Prerequisites for the collectivization of agriculture in the USSR

Kuznetsov I.A. Prerequisites for the collectivization of agriculture in the USSR // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №3. P. 47-69.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2020-5-3-47-69


The article considers historiographic issues in the study of reasons and factors that determined the agricultural collectivization in the USSR in the 1930s. The article is a kind of a review which aims at systematizing the data accumulated in the Russian scientific historical literature and the author’s studies of historical sources. The author identifies a number of prerequisites for collectivization: the ones external to the peasantry (village, agriculture) explain motives of the political choice made by the Soviet government at the turn of the 1920s—1930s in favor of collectivization. These external prerequisites are divided into doctrinal and pragmatic. The doctrine that determined collectivization was socialism, and the author identifies the place of the radical communist idea of the Bolsheviks among other Russian socialist projects for uniting peasants into production collectives since the last quarter of the 19th century. Pragmatic prerequisites for collectivization were determined by the government’s goal to obtain agricultural resources for industrialization and militarization of the national economy in the quantities that would exceed possibilities of the equivalent market exchange. Collectivization did have prerequisites within the village community, which allow to understand why this political course was implemented—the author focuses on the peculiarities of the mentality and political culture of the Russian peasantry.


agrarian history, collectivization, socialism, peasantry, industrialization in the USSR

About the author

Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Research Laboratory of Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Read 815 times Last modified on Mar 15 2023

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