Kuban farmers’ attitudes toward Soviet agrarian transformations in the 1920s

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Abstract


How did the residents of Kuban region perceive the agrarian transformations that the Soviet authorities carried out in the post-revolutionary period? The archival sources studied in this paper reveal the attitude of the villagers to the land and tax policies of the Soviet state, their sentiments towards Soviet modernisation, as well as the relationship between Cossacks and non-residents during the land management campaign. While the history of the Kuban villages in the 1920s has attracted the interest of many researchers and regional historians, the sentiments and attitudes of the population towards the agrarian reforms by the Soviet authorities have so far received little attention. The measures of the Soviet state contributed not only to the eradication of the traditional Cossack culture but also radically altered the socio-economic and cultural profile of the Kuban villages, leading to the loss of Cossack identity. The article analyses the role of the Soviet authorities in the imposition of a socialist order. In the 1920s, their aim was the dissemination of proSoviet sentiments among the Kuban grain farmers. To this end, party and state authorities used various means and methods. Therefore, the study of the sentiments and attitude towards the Soviet authorities’ actions has become an important channel for obtaining information. The Soviet organs attempted to investigate the attitudes of the farmers and took these data in account for adjusting their policies. The documents produced in this process have been a central source for the present article. In the 1920s the authorities launched a largescale ideological project to make the Kuban population accept the Soviet worldview and embrace an archetypical Soviet mentality. In particular the poor and the non-urban population became pillars of social support for the new regime. The mechanisms that the Soviets applied for studying the sentiments of the Kuban grain farmers, together with other instruments of control and coercion, allowed the authorities to conduct a fairly successful Sovietisation campaign in the region, and to attract new proselytes to their side.


About the authors

Irina M Fedina

Kuban State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: ir_Lap@mai.ru
149 Stavropolskaya St., Krasnodar, 350040, Russia

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