History - The Process of Collectivisation

A summary of the process of collectivisation under Stalin in the USSR.

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Why Collectivise?

  • In 1929, less than 5% of the peasant population were on collective or state farms.
  • In 1930, Stalin announced plans to collectivise 25% of grain-producing areas by the end of the year.
  • Larger units of land could be farmed more efficiently as a result of mechanisation.
  • 'Machine and Tractor Stations' could supply machinery.
  • Experts could introduce modern farming methods to increase production.
  • Mechanised agriculture would require fewer peasants, so more of them could move to the cities and create labour for industry.
  • It would be easier for the state to procure grain from fewer collection points.
  • Communist officials could easily keep track of produce.
  • Collectivisation would socialise the peasantry, encouraging co-operation and a sense of community.
  • It could offer a solution to the procurement crisis of 1928-29.
  • Peasant resistance could be controlled and eradicated.
  • It would provide resources for industrialisation, and was a step towards this process.
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How was Collectivisation carried out?

  • Force, terror and propaganda were all used to create a rift between the Kulaks and the poorer peasants.
  • Stalin used the ideological weapon of the 'class enemy':
    • The Kulaks became the 'class enemy' in the countryside.
    • Stalin decided to dissolve them as a class, and didn't allow them to join the collective farms.
    • This frightened other peasants in to joining Kolkhouses.
    • Many people refused to identify Kulaks, despite being encouraged to.
  • Stalin enlisted 25000 urban party activists to revolutionise the countryside.
  • The process was backed by the local police, secret police and military.
  • Land was taken from Kulaks and used for collective farms.
  • Kulaks were often deported or killed.
  • The government isssued new procurement quotas, with penalties for failure to meet them.
  • After the 'Dizzy with success' speech, a temporary climbdown tactic was employed.
  • A huge propaganda campaign illustrated the advantages of collectivisation and enhanced the hatred of the Kulaks.
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Types of Collective farm: The Toz

  • Peasants owned their own land.
  • Machinery was communal and shared.
  • Co-operation occured in activities such as sowing and harvesting.
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Types of Collective farm: The Sovkhoz

  • These were owned and run by the state.
  • They were the original and intended aim of collectivisation.
  • Peasants were paid regualar wages.
  • The set-up was similar to that of factories.
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Types of Collective farm: The Kolkhoz

  • Land was held in common and run by an elected committee.
  • Consisted of 50-100 households.
  • Land, tools and livestock were all pooled.
  • Land was farmed by all of the peasants as a single unit.
  • Private plots were allowed (up to one acre), from which peasants made and sold extra produce.
  • This type of farm was most favoured by the Communists in the 1930s.
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