State of Public Sector of Moscow Region Agriculture in 1940-1942s

By Androsov, Andrey Anatolevich; Fedulin, Alexander Alekseevich et al. | Asian Social Science, April 2015 | Go to article overview

State of Public Sector of Moscow Region Agriculture in 1940-1942s


Androsov, Andrey Anatolevich, Fedulin, Alexander Alekseevich, Kortunov, Vadim Vadimovich, Asian Social Science


Abstract

For the first time in Russian historiography public economic setup in the Soviet agriculture in 1940-1942s has been analyzed basing on unknown archive materials. Most attention was paid to historiography of this subject, new methods applied by contemporary historians in research of rural economy of this period have been mentioned. Specific challenges that arose in the process and as a result of evacuation of sovkhoz' (state farms) and machine and tractor stations' (MTS) property, preparation to spring sowing in realization of On self-reliance directive of All-Russian party of Bolsheviks have been analyzed. The conclusion about the reasons and consequences of unreadiness of governing bodies to evacuation and spring sowing has been made.

Keywords: property evacuation, self-reliance, sovkhoz, MTS, agriculture, Moscow region

1. Introduction

Assessment of condition of state agricultural objects in 1940-1942s and state policy of their use in conditions that had changed after the beginning of the war has been made in the present research. This topic remained undiscovered until now and objective assessment of events that took place at that time wasn't given. Analysis of records was made on the base of data of Moscow region.

Importance of the research is caused by the work of Russian Government on food security of the country. The lessons of the past may help solving problems of the present.

2. Historiography of the Problem and Scientific Discussion

Interest of historians to changes in agriculture of the country after collectivization is not limited by analysis of life of kolkhoz peasantry. Recent years many historians of agricultural relations give up accepted in Soviet period of ideological cliché of a common kolkhoz and sovkhoz setup that had been formed in rural area in the process of socialism development. According to new opinion structure of agricultural workers was not homogeneous. There were at least two setups - state and kolkhoz in place of existing on the eve of the war kolkhoz and sovkhoz setup that was typical for overwhelming majority of peasants. Actual number of self-employed farmers was not listed at all. As a matter of fact according to some documents, a number of self-employed farmers in southern regions of the USSR, in the Caucasus was not as small as it was declared by Soviet propaganda and collectivization had been conducted formally, just to divert attention. Profitability of farms of self-employed farmers after sheer collectivization carried out in prewar time requires separate research. Some contemporary historians consider the process of emerging and maturing of sovkhozes and MTS in prewar time from the point of view of "state capitalization of agriculture of Russia" (Bensin & Dimoni, 2011, p. 91). They refer to definition of Soviet model of socialism as state capitalism that manifests itself in separation of peasants from land and basic means of production and legislative system of duties together with personal land duty with state in place of pre-revolutionary landlord. These historians also state that state and kolkhoz' sector in agriculture have significant difference. There was also the trend to further transfer into government ownership of kolkhozes and their replacement with sovkhozes (Bensin & Dimoni, 2011). Special situation of state agricultural farms they has from the moment of foundation is stated in the other works too. For example, living and legal conditions of state farms workers and kolkhoz peasants were incomparable. Sovkhozes' and MTSes' workers has trade unions, drawn a salary, had day offs, official holidays and vacations kolkhozes' peasants could hardly dream of (Petrushin, 2012). Soviet historians in their researches and statistical reports also noted that sovkhozes and MTSes had a special place in agriculture of the country in prewar time, although these historians did not opposed kolkhozes and state farms or at least did not do this obviously. …

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