Revolutionary Upheavals in Russia in the Early 20th Century

Revolutionary Upheavals in Russia in the Early 20th Century

Bogdan Ershov (Voronezh State Technical University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9985-2.ch004
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This chapter examines the social contradictions and the inability of the government to solve the main political problems that led to the deep socio-political crisis of Russia in the early 20th century. This was expressed in the struggle of the workers against the autocratic police system, in the creation of radical, left-wing political parties and liberal opposition unions, in disputes within the ruling elite, and fluctuations in the government's course. All these sociopolitical contradictions and problems were aggravated in the conditions of the deep economic crisis that Russia, like all other European powers, experienced in the early 20th century. Particular attention is drawn to the fact that in the late 19th to early 20th centuries in Russia, as in other capitalist countries, monopolistic associations in industry, commerce, and transport became widespread.
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The change in the form of ownership of peasant land, the transformation of peasants into full-fledged owners of their allotments was assumed by the law of 1910. first of all, by “strengthening” allotments in private property. In addition, according to the law of 1911, it was allowed to conduct land management without “strengthening”, after which the peasants also became landowners. The peasant could only sell the peasant, which limited the right to land ownership.

Organization of farms and cuts. Without land improvement, technical improvement, economic development of agriculture was impossible in the conditions of peasant stratum. In economic terms, according to Gurko's plan, strengthening without land management did not make sense.

Therefore, the work of the state land management commissions was planned to note the strips of the peasant allotment in a single section - the cut. If such a cut was far from the village, the manor was moved there and a farm was formed.

Resettlement policy has become more active in the central regions in order to solve the problem of peasant small land and reduce agrarian overpopulation. Funds were allocated for transporting people to new places, primarily to Siberia. For special settlers special passenger cars were built. Beyond the Urals, the peasants were given gratuitous land, for raising the economy and improvement, a loan was issued.

Sale of land to peasants in installments through a peasant bank was also necessary to reduce shortage of land. On the security of allotment land loans were issued for the purchase of state land transferred to the Bank's fund and land sold by the landlords.

The legislative basis of the reform was the decree of November 9, 1906, after the adoption of which the reform began.

A serious progress is being made in the peasant sector of Russia. A big role in this was played by the harvest years and the growth of world grain prices, but especially the off-farm and farm enterprises, where new technologies were used to a greater extent. The export of agricultural products increased even more in the pre-war years. Russia was the largest producer and exporter of bread and flax, a number of livestock products (Fursenko, 1965).

But this does not mean that pre-war Russia should be represented by a “peasant paradise”. The problems of hunger and agrarian overpopulation were not solved. The country continued to suffer from technical, economic and cultural backwardness. The national income per capita of the agricultural population in Russia was about 52 rubles per year, and in the USA - 262 rubles.

The growth rate of labor productivity in agriculture was relatively slow. While in Russia in 1913 received 55 poods of bread from one tithe, 68 received in the United States, 89 in France, and 168 poods in Belgium. Economic growth occurred not on the basis of intensification of production, but at the expense of increasing the intensity of manual peasant labor. But in the period under review, social and economic conditions were created for the transition to a new stage of agrarian transformations-the transformation of agriculture into a capital-intensive, technologically progressive sector of the economy.

But a number of external circumstances interrupted the Stolypin reform. Stolypin himself believed that the success of his undertakings would take 15 - 20 years. But for the period 1906 - 1913 years. a lot has been done.

The community as a self-government body of the Russian village was not affected by the reform, but the socio-economic organism of the community began to collapse, the number of land communities declined from 135,000 to 110,000.

At the same time, in the central non-chernozem regions, the disintegration of the community was almost not observed, it was here that cases of arson were numerous.

There was a gradual cessation of peasant demonstrations. At the first stage of 1907 - 1909 gg. with the strengthening of allotments in the property, often under the pressure of zemstvo chiefs, the number of peasant demonstrations began to grow. But after the transfer of the emphasis of the governmental policy of land management, the refusal of coercion and some economic successes, peasant unrest has almost ceased. The main political goal was not achieved. As shown by 1917, the peasantry retained the ability “against the landlords” to “all the world”. In 1917 it became obvious that the agrarian reform was late for 50 years, but the main reason for the failure was the socio-political half-hearted transformation, which was manifested in the preservation of landed estates in inviolability (Gefter, 1955).

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