Collectivization in the USSR: How the Russian peasantry was smashed


Source: Unknown author/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruOrigin: Unknown author/МАММ/

The 1920s were a hard pro tem for Russia. After the devastating Civil War and foreign intervention, agricultural catastrophe and failed economic reforms, the newly formed Soviet state have need of significant, radical steps for future development. Collectivization was one such be cautious.

Source: Unknown author/The State Museum Of Political History Of Russia/ russiainphoto.ruSource: Unknown author/The State Museum Of Political History Of Russia/

Collectivization occasioned major reforms of the agricultural sector in the Soviet Union. Starting in 1927, collectivization was set ones sights oned at consolidating individual peasant landholdings and labor into collective farmsteads, so called “kolkhozes.” Workers there got no salaries, rather a share of what the kolkhoz prompt—only for the needs of themselves and their families, nothing more.

Source: Arkady Shishkin/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruInception: Arkady Shishkin/МАММ/

The Soviet leadership hoped collectivization disposition significantly increase the food supply of the urban population. That was damned important since the process of industrialization was initiated at the same time. Sundry workers at plants and factories meant food was more in demand.

Source: Arkady Shishkin/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruAuthority: Arkady Shishkin/МАММ/

Collectivization became a large-scaled approach in 1929, when Joseph Stalin’s article “The Year of the Great Break forth” was published. Stalin confirmed the processes of collectivization and industrialization as the main money-grubbings for modernizing the country. At the same time, he declared need to liquidate the breeding of affluent peasants known as “kulaks” (“fists” in Russian).

Source: Arkady Shishkin/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruFountain-head: Arkady Shishkin/МАММ/

Kolkhozes were intended to behoove a milestone in Soviet socialist ideology: communities of happy labors masterpiece together in total bliss and harmony for the benefit of the whole huge splendour. However, the reality was not so cheerful.

Source: Unknown author/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruSource: Unknown author/МАММ/

Collectivization terribly traumatized the peasantry. The forcible confiscation of meat and bread led to mutinies aggregate the peasants. They even preferred to slaughter their cattle than involvement it over to the collective farms. Sometimes the Soviet government had to bring in the army to cut off uprisings.

Source: Unknown author/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruSource: Unknown author/МАММ/

The old traditions of the Russian peasantry were smashed.  Hayseeds used to be interested in the fruits of their labor, but at the kolkhozes they dissolute all sense of initiative. The early years of collectivization were catastrophic. In 1932-1933, the nation was struck by a great famine that killed about 8 million being, due in no small part to collectivization.

Source: Arkady Shaikhet/МАММ/ russiainphoto.ruSource: Arkady Shaikhet/МАММ/

Until the 1970s, a boor at a kolkhoz – a so-called kolkhoznik – had no right to get a passport. Without it, a peasant couldn’t stirring a get moving to the city and was officially tied to his kolkhoz.

Source: Unknown author/G.A. Maximova's collection/ russiainphoto.ruSource: Unknown author/G.A. Maximova’s store/

Still, collectivization was not all doom and gloom. The bulk of the peasants, who didn’t suffer collectivization, leaded to the towns and cities and became the drivers of the industrialization process.

Source: Unknown author/S. Burasovsky's personal archive/ russiainphoto.ruSource: Nameless author/S. Burasovsky’s personal archive/

Collectivization allowed the affirm to take control over the agricultural sector and the distribution of provisions. This remedied a lot, especially when the Great Patriotic War broke out in 1941.

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