The author identifies factors that affected peasants’ health in the 1920s based on the unpublished documents of the Health Department of the Executive Committee of the Tambov Regional Council of Workers’, Peasants’ and Red Army Deputies from the State Archives of the Tambov Region. The article focuses on the generational history of rural society, on the “revolutionary turning point” generation, whose representatives were born at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries, mainly in the 1890s. The author shows the influence of malnutrition and famine of 1924–1925 on the health of rural residents and the negative consequences of eating various food substitutes and concludes that the famine affected the most the poorest peasants from the “revolutionary turning point” generation. The article presents a comparison of positive and negative factors affecting peasants’ health, focusing on the issues of medical care, morbidity, nutrition, water supply and other factors of the population health status. The author argues that the chronic underfunding of the healthcare system did not allow to provide the rural population with quality medical care, and malaria and syphilis were the most common diseases. The author makes a conclusion about the unsatisfactory health of the peasants from the “revolutionary turning point” generation in the 1920s, referring to the death and birth rates in the countryside and to the relationship between the demographic behavior and depeasantization.
Peasants, famine, epidemic, mortality, healthcare, party, NEP, generations.
Ippolitov Vladimir A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Tambov State Technical University. Sovetskaya St., 106/5, Tambov, 392000.
The author identifies the anti-religious aspects of the Soviet “turning to the village” policy, focusing on the main directions in the evolution of anti-religious activities of the communist youth in the mid-1920s and on the changes in the value orientations of peasant generations in the critical period of the Russian history. The study aims at assessing the peasantry’s reaction to the “revolutionary turn” generation (born at the turn of the 19th — 20th centuries) activities and the reasons for the generational conflict, based on the analysis of the spiritual sphere of the Russian village. The author argues that this conflict turned into an intergenerational gap in the Russian village, which is an understudied aspect of the village split into antagonistic camps, used by the Party leadership to accelerate socialist modernization. The anti-religious activities of communist organizations after the “turning to the village” policy seemed to significantly soften forms and methods of the work with the peasantry, but a more thorough analysis shows that such activities remained a powerful factor of the conflict. For instance, value orientations of peasant generations were becoming more different. The spiritual legacy, which the “revolutionary turn” generation was to pass on to its successors, was rejected by the younger generation. The “new faith” completely denied the old traditions and irreconcilable theomachism. Peasants of the “revolutionary turn” generation expressed their attitude to anti-religious activities in the form of hooliganism, and radical measures were a response. The study of the national youth movement (including the negative one) and of the features of the intergenerational conflict in the Russian village are of particular relevance in the search for an educational model that meets the contemporary demands of the state and society.
Peasants, religion, generations, revolutionary turn, youth, Komsomol, intergenerational gap, “turning to the village” policy, atheist alliance, NEP.
Slezin Anatoly A., DSc (History), Chief Researcher, Tambov State Technical University, Sovetskaya St., 106/5, Tambov, 392000.
The interview with the DSc (History), Professor V. V. Kondrashin presents the milestones of his biography in the historical context of the Russian science and politics in the 20th—21st century. This biographical reflection includes the events of childhood that awakened his interest in history, the difficulties in the academic career of a young man of the people, the historian’s survival under the social crisis of the 1990s. An important part of the interview is formed by Kondrashin’s memories of his teachers in school and university—V. V. Danilov and V. V. Kabanov, M. Levin and T. Shanin. Another significant part of the interview focuses on the most important issues of Kondrashin and his colleagues’ historical research, mainly the history of the Russian and Soviet countryside under revolutions and reforms of the 20th century (peasant wars, NEP, collectivization, World War II and the late Soviet period of agrarian history). The interview was not limited to the Russian historical context—Kondrashin mentions international scientific projects such as the study of the 1932-1933 famine in the USSR, and of the survival and development of the Soviet Union in the interaction with its close and distant neighboring countries. Kondrashin describes the cooperation of Russian scientists with their colleagues from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe, France, England, USA, Japan and Australia. A special part of the interview presents his reflections on the ‘historian and power’ issue. Due to his active social position, Kondrashin was engaged in various social-political activities, including his work as a Senator of the Federation Council. The interview ends with a discussion of his scientific plans for the year of his sixtieth anniversary.
History, peasantry, revolution, reforms, NEP, collectivization, USSR.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
The author analyzes the life stories of those Russian peasants who were old enough to remember collectivization. The large collection of such life stories recorded after 1990 is a rich source of materials for the oral history and other fields of study; however, this collection remains unsorted. Such scholars as the ethnographer Sergei Alymov, the sociologist Valery Vinogradsky, the linguist Leonid Kasatkin, and the historian Tatyana Shcheglova have done much work to collect these materials and to analyze them in different disciplinary perspectives. However, their descriptions remain completely isolated, and the author uses their publications to show the internal unity of their work and to explain that a single archive would be very useful for future research. After a brief introduction, the article turns into a chronological narrative of the Russian peasant history from 1918 to 1953, which consists of those key events/episodes in the lives of narrators that inevitably coincide with the key moments of history. In the comments to the narratives, the author describes the narrators’ psychological traits, their attitudes to the state, work and changes of fate, their connection with pre-revolutionary traditions, and their perception of the new reality.
Civil war, NEP, collectivization, famines of 1932–1933 and 1946–1947, migration to the city, walking, court proceedings, infanticide, war, disabled veterans.
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.
agriculture, peasantry, land authorities, agronomic services, NEP, A.V. Chayanov