Potential Sources of Opposition in the East European Peasantry

  • Paul G. Lewis
Part of the St Antony’s book series


The resistance that the peasants of Eastern Europe offered to the establishment of communist power was centred on the conflict stemming from the peasants’ dekire to retain an independent form of agriculture in contrast to the communist leaders’ determination (more pronounced in some cases than in others) to achieve the social transformation of the countryside in a collectivist direction. It is now a decade and a half since this collectivisation process was largely brought to a close. This transformation of the social features of the East European countryside, commencing in 1949, lasted some thirteen years and turned out to be a smoother and more thoroughgoing process in some countries than in others. The pace of collectivisation slowed markedly following Stalin’s death and in some countries a number of collective farms were dissolved. A second phase of collectivisation was launched between 1957 and 1959 and the establishment of collective agriculture in most countries of Eastern Europe was more or less complete by 1962. In Yugoslavia and Poland a second phase of collectivisation never was launched and agriculture there has largely remained in the hands of independent farmers since the fifties. The trauma of collectivisation thus lies even further back in those countries.


Communist Regime East European Country Political Opposition Peasant Farmer Agricultural Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Paul G. Lewis 1979

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  • Paul G. Lewis

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