point, you will adopt one of the two following broad characterizations:
- The hardships endured by the Soviet population during the 1930s were primarily the result of poor leadership (incompetence, caprice, or ideological fanaticism) and served primarily to weaken the country economically and militarily.
- The hardships endured by the Soviet population during the 1930s were an unfortunate but necessary result of an economic transformation that strengthened the Soviet Union to the point that it was able to conduct itself as a full-fledged global power by the end of the decade.
As you develop your paper, you should further refine your interpretation, perhaps focusing on one of the aspects of the period that we reviewed in the course. Your paper should incorporate a variety of primary and scholarly sources (at least 5 of each). You must annotate the evidence you rely on to make assertions and draw conclusions in properly formatted endnotes. Your analysis should explain why you attribute more value to some sources over others.
You must also include a properly formatted bibliography.
Citations of sources for quotations and borrowed ideas in your text should be indicated using endnotes in Chicago Manual-style. See the Webliography for a guide.
The page number instructions assume an 8.5″ by 11″ page, 1″ margins, double-spaced text, and 12-point font.