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To what extent do the sources agree that Russian government policy on agriculture consistently failed and that peasants resisted it under both Tsarist and Communist rule?

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Introduction

History Coursework Assignment To what extent do the sources agree that Russian government policy on agriculture consistently failed and that peasants resisted it under both Tsarist and Communist rule? During the development of Russia, the policies on agriculture changed between Tsarist and Communist rule. Did the policies on agriculture that they came up with consistently fail and did the peasants resist them under both Tsarist and Communist rule? The emancipation Statute of 1861 freed millions of serfs, and at first was welcomed. S1 says that the serfs previously been bought and sold like cattle. Alexander II freed the serfs without any accompanying civil war. There was, at first, little resistance from the serfs and the freeing of serfs was seen as a huge success. But it became clear that in practice and terms the changes were far less dramatic. It was an ideological situation. In reality most of the liberated serfs resented receiving too little land for their needs and having to pay far more for it than they could afford. Individual peasants remained bound in various ways to their village communes. ...read more.

Middle

Due to the lack of spontaneity, plans had to be imposed which ensured that they followed pattern regardless of local circumstances. These plans meant that Moscow received reports which it wanted to hear. So although under tighter Communist control their campaigns were usually good in theory they were not as effective when put into practice. This meant, for example as S4 points out, that the crops rotted in the fields, and there was no place to store grain. As well with S1 S4 and S6 shows a good idea but poor implementation. Stolypin's land reforms S2, as already identified, concentrated not on the bulk of the peasants but rather on the strong, the so called kulaks. By not concentrating on the weaker peasants to produce more instead of ignoring them and having them not be as efficient as they could, the result was that the peasants where very hostile to the Law of 9 Nov. This resistance reflected the limited lack of opportunity. The poorer peasants resisted the reforms as they see the government unconcerned with the mass of the peasants. Instead they were only prepared to help what was already working and not prepared to help what was not. ...read more.

Conclusion

'A generation of neglect and impoverishment'. The support of the peasants for the popular agricultural policies was however no recipe for success. Both S4 and S6 show willingness by the peasants but as S5 shows the total of crops and livestock did improve. 1958 to 1965 the targets projected that the increase should have been 70% not 14%. In conclusion it can be seen that the policies often failed to live up to expectations because even when the government had good ideas they failed to implement them properly due to neglect and adapt to change as shown in S1, S4 and S6 or because the peasants resisted the change and so it was their fault the government could not implement them as shown in S2 and S3. Some peasants were willing to comply with emancipation and take part in the virgin land scheme, but the government failed to implement it properly and failed to cope the changes. But they resisted Stolypin's reforms and collectivisation. The peasants did resist under both Tsarist and Communist rule but they were willing to comply with the new polices of both until those polices failed to live up to expectations and then peasants renewed their opposition. Martin Leonard Word count 964 (excluding question) ...read more.

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