History

Andreenkov S.N. Reforms in the economies’ system and land use in the Novosibirsk Region in the 1990s // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №4. P. 58-75.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-4-58-75

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The article considers the features of reorganization of agricultural enterprises and land use system in the Novosibirsk Region in the 1990s. This reform was the main direction of the agrarian transformations in the 1990s. The author identifies the logic and consequences of the collective and state farms transformation into various forms of commercial enterprises (joint-stock companies, cooperatives, peasant farms and their associations) and features of the land redistribution. At the first stage of the reform (1991), the collective and state farm system of the Novosibirsk Region did not change, new forms of farms and land use just started to develop, and the size of subsidiary plots significantly increased. At the second stage of the reform (1992–1993), the reorganization of collective and state farms accelerated, a network of large commercial enterprises developed, and the number of peasant farms increased. However, the new organizational-economic system met the market economy standards only formally. The new agricultural jointstock companies and cooperatives did not differ much from their predecessors—collective and state farms. Large farms remained the main supplier of agricultural products on the market although they worked in extremely unfavorable conditions. Nevertheless, the role of small economies represented by peasant farms also increased.

 Sergey N. Andreenkov, PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Sector of Agrarian History, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090, Novosibirsk, Akademika Nikolaeva St., 8.
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Chayanov A.V. Peasant economy in Belgium (Article of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №4. P. 53-57.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-4-53-57

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This is an early work of Alexander Chayanov first published in the journal Krestyanskoe delo (Peasant Work) in 1910. The article is based on Chayanov’s observations during his stay in Belgium in summer of 1909, when, according to one of his biographers, he tried to find development models for the Russian agriculture. On behalf of the Belgian farmer Octave Colyar, Chayanov described the changes in the Belgian agriculture after the great agricultural crisis (depression) of the late 19th century. The inflow of North-American and Russian grain to the Belgian market (the so-called ‘grain invasion’) had negative impact on prices and made agricultural producers change their specialization—Belgium turned from an exporter of grain to an exporter of livestock products. The article presents Chayanov at the beginning of his career, before the development of his theory of consumption-labor balance. Not only in his early works but also throughout his career, Chayanov used the comparative method to study the agricultural development of Russia and Western Europe. However, the Belgian case was one of the most important. In this article, Chayanov is an agrarian economist, sociologist and rural anthropologist presenting a detailed portrait of the peasant based on the history of his economy.
The publication with comments was prepared by V.O. Afanasenkov.

 Alexander Chayanov

Editor: Vladislav O. Afanasenkov—Researcher, Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Afanasenkov V.О. An early work of A.V. Chayanov on the Belgian peasant economy (a publisher’s preface) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №4. P. 50-52.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-4-50-52

  • Annotation

  • About the author

This is an early work of Alexander Chayanov first published in the journal Krestyanskoe delo (Peasant Work) in 1910. The article is based on Chayanov’s observations during his stay in Belgium in summer of 1909, when, according to one of his biographers, he tried to find development models for the Russian agriculture. On behalf of the Belgian farmer Octave Colyar, Chayanov described the changes in the Belgian agriculture after the great agricultural crisis (depression) of the late 19th century. The inflow of North-American and Russian grain to the Belgian market (the so-called ‘grain invasion’) had negative impact on prices and made agricultural producers change their specialization—Belgium turned from an exporter of grain to an exporter of livestock products. The article presents Chayanov at the beginning of his career, before the development of his theory of consumption-labor balance. Not only in his early works but also throughout his career, Chayanov used the comparative method to study the agricultural development of Russia and Western Europe. However, the Belgian case was one of the most important. In this article, Chayanov is an agrarian economist, sociologist and rural anthropologist presenting a detailed portrait of the peasant based on the history of his economy.

