Assess the Impact of Collectivised Farms on the Russian Peasantry

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  • Topic: Kolkhoz, Kulak, Collective farming
  • Pages : 4 (1555 words )
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  • Published : October 3, 2012
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Assess the impact of collectivised farms on the Russian peasantry

Leszek Kolakowski, a famous philosopher referred to collectivisiation as 'probably the most massive warlike operation ever conducted by a state against its own citizens.' Collectivisation aimed to achieve socialism in the countryside by converting privately owned farms into collectivised farms which were to be run amongst the peasants, requiring them to hand over produce to the state. There were many impacts, mainly negative impacts, of collectivised farms on the Russian peasantry. These include, the economic effects and the effects on the standard of living, the elimination of the kulaks, and the creation of opposition.

Collectivisation was introduced so that the state could collect produce to fuel industrialization. In 1928, soviet agriculture was inefficient in comparison to the rest of Europe, and they were unable to produce enough surplus grain to support further industrial and urban growth. Through collectivisation, the state hoped that through economies of scale the efficiency of producing grain would see a vast improvement. However this was not the case, between 1928 and 1934 there was a fall in the production of grain from 73.3 million tonnes to 67.6 million tonnes. With a fall in agricultural production and with the state collecting produce, it was inevitable for there to be a knock on effect on the quantity of food available for areas in the Soviet Union. ''There are hundreds of people bloated with hunger. I don't know how many die every day. Many are so weak that they no longer come out of their houses... We've eaten everything we could lay hands on...The trees have been stripped of their bark and the horse manure has been eaten. We fight over it.'' [V. Kravchenko, I Chose Freedom, 1947]. The author, Kravchenko, became a senior Communist Party official. This strengthens the evidence from the source because as a communist official he would not be likely to be against the idea...
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