Economic Recovery By Daniella F, Marc W, Chris F and Jack S
STOLYPIN’S LAND REFORMS(reason 1) Aims Prosperity – Russia’s backwardness would be ended, more food produced, the danger of revolution reduced. Head off revolution – the peasants had been involved in 1905 – if their conditions could be improved they would be less likely to rebel and may even support the regime. Problems resulting in the aims The causes of Russia’s backwardness were; Emancipation in 1861 had made peasant conditions worse – they were given the worst land by the Lords and had to pay massive ‘redemption payments’ to buy it from the Lords. This crippled them. A population explosion meant more mouths to feed – from the same land. Farming technology was backward – still had wooden ploughs, no machinery, poor soil. Farming still done on medieval style ‘strips’ – about 20 per family – this was backward and inefficient. Farming was controlled by the village Commune or MIR – which alone decided who got which strips and how farming would be organised. It acted as a block on progress in the name of equality.
Outcome of Stolypin’s reform.(cont) No longer subsistence farming and now individual farms. Trying to achieve farmers having a success of their business. After 1905 all redemption payments cancelled the land was theirs at last! Enterprising peasants would be allowed to opt out of the village Mir and merge their strips into individual farms which would be like those in the West. This would be more efficient. A special ‘Land Bank’ was set up to allow these go ahead peasants to borrow cash to buy more land. These new, richer peasant farmers would turn into supporters of the regime and act as a block on revolution – he called this a ‘WAGER ON THE STRONG.’ Achievements: by 1916 1.2million peasants owned their own farm and a further 750000 applicants were waiting on the decision. As a result of this the peasants land bank was extended. The outcome of his reforms were on the way to removing the threat of revolution. Evidence for this is, the number of these independent farms went up from 48,000 in 1907 to 98,000 in 1914, there were no big disturbances in the country between 1907-1914 and the peasants did not at first play a big part in the revolution of 1917.
Growth of economy. (Reason 2) • Stolypin’s reforms were working – and given the chance would have made Russia more prosperous and so removed the threat of revolution – the war ruined this. • Russia was rapidly becoming a successful industrial power – Witte’s reforms had begun to transform the country and given time this would also have removed the danger of revolution. • e.g. the industrial growth rate between 1908-1914 was a massive 8.5% • e.g. state revenues doubled in this time • e.g. the number of banks doubled • Russia was doing so well that there was no need for a revolution.
Intermediate conclusion The Stolypin agrarian reforms were implemented by the state in a comprehensive campaign from 1906 through 1914. This system was not a command economy like that found in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, but rather a continuation of the modified state capitalism program begun under Sergei Witte. It was different from Witte's reforms not by the rapid push - which was a characteristic also found in the Witte reforms - but by the fact that Stolypin's reforms were to the agricultural sector, included improvements to the rights of individuals on a broad level and had the backing of the police. These reforms laid the groundwork for a market-based agricultural system for Russian peasants. They also brought freedom and happiness to the peasants, this eradicated the threat of a revolution such as the one in 1905.
Evidence for why it worked (Reason 3) The evidence from Stolypins reforms shows that they did work. The evidence: • There were no big disturbances in the countryside between 1907-1914.The fact that there were no major disturbances show that everyone for the most part as in fact happy and content. • In fact the economy grew 8.5% due to these reforms • The peasants did not (at first) play a big part in the revolution of 1917.
conclusion In conclusion, Stolypin’s reforms were the best and only way to improve the economy. His ideas were good in themselves, such as the “land bank”. However as he was assassinated in 1911 and even when he was able to make the decisions, he had estimated it would take around 20 years for the plan to be effective. What he did achieve on land reforms was astounding. By 1916 1.2million peasants owned their own farm and a further 750000 applicants were waiting on the decision. Peasants land bank was extended. Reforms were on the way to removing the threat of revolution. The number of these independent farms went up from 48,000 in 1907 to 98,000 in 1914, there were no big disturbances in the country between 1907-1914 and the peasants did not at first play a big part in the revolution of 1917.This shows us that even after his death, his work was still appreciated and techniques used. However ignoring all the bad elements, it was a good reform.