The article considers the scientific legacy of the outstanding Soviet and Russian historian, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, DSc (History), Head of the Department of History of the Presidential Academy of Public Administration, Grigory Alekseevich Gerasimenko who made a great contribution to the agrarian history of Russia during the Great Russian Revolution. The author provides a list of references which represent the milestones of Gerasimenko’s biography, and focuses on his research conducted and published in the Saratov (1954-1980) and Moscow (1980-2005) periods. Initially, in 1917, Gerasimenko studied the internal party struggle in the Soviets of the Saratov Region, and later his research expanded to the Lower Volga Region and the Volga Region. The author identifies factors that determined the changes in Gerasimenko’s research: when studying the history of the Soviets, he became interested in the activities of grassroot peasant organizations and in the peasant fight against farmers and fathers. In the Moscow period, Gerasimenko’s interests expanded again but were still related to his works published in the Saratov period. His monographs combine the macro- and micro-approaches and include the All-Russian, regional, provincial, district and rural levels in order to show the relationship between power and society. Gerasimenko developed new concepts and ideas about the place and role of public executive committees, the scale of the agrarian revolution of 1917 and the relations of people and power at turning points of the Russian history.
Grigory Alekseevich Gerasimenko, Saratov State University, Great Russian Revolution, Stolypin agrarian reform, grassroot peasant organizations, public executive committees, Soviets, internal party struggle, rural land community, agrarian revolution.
Kabytov Petr S., DSc (History), Honored Worker of Science of the Russian Federation, Head of the Department of Russian History, Samara National Research University. 443086, Samara, Moskovskoe shosse, 34.
The article considers the possible further studies of the economic history of agriculture and the peasantry of the Russian regions in 1861–1914. The author analyzes the theory of Russian revolutions developed by Boris Mironov and identifies logical contradictions in his argumentation. This theory overvalues the significance of random and subjective factors and underestimates the agrarian overpopulation and economic contradictions determined by the agrarian development. The author’s criticism of the “optimistic” paradigm in the economic history of post-reform Russia outlines the objectives of the study of agricultural development and its social consequences for the peasantry. The article proposes to discuss the idea that economic progress and growth of agricultural production in the Black-Earth regions of the South and South-East with their low production costs were the key factors of the crisis due to the relative overproduction of grain in Russia. Many small peasant farms in the old agricultural center could not compete in the grain market and, thus, were pushed out of it and marginalized, reinforced the natural-consumer activities and lost incentives for intensification of production. Market restrictions determined by the overproduction of grain became an important factor of agrarian overpopulation in the central regions. Institutional constraints that existed long before the Stolypin reform were aggravated by agrarian overpopulation that also created the social base for revolution. The agrarian revolution of 1917 was to strengthen the position of the family-labor economy by eliminating payment for the access to land as the main factor of production.
history of Russian revolutions, agrarian revolution, agrarian overpopulation, peasant economy, modernization, B.N. Mironov
Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.