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Rents, Land Prices and Economic Theory

The Russian Agrarian Crisis
  • Paul Gregory
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)

Abstract

Established doctrine teaches that Russian agriculture went through an agrarian crisis following the 1861 emancipation. One finds references to the ‘agrarian crisis’ in the writings of Soviet and Western historians, and there appears to have been a consensus at the end of the nineteenth century that Russia was in the throes of an agrarian crisis. This agrarian crisis manifested itself in a number of forms — declining per capita rural incomes, ‘land hunger’, the rising incidence of rural poverty, and growing tax arrears. The agrarian crisis is said to be a prime contributor to the peasant unrest of 1902 and 1905–7. It has been argued that the failure of the tsarist regime to solve the agrarian crisis contributed mightily to its downfall. According to this view, Bolshevik revolutionaries were able to form an alliance or smychka with disaffected peasants, who had been denied the fruits of economic progress by a regime that had kept it confined to the traditional commune. The tsarist regime offered the peasants a viable form of agriculture too late. The Stolypin reforms of 1906 and 1910 came too late to establish a viable form of private agriculture in Russia.

Keywords

Land Price Side Payment Rural Poverty Land Prex Agricultural Prex 
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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Notes

  1. 1.
    Arcadius Kahan, The Plow, the Hammer and the Knout: An Economic History of 18th Century Russia (Chicago, 1985) ch. 2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Peter Gatrell, The Tsarist Economy 1850–1917 (London, 1986) p. 56.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Paul Gregory, Russian National Income 1885–1913 (Cambridge, 1982) Appendix D.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lazar Volin, A Century of Russian Agriculture (Cambridge, Mass., 1970) p. 58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    For an exception, see the study of P.I. Lyashchenko, Ocherki agrarnoi evolyutsii Rossii (St Petersburg, 1908) pp. 278–301.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    I.D. Koval’chenko and L.V. Milov, Vserossiiskii agrarnyi rynok XVIII — nachalo XX veka (Moscow, 1974);Google Scholar
  7. 7a.
    B.I. Mironov, Khlebnye tseny v Rossii (Leningrad, 1985).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See Gerschenkron, ‘Agrarian Policies and Industrialization’, and Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, Mass., 1962).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    For this bibliography, see Paul Gregory, ‘The Agrarian Crisis Revisited’, Robert Stuart (ed.), The Soviet Rural Economy (Totowa, NJ, 1984) pp. 21–31.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    P. Gregory, ‘Grain Marketings and Peasant Consumption, Russia 1885–1913’, Explorations in Economic History, 17 (Mar. 1974) 135–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 16.
    Daniel Thorner, B. Kerblay and R.E.F. Smith (eds.), A.V. Chayanov on The Theory of Peasant Economy (Homewood, Illinois, 1966).Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    Olga Crisp, Studies in the Russian Economy Before 1914 (London, 1976) ch. 3.Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    V.I. Lenin, The Development of Capitalism in Russia (Moscow, 1977) ch. 2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Gregory

There are no affiliations available

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