Go to ...

The Newspapers

News from Russia

RSS Feed

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stolypin: the false hero

18 Sep 1911 died tragically the Prime Minister of Russia Pyotr Stolypin. Stolypin considered to be the great Russian reformer: he put monuments, its name is called prizes and scholarships, establish foundations, companies and clubs. Supported by a legend that has nothing to do with reality.

Pyotr Stolypin — one of the most controversial figures of our history, people now mistakenly presented as a model reformer. Many initiatives Stolypin was actually developed by his predecessors, and by clicking at its beginning, was not successful. But for some time kept (frozen) autocracy.

Here are some of the questions of utmost national importance”, as he called them Stolypin in a speech before the I state Duma on 24 August 1906, conceived the same offices or to pacify the rampant revolution of the country.

“Freedom of religion”.

The regulation “On tolerance development”, approved by Nicholas II on 17 April 1905 and unselected all sorts of persecution of old believers, and those “heretics confessions” is a tribute to the former head of the Cabinet of Sergei Witte.

“On the improvement of life of workers, in particular, about the state of their insurance.

Social insurance was introduced in Russia long before Stolypin. Since 1888 in the country must have established a savings subsidiary (pension) offices of railway workers, and from 1903 acted as the “Rules on the compensation of victims due to accidents of workers and employees and members of their families, in enterprises factory, mining and metallurgical industry”.

“On measures for the exceptional protection of public order and public peace”.

“Regulation on the measures for the protection of public order and public peace” was approved on 14 August 1881, Alexander III yet. 19 Aug 1906 Nicholas II and Stolypin “creatively” added to the Arsenal of methods of courts-martial. New institutions for two days was considered “obvious” criminal acts, and the sentence (shooting or hanging) was carried out in 24 hours. For eight months the work of the courts was rendered more than 1.1 thousand death verdicts. That’s no surprise, then almost all of Russia was under martial law.

Stand out as a whole successfully implemented initiatives “On the reform of secondary and higher education, including the introduction of universal free primary education and military reforms. To build schools, raising salaries for teachers, the rearmament of the army and Navy required huge funds, but difficulties can be avoided. If in the 1908 budget was planned with a deficit of 205 million rubles, in 1910-1914 gg revenues increased by 1 billion rubles. Increased costs, however, more than a quarter of the increase went to the military, while education remained underfunded, and by 1914, when 300 thousand schools, there were only 150 thousand elementary schools.

At whose expense the feast? First, after a nationwide depression caused by the defeat in the Russo-Japanese war and revolution 1905-1907, naturally began recovery. Second, in the late 1900s several years happened good yields. Thirdly, and most importantly, improved world grain situation that export-oriented agrarian Russia was a real salvation.

Witte and revolution

But it was only later, in 1905 Nicholas II and the government of the then Witte faced the threat of loss of control over the country: after the bloody events of January 9, started mass protests against the regime. In the first year of the revolution, the rulers tried to limit the protest, introducing and expanding political, civil, religious rights and freedoms.

That was the hallmark of the government Witte: it saw the resolution from the “troubles and worries” not economic or social reforms, but first and foremost in the socio-political transformations. Talking about this prepared Vitte and signed by the Tsar’s Manifesto of August 6, 1905, concerning the establishment of the State Duma, calling for the early establishment of the legislative authority, and the manifest of 17 October 1905 “On improvement of State order”, which established the constitutional monarchy.

However, contrary to expectations, the excitement continued.

To bring down the revolutionary spirit has sought fiscal concessions: November 3, 1905 the decree “About reduction and the subsequent termination redemption payments from the peasants former landlords’, state and specific”, according to which from January 1, 1906, payments for land was reduced by half, and from January 1, 1907, was abolished altogether. Epic advantageous to the state, but ruinous for the peasantry of redemption payments arising after the abolition of serfdom had ended.

Did this measure reduce the sharpness of the conflict? No, didn’t help.

Finally, on 20 February 1906 signed another Witte prepared the decree “On reorganization of the institutions of the State Council, the state Council stands in the form of the upper house of Parliament and defined the procedure of interaction between the two legislatures of the Empire — the state Duma and the state Council.

But it was in vain.

Witte was a great Manager in peaceful times, but a lousy crisis Manager during the time of troubles, and April 23, 1906, was dismissed.

Bay living

In place of the government Witte after a short, memorable is that the struggle with the state Duma as Prime Minister Ivan Goremykina, July 8, 1906, came the energetic and uncompromising team of Stolypin. By the time the revolutionary actions spread all over the country.

