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From the history of development of cooperation on Dona and the North Caucasus during the pre-revolutionary period

UDK 334.7



Stavropol cooperative institute (branch)

Belgorod university of consumer cooperation


In article the evolution of cooperation in the conditions of modernization of the Russian society at the beginning of the 20th century and its social and economic transformation in days of the first revolution, Stolypin agrarian reform and World War I is considered.

Modernization processes in Post-Soviet Russia caused transition of the country to market economy that created new opportunities for development of all forms of cooperation - a socioeconomic system which by the most nature is open for an economic initiative and enterprise, the competition to other forms of ownership in providing the population with goods and services. This provision of cooperation is considered at acceptance by the President of the country V. Putin of priority national projects in the field of health care, education, housing construction and agriculture which performance contacts directly development of all forms and types of cooperation and creation of the powerful cooperative movement in the country.

Development and improvement of activity of cooperatives at the present stage is an important public task, and the transformations made in social and economic life of the country and in the system of cooperation assume considerations and solutions of all complex of questions, commensurating with historical experience. Judgment of features of genesis of domestic cooperation as in general, and at the regional level, allows to define those intrinsic characteristics which traditionally for it were peculiar. Optimization of cooperative activity is possible only through exact diagnostics of the existing problems which roots consign for many decades to the past. And in the conditions of reforming of society, issues of interaction of cooperation with the government for the purpose of optimization of cooperative policy and creation of the favorable legal framework, definition of a role and essence of cooperation in national economy, appeals to its intrinsic characteristics, the history of formation and its activity in the past acquire special relevance.

And in the light of it in this article we made an attempt to investigate a problem of evolution of cooperation at the beginning of the 20th century, influence on its practical activities of the first revolution in Russia, Stolypin agrarian reform and World War I.

The first revolution in Russia stirred up and excited all society. The village endured agrarian disorders, the peasantry directed in the revolutionary way to resolve the land question and hoped to dump once and for all from itself century chains of economic dependence, oppression and lawlessness. After cruel and ruthless suppression of "retaliatory expeditions", the era of calm and a counterrevolution began. Agrarian reform of Stolypin began to work, the country community collapsed, small owners in the village were created. The national energy compressed in the field of social and political and economic life found to itself a way out in the huge cooperative movement. Even in the years of reaction (1907-1910) and especially in the subsequent conditions for growth and development of cooperation were more favorable, than till 1905. So, in 10 years (from 1905 to 1915) in the country arose and grew to 30 thousand new kooperativov1. If before revolution in the country was credit, consumer, agricultural and other cooperatives from 3500 to 4000, then by their January, 1914 became 31550 with number of members in 10 million people 2

1 N.N. falcons. The cooperative movement in Russia: figures and facts. Pg., 1919. Page 4.
2 A.V. Merkulov. Consumer cooperation in 1917//Consumers union. 1918. No. 1-2.

Such situation was characteristic also of regions of the North Caucasus. So, on Don and the North Caucasus, since 1908, 20-40 consumer societies annually opened, and by the beginning of their 1913 was already 288 here, including in the Don region - 148, in Kuban - 76, in the Stavropol province - 33, in Terskaya - 18, in Black Sea - 10. Though various data are provided in different sources, in general significant increase in consumer cooperatives is observed. And most consumer societies (up to 80%) were rural, there were 23 city (vsesoslovny) societies, railway - 13, factory (dependent) - 2, officer and official - 23.

In the same years in the southeast also the unions of consumer societies began to be organized. The office of the Moscow Union of consumer societies opened in Rostov in 1911 4

was the first union of consumer cooperation to Dona, and in general in all southeast,

As to types, in the conditions of modernization of agriculture on the basis of the undertaken agrarian reform all types of cooperative societies, their social and economic transformation in market structures of the developing agriculture rapidly grow.

Cooperators of the country in 1905-1913, except satisfaction of material inquiries of people, actively were engaged everywhere in cultural and educational and educational work. In this plan decisions of the 1st All-Russian congress which took place in April, 1908 had special value. But to M.L. Heysin's definition - it was "... the first triumph of the cooperative movement: a democratic congress in the country of autocracy". The congress adopted the resolution on support of the rochdeylsky principles and opening of credit cooperatives an attendance order, formulated definition of cooperatives as known, democratic organizations and called for close cooperation all types of cooperation in strane5. After the congress the cooperatives began to deduct a part of profit on individual and public funds of mutual aid, a part - for other social needs, including for cultural and educational and educational work. So, for example, resources on the device tea were dug up at a bench, reading rooms, libraries, etc. These decisions found reflection in charters obshchestv6.