Vladislav O. Afanasenkov—Researcher, Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Zaslavskaya T.I. “... I am pressed for time now” (Letters of Tatiana Ivanovna Zaslavskaya of 1972–1974) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №3. P. 78-139.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-3-78-139

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The letters of the academician Tatyana Ivanovna Zaslavskaya (1927–2013) describe her life in Novosibirsk and her work at the Institute of Economics and Organization of Industrial Production of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences (currently the IEOIP SB RAS). These letters present a chronicle of thoughts and feelings of T.I. Zaslavskaya about problems and conflicts in the Soviet science, about paradoxes of economics, culture, education, and everyday life of the Soviet society in the first half of the 1970s. In these letters, T.I. Zaslavskaya’s assessments and characteristics of her contemporaries—colleagues in science, politicians, figures of art and culture—are of particular interest. The letters also reveal the identity of their author—a strong and talented woman, hardworking and cheerful, curious and friendly, tender and vulnerable, keenly feeling injustice and rudeness, falsehood and stupidity. The addressee of these letters is a friend of T.I. Zaslavskaya—Yuri Efimovich Sokolovsky (1927–1984)—PhD (Pedagogy), Associate Professor of the Moscow State Institute of Culture, a Cultural Studies scholar, true expert in the historical-cultural heritage of Moscow, prominent researcher of the psychological-pedagogical issues of the artistic creativity and of the organization and development of rural and urban cultural-educational institutions. The letters were provided for publication in the Russian Peasant Studies by G.I. Reprintseva, the widow of Yu.E. Sokolovsky. The letters were edited and commented by G.I. Reprintseva and A.M. Nikulin.

Tatyana Ivanovna Zaslavskaya

Editors: Galina I. Reprintseva, PhD (Pedagogy); for more than 40 years, she was conducting research at the Russian Academy of Education, in particular in the Laboratory of SocialPedagogical Issues of Family Relations at the Institute of Social Pedagogy; for the achievements in the field of pedagogy, she was awarded the medal of K.D. Ushinsky.
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Alexander M. Nikulin, PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Head of the Chayanov Research Center, MSSES. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
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Savinova T.A. The last ‘semidesyatnik’ (representative of the 1870s): On the biography of Vasily Nikolaevich Grigoriev (1852–1925) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №3. P. 61-77.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-3-61-77

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The article considers the biography and career of one of the founders of the zemstvo statistics V.N. Grigoriev. For the first time in the academic tradition the key stages of his career were studied in detail: development of his populist worldview and of the Ryazan zemstvo statistics, exile in Kineshma, Simferopol and Voronezh, and work at the Moscow self-government. The author focuses on the creation of the Ryazan Zemstvo Statistical Bureau, the study of four uyezds in the Ryazan Province, conflict with the Moscow City Council, work on the classic work Peasant Migration from the Ryazan Province, and its evaluation by A.I. Chuprov. Based on the archival sources from two federal repositories, the author introduces the work of Grigoriev in zemstvo statistics in 1883–1886, when he was openly supervised by the police. The activities of Grigoriev in the Moscow government consisted of his work in the Statistical Department of the Moscow City Council, and from 1897 to 1917 as a member of the Council he participated in the management of the city economy and charity. The finale of his statistical activities was the bibliography Index of Zemstvo Statistical Works from the 1860s to 1917 praised by V.A. Chayanov.

 Tatyana A. Savinova, PhD (Economics), Head of the Department of Organizational, Methodological and Personnel Work, Researcher of the Chayanov Research Center, MSSES. Russian State Archive of Economics. Bolshaya Pirogovskaya St., 17, Moscow, 119435.
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Savino G. “Land hunger” of the Italian peasantry: From the unification of the country to the agrarian reform // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №2. P. 108-127.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-2-108-127