Stolypin proposed to deal with the revolution drastic methods, selecting the object of the reformation, not the mythical rights and freedoms, and the actual destruction of sacred Russian community, more precisely, the institution of communal ownership of land (according to the 1897 census, the village has lived to be 85% of the population). Besides, let’s be objective, the government realized the growing need of the economy in changing socio-economic relations and the influx of labor.

Thus was born the agrarian reform.

The claim about the destruction of the centuries-old foundations of the community someone might be offended. But the fact of the matter is that in “quiet” times in power and had no idea to so radically change the way of life of tens of millions of people. For example, in the Manifesto of February 26, 1903 “About the designs for improvement of the state order” was explicitly stated that the revision of legislation on agriculture as the basis of the need to “put the integrity of the communal system of peasant agriculture, at the same time finding ways to alleviate individual peasants to withdraw from the community”. (my italics -N. To.)

The formal reason for the future of agrarian reform was selected as the “land overcrowding” of the peasants. Some of it was true — the rural population of Russia has increased from 50 million in 1860 to 86 million people in the 1900s, resulting in land holdings per capita of the male population decreased from 4.8 to 2.8 des. (1 desyatina is 1.1 ha).

Nevertheless, the “small revelation” Stolypin was fake, what was already known from domestic and international statistics.

First, Russia per unit of land was one of the least populated countries in Europe: land for treatment per 1 person in the European part of Russia had, remember, 2.8 des., whereas in France and 0.8 in Germany — 0,6 in the UK — 0.5 des. About Siberia and the far East, and say nothing.

Secondly, while two-thirds of all the cultivated land belonged not to the landowners, merchants, or burghers, and peasants. Moreover, the amount of land a man more than three times surpassed the nobility of the land.

Thirdly, about the land shortage can be argued with regard to less than a quarter of all households, and that in the Central part of Russia. In 1905, out of 12 million peasant households more than 10 des. the yard had 34% of farms, 5 to 10 dess. — 42%, less than 5 Dec. — only 24% of households. However false the thesis of the peasant shortage of land was so stable that became one of the Bolshevik slogans of 1917

All of this Stolypin “not noticed” — it was necessary to save not a man, and sovereign. Although the change of ownership relations should be carried out not only with the development of individual and collective ways of management, but in parallel with the tightening of the judicial, administrative and law enforcement systems to “strengthen” individual farmers feel at least relatively safe. All this power was neither human, nor material, nor, most importantly, time resources.

In the fields

The present society somehow believes that if Stolypin’s just not enough time. For example, for agrarian reform, the development of which began under the leadership of Witte (Stolypin served as then Governor of Saratov) and directed, as was declared, on the reduction of peasants ‘ poverty, to Stolypin, he said, required an unrealistic “twenty years of rest internal and external” (the tendency to Stolypin spectacular, but demagogic rhetoric is well-known).

However, modern klimaticheskie studies have shown that without Stolypin innovations poor farmers in Russia would be less and the rich more wealthy and, therefore, agrarian reform is only bothered to fight poverty. This conclusion is, in particular, in the work of the founder of klimaticheskoi school of academician Ivan, Kovalchenko in which retroprojection development of the Russian village until the mid 1920-ies were analyzed by the method of Markov chains.

By the way, in the study, Kovalchenko can be traced to a common naive mistake is to take the intentions of the authorities at face value, to believe in the fact that the state always acts exclusively for the benefit of the country and the people, to ignore non-economic factors that encourage world powers to take certain actions.

The essence of the reform

November 9, 1906 the decree “About addition of some regulations of the current law relating to peasant land tenure and land use”, which marked the beginning of the reform. The essence of the decree briefly as follows.

1. Every householder, who owned allotment land at the community law has given the right “at any time to require strengthening themselves in personal (read: private. — N. To.) property owed part of the aforesaid land.”

2. The order of exit from the community was simple: everyone who wishes to “strengthen” delivered through the village chief a statement to the community that within one month by simple majority of votes was to make a positive decision. If the community was hampered in her place helped the “Zemstvo chief.”

3. The impossibility of separating the community was to “meet wants to stand money with him by mutual agreement, and failing agreement — established volost court.

In the spring of 1907 in the state Duma was based on the decree of the draft law “On amendments and additions to certain regulations on peasant land ownership”, which after three years of fierce dispute on June 14, 1910, was adopted. The law, in particular, provided for the elimination of farming by means of binding sites to a single place and established that “fortified” areas can buy only “persons assigned to rural societies”. Lay of the land was only possible in the Peasant Bank and only for the economic improvements.

