The Course of Collectivisation



This was the reformation of Russian agriculture in which small farms pooled labour and resources into larger farms with state funded equipment to be more efficent

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Why Collective? - Economic Reasons

Autumn 1926 saw record harvests yet years after were poorer

This caused the price of agriculture to rise and the standards of living to decline

The government also lost money as it couldn't sell surplus grian abroad to get money to build Russia's economy 

Collectivisation would mean better efficency, machinery could replace people so they could work towards Russia's industrial development instead

Also promised increase in production so more surplus to sell, so more resources and better standards of living

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Why Collective? - Idealogical Reasons

Communism done little to change agriculture, still using traditional techniques

Lack of revolutionary spirit

Produce grain for themselves and own profit, rather than for the good of the community

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Why Collective? - Political Reasons

Originally so he could beat Bukharin in the struggle for power, as radical ideas appealed to the left wing. Right wing's idea of grain imports would have reduced the pace of industrialisation as money would be wasted buying grain

Eventhough Stalin was from a peasant background, he knew little about agriculture, which reflected in his work

Believed Russian agriculture could be transformed by an act of the will and strong leadership, anyone who refused would be labelled terrorists and enemies of the people, treated with no mercy

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The Grain Procurement Crisis 1927-19 29

This was the catalyst which ended the NEP creating a new era of collectivisation

Under NEP, exess grain was bought off of peasants, due to poor harvests, 1927, prices rocketed. Rich peasants also withheld grain so that the price would go up even more.

Stalin called it the 'Kulak Grain Strike' 

He used it to bring back grain requistioning

It worked in his favour, illustrating the control peasants had, holding the government to ransom and slowing down industrialization, also showing their capitalist ideology and their conflict with the government -people didn't like this so suppported the work that Stalin did to get rid of this

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Emergency Measures

In winters of 1928 and 29, Stalin responded to scares bread and sugar with rationing in cities and more grain requistioning

Rewarding those who told on others and punishing hoarders, giving the poor the land of those they told on 

This was known as Article 107 of the Secret Criminal Code

The policy caused resentment in peasants and Bukharin convinced the party to drop the idea

Yet Stalin's power grew, and thus he restrated the policy

Spring 1929, government began to requisition meat as well as grain, so in the middle of the year they revised Article 61 of the Soviet Criminal Code 

This gave police the the power to send 'Kulaks' to labour camps if they 'failed to carry out general state instructions' for up to two years

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The Liquidation of the Kulak

Mass collectivisation began december 1929

Stalin instructed the 'Liquidation of the Kulaks as a class' this meant the end to captialism and independent farming, also increasing the speed of collectivisation

Initial proposal 30% of farms collective by 1934, but liquidation of the Kulaks turned it into all farms

Poor farmers were the minority and lost out as collectivisation meant loss of independence and financial loses

Peasants rebelled by destroying the grain and livestock that they had, rather than surrender it

They destroyed the machinery they had so it didn't fall into communist hands

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The Twenty-Five Thousanders

Prior to forcing collectivisation, Stalin created a new policy as people were unhappy in taking part

Stalin decreed that 25,000 industrial workers into the country, who were social conscious, and wanting to help revelutionise the countryside

They were trained to give the peasants technical help and instruct them how to use new machinery

Yet in reality they were enforcing dekulakisation, spying on them, finding secret stores, rounding up Kulaks and forcing peasants into collective farms

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'Dizzy with Success'

The first wave of forced collectivisation caused misery, with Kulaks either being shot or sent to labour camps in Siberia where many died of disease and hunger or even the journey itself

It caused chaos in the agricultural economy, as protests had caused wholesale burning of everything

It also caused many to become hostile towards the government

Stalin responded to these problems in March 1930 by calling a halt to the process, however he continued to disregard the human suffering

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