Cultural work of cooperation directly contacted increase in educational and professional level of cooperators. So, courses in cooperation were open on November 1, 1910 at A.L. Shanyavsky's university. From this day Centrosoyuz laid the foundation for development of cooperative education: over time three-months courses will develop into the High cooperative courses, and then - into cooperative school, funds for which maintenance consumer societies of the Union raised two years - on 15 kopeks from each 1000 rub of a turn. This school will pave the way for creation of cooperative institute - it was open on September 30, 1918 in Moskve7. Cooperators became initiators of creation in the village of people's houses, libraries, reading rooms, schools, etc. And it kept within a framework of Stolypin reforms in the fields of education and cultures.

Revolution of 1905-1907 made double impact on cooperation development. The social and economic crisis caused by strikes, frustration of the transport system led to deterioration of the situation of cooperatives. At the same time, during the revolution there were new factors which favorably affected further development of cooperation. It is, first of all, cancellation since January 1, 1907 of redemption payments which peasants made for the earth received by them after reform of 1861. So, only in the Stavropol province the redemption payments made the sum huge for those times of 645 thousand rubles annually. Now these means were aimed at the development of economy including cooperative. Besides, country funds began to be accumulated in credit cooperatives which often acted as initiators of creation and financing agricultural and consumer kooperativov8.

3 I. Oborin. Consumer cooperation in the southeast of Russia. Rostov-on-Don, 1924.
4 GARO, T. 1891. Op.1. 6. L. 190.
5 Russian cooperation. 2000. October 28.
6 How to organize and conduct consumer society: Reference book / Sost. A.V. Merkulov, M.L. Heysin. SPb., 1910. Page 222.
7 Russian cooperation. 2000. October 28.
8 our Edge Stavropol Territory: History essays//Scientific editors D.V. Kochura and V.P. Nevskaya. Stavropol, 1999. Page 204.

How Stolypin's critics, according to many researchers spoke, his agrarian reform inhaled forces in the Russian peasantry. Not accidentally V.I. Lenin with undisguised alarm wrote that after the solution of an agrarian question in Stolypin spirit "no other revolution capable to change seriously economic living conditions of country masses, can be..." 9.

The factors connected with the policy of the state on transformation of the agrarian relations in the village, multiplied by commitment of peasants to communal maintaining the economy naturally led them to understanding of usefulness and need of creation of the different types of cooperation promoting increase in situation in conditions of intense competition with the large-scale landowners' enterprises using the modern equipment and the advanced methods of housekeeping. It also caused successful development of the cooperative movement in the country. So, to Stavropol Territory, along with existing, cooperatives in the villages of Beshpagir, Kon-stantinovskoye and Ptichye (1913) are created; in Aleksandrovsk (1908); Piedmont and Yankul (1910); Sergiyevskoye (1911); Kruglolessky, Northern, Krymgireevsky and Red (1908); Maloyagurskoye (1912); Kevsala and Pretecha (1913), etc. 10 In Kuban from 1905 to 1908 there were 25 cooperatives, and in their 1912 already were 90, including in the Black Sea province - 1011. Since 1907 in Rostov there was a number of the independent consumer societies created with direct participation of cooperatives of transport workers. Among them society "Potrebitel" (1909), Economiya consumer cooperative (1909). In the last originally there were 199 members, and in 1912 - 366 shareholders. During this period society of consumers "Labor union" in the Zatemernitsky settlement is formed. Since 1908 there began the activity Society of consumers in Nakhchivan - on - Don. In 1913 the Society totaled 677 members. At Society the bakery worked. For 1917 it was specified in the report that Society was joined by more than 1000 people 12

During the considered period wide popularity was gained also by the credit cooperation promoting strengthening of position of country farms. In 1914 in Russia there were about 20 thousand institutions of the small credit which had means of about 1 billion rubles. From 10 unions of institutions of small credit 3 existing in the country operated on the territory of our region (Kuban, Tersky and Blago-darinsky). From them the Kuban union which part was 93 tovarishchestva13 achieved the greatest results. The branched system of credit institutions existed also in other areas of the region. So, in the Pyatigorsk office of the Tersky region 20 credit associations worked. 34 class credit cooperative institutions, and in the Stavropol office - 37 credit associations, 72 loan-and-savings cash desks and rural banka14.

