Write a few lines to show what you know about:
Question.

Write a few lines to show what you know about:

kulaks

the Duma

women workers between 1900 and 1930

the Liberals

Stalin’s collectivisation programme


Solution:

(a) Kulaks: It is the Russian term for wealthy peasants who Stalin believed were hoarding grains to gain more profit. They were raided in 1928 and their supplies were confiscated. According to Marxism-Leninism, kulaks were a ‘class enemy’ of the poorer peasants. Their desire for profit led to food shortages and ultimately, Stalin had to put the collectivisation programme in place to eliminate the kulaks, and establish large, state-controlled farms.

(b) The Duma: Formed on 6 August 1905, under the pressure of the Russian Revolution of 1905, it was initially thought to be an advisory organ. In the October Manifesto, Tsar Nicholas II endowed it with legislative and oversight powers. However, he had the power to dismiss the Duma and announce new elections whenever he wished to do so. The Tsar dissolved the Duma on 25 February 1917, and for doing so, he had to ultimately abdicate his own post on the 2nd of March that same year.

(c) Women workers between 1900 and 1930: They made up 31% of the factory labour force by 1914, but were paid almost half and three-quarters of the wages given to men. However, interestingly, it were the women workers who led the way to strikes during the February Revolution.

(d) The Liberals: They espoused a nation that was tolerant towards all religions; one that would protect individual rights against the government. Although the liberals wanted an elected parliamentary form of governance, they believed that the right to vote must only belong to men, and that too the ones who were property holders.

(e) Stalin’s collectivisation programme: This was implemented in 1929 in order to increase grain produce and avoid hoarding by kulaks. The programme entailed collective farms (kolkhoz) where peasants were made to work together. All land and implements were to be owned by the state. Kolkhoz profit was meant to be shared by all the people working on these farms. However, this collectivisation policy was unpopular and cultivators destroyed their livestock in protest. In spite of collectivisation, production did not increase immediately. The bad harvests of 1930-33 led to horrible famines in which over 4 million people died.
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