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The article considers the development of the agrarian question in Italy after the unification of the country in 1861, before the implementation of the peasant policy, and to the early years of the republic in the late 1940s—early 1950s. The questions and composition of the Italian peasantry were different in the regions of the country, especially in the South of Italy, where in the early 20th century 2/3 of peasants and sailors did not have the right to vote. At this time in the country, especially in such regions as Emilia-Romagna, the so-called “agrarian socialism” started to develop on the basis of cooperatives and peasant trade unions under the guidance of socialists. After the World War I, contradictions in the agrarian policy of the socialists intensified after the demobilization of the army. Under the slogan of socialization, there was an idea of distributing uncultivated lands among the peasants, but this idea did not answer the “land-hunger question” of the peasantry and had many critics on the left, like Antonio Gramsci. The Italian liberal politicians did not try to solve the agrarian question, which became the ground for the rise of fascism in the villages, and in some regions the conflict turned into a quasi-civil war. Fascism pinned great hopes on the rural world instead of the chaotic and unstable city, because the new ruling class considered the village as a stronghold of traditional values. The swamp drainage program was an important part of the agrarian policy of the Mussolini regime, and in the 1930s it became the slogan of fascism.
The World War II hit the Italian village hardly. The anti-fascist parties included the agrarian question in their programs, and in the villages the resistance against the regime was based on the demand for agrarian reform. Fausto Gullo, a communist and minister of agriculture in 1944–1946, in 1944 wrote several decrees on the use of uncultivated lands, agrarian treaties, and the creation of “people’s granaries”. They became an incentive for the peasantry, but after the exclusion of the communists from the government the clashes in the villages became bloody. The Sicilian mafia shot at the crowd of peasants on May 1, 1947, and the police opened fire in Melissa, Calabria, on October 29, 1949. The De Gasperi government adopted various measures within the agrarian reform in 1950-1951 and partially implemented the principles of the Article 44 of the Italian Constitution adopted in 1948. The agrarian reform of 1950 satisfied the “land hunger” of the Italian peasantry, but the society changed completely in the following decades due to the development of the country as an industrial economy.

Giovanni Savino, Assistant Professor, Institute for Social Sciences, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
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Il'inykh V.A. Organization of the agronomic services in Siberia in the 1920s: Discourse and choice // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №2. P. 83-107.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-2-83-107

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The article presents the expert discourse on the optimal structure of the agricultural network in Siberia in the 1920s and its institutionalization in the agronomic services in the village. The author conducts his analysis taking into account the agrarian policy of the Soviet state and the ideological-theoretical struggle in the agrarian science; he also focuses on the views of A.V. Chayanov. Before the revolution, there were two systems of agronomic assistance in Russia. The state agricultural assistance was sectoral and was provided in large districts. The zemstvo (public) assistance was local and complex. In Siberia in the early 20th century, the state agronomy prevailed. After the establishment of the Soviet power in the region, the discussion began between supporters of the sectoral, local and district systems of the agricultural network. The People’s Commissariat of Agriculture recommended the widespread introduction of the local agricultural network; and there were also local experiments with other systems. In the mid1920s, under the administrative reform, the local-district system was chosen, but soon it was changed into the district one. The Soviet agronomic system developed under the NEP was largely based on the principles of pre-revolutionary social agronomy. The distinctive feature of the Soviet agricultural assistance was its nationalization. Theorists of the public agronomy positively evaluated this feature of the Soviet agricultural system, which, in their opinion, allowed efficient rationalization of the peasant economy. In the late 1920s, the USSR abandoned the basic principles of public agronomy and later eliminated the agronomic assistance system of the NEP period.

Vladimir A. Il’inykh, DSc (History), Head of the Department of Agrarian History, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090, Novosibirsk, Akademika Nikolaeva St., 8. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Merl S. Reassessment of the Soviet agrarian policy in the light of today’s achievements // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №1. P. 45-69.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-1-45-69

