desire to modernise agriculture led him to collectivise the
farms, amalgamating them and putting them totally under state
In the end, this did lead to more efficient farming and
increased production, but in the short term it involved him in
a 'war' with the kulaks, and a disastrous fall in output,
which led to famine.
Brett on Collectivisation
Prof Rempel on
inefficient/ no machinery/ too small/ subsistence (only grew enough for
if the Five-Year Plans were to succeed.
the USSR was 20 million tons of grain short to feed the towns.
USSR was to become modern/ industrial, peasants needed to migrate to work
in the towns.
USSR was to industrialise, peasants needed to grow cash crops (eg grain)
which could be exported to raise money to buy foreign machinery and
Kulaks opposed Communism – they liked their private wealth. They hid food from the government collectors.
Also they were influential, and led peasant opinion. Stalin wanted to destroy them.
Stalin announced collectivisation – peasants asked to take part
Food shortages. Police confiscated food and took it
to the towns.
Stalin announced compulsory collectivisation, enforced by the
army. The peasants burned their crops and barns, and killed their
Famine. Stalin paused collectivisation. Peasants
were allowed to own a small plot of land.
Collectivisation re-started. By 1932 two-thirds of the
villages had been collectivised. More resistance, burning/
killing. Meanwhile, the government took more food for the
Famine, esp. in Ukraine (where 5 million died).
Stalin blamed, and declared war on, the Kulaks – their land was
taken and they were shot/ sent to labour camps in Siberia/ whole
villages surrounded and killed.
All 7 million kulaks ‘eliminated’.
99% of land collectivised; 90% peasants live on one of ¼ million
kolkhoz; 4,000 state farms. Farming run by government
Stalin's 1929 order simply required farmers to pool their
land and their equipment, and to work in future under the orders of the
collective farm committee (which was under the control of the Communist
Party). No other details - such as how the workers would be
paid - were given, and in 1930 Stalin even sent a contradictory order that
'small vegetable gardens, dwelling houses, some dairy cattle, small
livestock poultry etc. are not socialised' (at which point, many
farmers withdrew from the collectives).
Later rules, however, enforced collectivisation, prescribed
punishments for 'enemies of the collective farms' (such as the kulaks),
stipulated that 90% of the produce had to go to the state (with 10% left
to feed the collective), and set up Motor Tractor Stations to provide
teachers instruct a less-than-enthusiastic group of peasants
about the benefits of collectivisation.
celebrating on a collectivised farm –
a propaganda painting from 1937.
of Russia had been collectivized . . .
methods/ tractors/ fertilisers/ large-scale/ new attitudes (trying to
produce as much as possible)
1937, 97 million tonnes were produced PLUS cash crops for export.
million peasants left the countryside to work in the towns, 1928–37
ran farming. Peasants obeyed the Party, through enthusiasm or fear.
Stalin had all power.
see Source C!
of sheep & goats
1932–33; millions died.
historians believe that collectivisation was as much about
establishing Stalin's power as it was about increasing
do you think?