Collectivisation- Stalin and Lenin

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1926 Record grain harvest
1927-28 Decreasing grain harvests
1927-29 Grain Procurement Crisis
1928 Voluntary collectivisation drive
1928-29 Emergency measures ­ rationing and
grain requisitioning reintroduced
1929 November: Decree sending out
December: Forced collectivisation
1930 January: Stalin approves `Decree on
Measures for the Elimination of Kulak
March: `Dizzy with Success' and
temporary halt to enforced
collectivisation, kulaks leave collective
1931 Stalin restarts enforced collectivisation
1932-34 Famine
1941 All farms collectivised
Why collectivise?
Economic: Harvests decreased from 1926, standard of living of urban workers declined and the decrease in
agricultural production affected the government ­ if there were no grain surpluses there was no money to build
Russia's industry. Large farms would increase efficiency and collectivisation would be accompanied by mechanisation.
Less people needed on farms meant more for the city. Increase in production meant government could sell more
overseas and get more money for industrialisation.
Ideological: The peasant's lack of revolutionary spirit was clear in the way that they farmed ­ they wanted to produce
grain for themselves. This lead to many communists believing that collectivisation was necessary for the capitalist
peasants to embrace communism.
Political: Appealed to the Party's left-wing and was better than importing grain like the right-wing wanted. Stalin
believed that Russian agriculture could be transformed by strong leadership and the act of will. He claimed that
peasants who did not cooperate were terrorists and enemies of the people.
Grain Procurement Crisis: The kulaks began to withhold grain. Stalin described this as a `Kulak Grain Strike' and used it
to revive the policy of grain requisitioning. To him it showed that the peasants could hold the government to ransom
and slow down industrialisation. Showed peasant ideology was capitalist and conflicted with the government. Used it
as evidence for the NEP's failure and so undermined Bukharin's position.
Course of Collectivisation
Emergency measures: Stalin's response to the Grain Procurement Crisis was to increase the power of the
government over the economy. He reintroduced rationing in the 1928-29 winter. Reintroduced grain requisitioning in
1928. Under article 107 grain requisitioning could be punished and Stalin gave some kulak land to the poor peasants.
Bukharin persuaded party to abandon this. In 1929 meat was also requisitioned and under Article 61 police could
send kulaks to labour camps for not carrying out instructions.

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The liquidation of the kulaks: Dekulakisation marked the end of capitalism and independent farming in the
countryside. It increased the speed of collectivisation as with the liquidation of the kulaks came immediate
collectivisation of all farms. Poorest peasants in charge and could use the kulaks resources and share in a much
greater harvest. Many peasants destroyed their livestock instead of giving it up to collective farms. 18 million horses
and 100 million sheep and goats were destroyed between 1929 and 1933.…read more

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Mao seemed to share Stalin's belief that the Peasants were `inherently capitalistic'. The state were said to have
become the `ultimate landlord'. Collectivisation had been imposed on china as part of a massive social experiment.
Although Mao came from a peasant background he really seemed to look down on the peasants. He famously said
`Peasants after all are peasants' and said they don't know how to behave. This disregard for them had the most
appalling consequences.…read more


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