The reform has sparked debate not only in the Duma, but also among the common people (what the government wanted). The most rapid success of the “strengthening” had recently annexed territories in the new Russia, little Russian provinces, in the North-Western and Western edges (in the latter case, regions bordering with foreign areas, where private ownership of land prevailed before). The other extreme was the province of the North, the northeast and the great of the earth. In some Northern provinces over the first five years of reforms there was not a single case of “strengthening”, and in the Arkhangelsk province has allocated a total of 200 Dec. 335 million (0,06%). That to the Russian territories, there are allocated areas ranged from 2 to 5% of all peasant land.

The failure of, well, about the failure of the agrarian reform show other figures. For 1907-1915 had submitted petitions with more than 3 million households from 9.2 million (as of 1907). Seems to be good: a third of the congregation rather “archaic” for the community farmer’s freedom. Now note that by 1917, in Russia, there were 1.6 million individual farms of the former commune on an area of about 16 million dess., that was approximately 10-11% of all farms in 1916

Only 10-11% of newly formed households — was it worth the fuss? Unless, of course, to abstract from the real tasks of Stolypin?

The reader will wonder what happened to the other 1.5 million “stronger”, because by 1916, of the communities was going to get over 3 million peasants and newly formed households was only 1.6 million? And that’s where new owners often sold the land to the communities or to the rich peasants or laid them in the Peasant Bank, and after not being able to pay, increased the ranks of landless laborers and the urban proletariat. Otherwise, how else to explain the fact that in the reform process, the number of farms that used hired labor, increased by one-third?

Resettlement to Siberia

Finally, another misconception, this time about the migration of peasants to Siberia. It is considered that the relocation to the sparsely populated areas of the Altai territory, undertaken with the aim of economic development of the region, was part of the agrarian reform of Stolypin. (In the Altai Okrug included the territory of modern Altai territory, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and Tomsk regions, the Altai Republic, Khakassia Republic, and East-Kazakhstan oblast of Republic of Kazakhstan.)

This is not so.

The decree of September 19, 1906, “On the transfer Cabinet lands in the Altai district in the Chief Directorate of land management and agriculture education resettlement sites” appeared before the decree of November 9, on agrarian reform and became a continuation of previously published “resettlement” orders.

So, on the 17th of October 1905, the Tsar approved the regulations of the Committee of Ministers (again Witte) “On allocation of land to military officials, members of the Japanese war. According to the regulation the rules about voluntary resettlement of rural inhabitants and burghers, and the farmers spread on all of the discharged or retired lower ranks of the Manchurian armies.” Do the same rules were approved June 6, 1904, when Stolypin was ruled in the Saratov province

The main reason that prompted the authorities to go to expand the resettlement program was not the concern about the development of (active immigrants in Siberia in General and in the Altai in particular began in the second half of the XVII century) and the desire to reduce the massive discontent of the army after the lost Russo-Japanese war.

Economic results of the resettlement campaign was not much better agrarian reform. The total number of immigrants in 1906-1916 gg. amounted to 3.1 million people, in 1911, in the Siberian regions, there were more than 3 thousand mills, of which 1.3 million were artisanal, rapidly growing collection of breads (1911-1915. compared to 1901-1905. he grew by 66%, whereas in European Russia — only 11%). But again, the resettlement campaign was a separate state program.

Perhaps one of the few truly necessary regulatory acts adopted in development of the resettlement programme Witte, became law on April 19, 1909 “On the procedure for the grant of loans to non-profit need immigrants”. Rural society and individuals gained access to interest-free loans of up to 2 thousand rubles (was supposed to be a more significant amount) for up to 10 years, and in some cases up to 20 years.

It would seem that agrarian reform in action! But in paragraph 4 of the law read: “When the loans of rural societies and villages seem mundane sentences, and associations of peasant householders of the circular surety to the acceptance of all the terms of the loan…” (my italics — N. To.)

Again the community Esprit de corps? Against what in this case, the power struggled?

…Russia again chose a hero, whose achievements are largely limited to the salvation of the autocracy, the formation of the social base of the October revolution of 1917 Yes untimely death at the hands of a terrorist.

How naïve we were. What were such and remained.


Related posts:
Scandalous fee for the overhaul I want to cancel and to pass on to investors
How to force the employer to pay salary arrears
The principle of "the third wheel" will give money to Russian farmers
5 common mistakes when dividing property between spouses


More Stories From Economy