Treatment of the peasants - bedstone

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, Renaissance (1330-1550), Feudalism
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Key Economic Developments • • • • • • •

Witte (1890s) Stolypin (1900s) War Communism (1917 +) NEP (1920s) Collectivisation (1920s) Five-Year-Plans (1930s) Seven-Year-Plans (1950s)

Why nothing before Witte? • Society still evolving from feudal to ‘free agricultural’, let alone industrial • Reactionary land policies of Alexander III meant most peasants did not move to cities • Hence very little industrialisation

Witte • Aim: “Save Russia” • Focus: Industry • Theory: – Railways built – This required coal/iron – This led to ‘supporting industries’ – Led to increase in agricultural goods – All areas of economy stimulated

Witte: Continuity • There had been small-scale railway and industrial growth pre-1891

Witte: Change • Witte’s Great Spurt relied on foreign investment in Russia • The new industries created needed to be protected by tariffs, which greatly increased the living costs

Witte: A Turning Point? • State involvement in industrial planning • Russia took great steps towards becoming an industrialised power • The notion of the peasantry being central to Russian development took a less prominent role

Stolypin • Aim: Save Russia (“Wager on the strong”) • Focus: Peasantry • Theory: – Through loans and land and rights, encouraged peasants to leave mir and develop as independent farmers – Created a new level of wealthy small-holding peasants, loyal to the regime

Stolypin: Continuity • The peasant had always been central to Russia • No redistribution of land • In the same way that Witte aimed to develop an industrial class loyal to the Tsar, Stolypin wanted an agricultural group loyal to the Tsar

Stolypin: Change • The emphasis shifted from industrial to agricultural • Peasants were viewed as people with rights and freedoms

Stolypin: A Turning Point? • Stolypin’s ‘wager’ was the final effort of the Tsar to do anything proactive towards the peasantry

War Communism • Aim: Save the revolution • Focus: Agriculture • Theory: – The requisitioning of grain and the execution of those thought to be hoarding it would allow the regime to continue

War Communism: Continuity • The peasants continue to be badly treated • Led to the organisation of peasant resistance, the same sort as seen by Alexander and Nicholas • Production still low • Cities still undersupplied

War Communism: Change • The state was now prepared to use violence not as a last resort, but as a first method • The focus was not on production, but on the distribution of what had been produced

War Communism: A Turning Point? • It shows a negative attitude from the Communist Party towards the peasantry

NEP • Aim: Save the revolution • Focus: Agriculture • Theory: – Farmers had to give a set amount of their income to the state – The remainder can be sold for profit

NEP: Continuity • The peasants continued to see part of their harvest taken by the state

NEP: Change • The peasants became recognised as a hugely important section of Russian society • A radical departure from both war communism and Marxist theory

NEP: A Turning Point? • NEP was a departure from the period immediately after 1917 • It was a return to the pre-1917 period • It did not endure beyond 1928 • Short-term it ended famine and stabilised the economy

Collectivisation • Aim: Save the revolution • Focus: Agriculture • Theory: – Peasants working together collectively produce more than peasants working alone independently – Large-scale farms would produce large-scale crops – Farming would be equal, eliminating Stolypin’s “strong”

Collectivisation: Continuity • Link with the mir of Tsarist Russia? • It was followed ruthlessly, much like War Communism had been

Collectivisation: Change • Agriculture became industrialised • Wealthy peasants were viewed as dangerous rather than desirable

Collectivisation: A Turning Point? • After this point, there was little or no private agriculture in Russia • The cities and the countryside finally formed a symbiotic relationship, with each needing the other

Five-Year-Plans • Aim: Save the USSR • Focus: Industry (Heavy and Light) • Theory: – The USSR was non-industrialised – Stalin reckoned that they had about 10 years before someone exploited this and invaded – USSR must be forcefully and totally industrialised

Five-Year-Plans: Continuity • Link with Witte, in terms of the focus (heavy industry, coal, iron, steel and railways) • Marxist ideology depends heavily on an industrialised working class • The total disregard for the suffering and loss of life that it caused was a continuation of the attitudes of previous approaches • There was a reliance on foreign expertise in the same way that Witte had relied on foreign capital

Five-Year-Plans: Change • Attention switched back to industry – this was the first time since Witte that it became central • The scale of involvement was far greater that Witte • The Five Year Plans incorporated movements to modernise the army and defence, which had not been a feature of Witte’s plans • Some new industries, which Witte had not examined, were included – electricity being the most notable

Five-Year-Plans: A Turning Point? • After them, the USSR was an undeniably industrialised nation • It set the scene for future centralised planning initiatives, notably the seven-year-plans • Focus clearly shifts back onto industry over and above agriculture

Seven-Year-Plans • Aim: Make people happier • Focus: Consumer goods • Theory: – “It is no good having the right ideology if everyone has to walk around without any trousers” – More consumer goods led to a happier populace – This led to a contented populace – This safeguarded the regime

Seven-Year-Plans: Continuity • • • •

State planning Production targets Continued city/countryside relationship Although new targets in new areas were set, traditional areas like industry and defence continued to be important

Seven-Year-Plans: Change • The welfare of people is paramount, at least in the first instance • Consumer goods • A genuine understanding of the needs of the workers/peasants

Seven-Year-Plans: A Turning Point? • Difficult to say, as at the end of the period • BUT the first time that welfare of the people had made the list of important considerations

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