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Obvious successes of Putin’s policy require a reassessment of the Soviet agrarian policy. The article addresses the question of whether the Bolsheviks’ approach was appropriate for the Russian peasantry and considers limitations of the concept “socialist industrialized agriculture’. To assess achievements of the Soviet agriculture the author uses qualitative instead of quantitative criteria: per hectare yields and milk per cow since 1913. They kept to be extremely low which is striking for the agriculture based on large-scale and partly mechanized production. The gap in yields as compared to the neighboring capitalist countries even widened from 1930 to 1991. The strong and steady growth in yields since 2000 does not allow to explain failures of the Soviet agriculture by bad soils, specific climate or natural limitations—the Soviet agrarian policy is to blame. Instead of “revolutionizing”, socialist agriculture did not take part in any significant productivity rise as elsewhere in the world during the “green revolution”. The author argues that the main reason for such a failure was “infantilization” of agricultural producers—peasants, heads of state and collective farms—by a combination of mistrust and scrupulous control. During the Soviet period agricultural producers never were the masters of their fields. The situation became even worse after the planned economy provided agriculture with insufficient and ineffective machinery below Western standards. Although necessary machinery and knowledge of organizing the production were available in the West, in the Soviet Union the mechanization of crop production and animal husbandry was not completed. The article starts with the description of peasants’ interests, behavior und expectations in the Revolutions of 1905 and 1917– 1918; then the author focuses on the foundations of the Soviet agrarian policy suggested by Lenin and Stalin, continues with a short review of different approaches to agriculture developed by Khrushchev, Brezhnev und Gorbachev, and finishes with a summary of the reasons for Putin’s successes paying special attention to the short periods of yields growth—1924–1930, 1953–1958, 1965–1970, and 1986–1991.

Stephan Merl, DSc (History), Professor, Bielefeld University; 25 Universitätsstr., 33615, Bielefeld, Germany.
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Kuznetsov I.A. The agrarian revolution of 1917 in Russia: Is it worth studying economic history and forgetting the sad end? // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №1. P. 22-44.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-1-22-44

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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.

Igor A. Kuznetsov, PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
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Goncharova I.V., Chuvardin G.S. Communes of the Central Black Earth Region from “war communism” to collectivization: Design and implementation // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2018. V.3. №4. P. 105-122.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2018-3-4-105-122

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The article considers evolution of the Bolsheviks’ policy starting from the introduction of communes in the village as a socialist way of rural life in the post-revolutionary period. The archival materials of the Central Black Earth Region prove the idea of the authorities to create collective farms of commune type, which was determined by the revolutionary euphoria, and show the results of implementing this project in the agricultural center of the country during the NEP. The village communes (collective peasant associations) of the Orel Region depended on the state subsidies and state land fund. The social portrait of these communes’ members and their estimates of the communes prove that some former noblemen tried to adapt to the new Soviet reality under the Charter of the commune to preserve their ‘gentry nests’ from land redistribution. The most important factor determining the life of village communes in the 1920s — early 1930s was their changing role in the state ideology and policy. During this period, the position of the Bolsheviks changed according to the strategic aims of the state agricultural policy. Under the NEP, when market relations and private initiative were allowed, the communes were considered exemplary farms of the future showing peasants a new way of everyday life and joint farming. Their economic unprofitability was ignored due to the task of cultural education of local peasants, which became an additional incentive for peasant entrepreneurs to enter communes and to use state subsidies to improve their financial situation. Communards’ children had a good chance for education which was an important social lift of that time. The state collectivization policy radically changed the official attitude to village communes — they were thoroughly checked and strongly criticized. Thus, the multi-form agricultural sector was destroyed and the agricultural artel was declared the dominant form of collective farming. The primary task of new collective farms was to leave peasants without means of production and investments. Moreover, under the socialist experiment peasants simply disappeared as its observers and turned into collective farmers, i.e. participants of the experiment. 

Irina Goncharova, DSc (History), Professor, Department of Russian History, Orel State University named after I.S. Turgenev. 302026, Orel, Komsomolskaya St., 95.
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German Chuvardin, DSc (History), Professor, Department of Russian History, Orel State University named after I.S. Turgenev. 302026, Orel, Komsomolskaya St., 95.
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The Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

Center for Agrarian studies, The Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) Published since 2016. ISSN 2500-1809. Frequency - four issues per year. Registration number ПИ  ФС77-65824 27-May-2016. All volumes and articles are downloadable for free in PDF format.  Printed versions you can obtain in Editorial by request, buy in Delo Publishers e-store or make subscription in "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index  Т81017). Full list of RANEPA Journlas

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