Revolution and Stolypin reform, thus, many times over accelerated growth of consciousness and unity of workers. They felt on themselves the organization force, force of collective. All this could not but affect cooperation development, activity of workers in it. In this regard it is possible to tell that the first revolution and the land reform which followed it became the stimulating factor of the accelerated development of the cooperative movement as countrywide, and in the North Caucasian region.

The exclusive feature and the importance of these years is that neither on growth rates, nor on scales the cooperative movement of the country did not know analogs in the world though social and economic prerequisites for its development in Russia were in a stage of folding and were still far from ideally favorable. As for hell -

9. on: V.P. Nikanorov And. Stolypin: "Poverty, on me, the worst of slavery"//Open for all and everyone. 2003. No. 19(53). May 21-28.
10 The charter of society of consumers Fram in the settlement of Olginskom of the Praskoveysky County of the Stavropol province. Vladikavkaz, 1908. Page 1; The Annual report of society of consumers "Success" of the village of Romanovka of the Stavropol province for 1912 operational year. Article. Cool, 1913. Page 1; GASK. T. 101. Op. 4. Unit hr. 3227. L. 3.
11 V.F. Duplyakin, etc. Consumer cooperation of Kuban 1872-1992 / V.F. Duplyakin, Co-lomiyets V.A., Shevyakov G.D. Krasnodar, 1992. Page 6.
12 L.V. Kovtun. The history of consumer cooperation to Dona. Rostov-on-Don, 2005. Page 19, 20.
13 The collection of statistiko-economic data on agriculture of Russia and the foreign states. SPb., 1917. Page 584-585. 13. GASK, F.311. Op.1. 587. L.10, 12.
14 GASK, F.311. Op.1. 587. L.10.12.

ministrativno-political prerequisites, they were extremely adverse and slowed down cooperation development much. "Secret" as the famous historian of cooperation L.E. Fayn writes, consists, probably, in internal sources of this movement, in the potential opportunities put in it to adapt to various initial conditions and to build the work taking into account these usloviy15.

World War I which began in 1914 put the Russian cooperation in new conditions. In view of the shortage of essentials, increase in prices, difficulties in the agrarian sector the activity of cooperation gained the increasing value. In the years of war the cooperation made a big contribution to overcoming difficulties and maintenance of the acceptable standard of living naseleniya16.

From the beginning of war, at the amplifying ruin in the southeast, hundreds of new cooperatives began to arise every month. Practically in each village, the village, the farm, without any preparation by casual people consumer benches, even sometimes without charter, without respect for the principles of cooperation opened. There were no goods, speculation prospered, the office of the Moscow Union could not satisfy cooperative societies with goods. Large dealers wholesalers and small traders artificially raised the prices, and by 1915 they increased by 3-4 times in comparison with pre-war. Many consumer societies began to deliver products in army, for grain storage the cooperators constructed elevators in many villages (Konstantinovsky, Semi-karakorsky, Romanovsky, Manychsky, in Aksay).

The complexity of the situation connected with war, a huge number of consumer societies and their separation involuntarily induced societies to unite. So, in 1913 in Novocherkassk the cooperative congress of the Don region, in 1915 took place - in the station Konstantinovskoy, etc. Creation of large merging of cooperatives of edge - Dono-Kubano-Terskoye association of cooperatives belongs to this period. Founders of this association (DOKAT) were mainly credit and ssudosberegatelny associations and agricultural obshchestva17.

Statistical data of those years speak about rapid development of consumer cooperation in the years of war, and the peak of creation of new cooperatives falls on 1916 when difficulties with supply sharply increased. So, in 1914 in the Stavropol province there were only 3 new consumer societies, and in a year 17 new cooperatives appeared already. In some villages successfully functioned on slightly consumer obshchestv18. So, 3 consumer societies worked in the village Safe at the same time. Promptly consumer societies in Kuban grew. In 1916 here them there were more than 150, in the Black Sea province - 27. Respectively also the initiative of cooperative workers increased, the field of their activity extended: they not only bought and sold goods through the benches, but also got own production predpriyatiya19.

In revolutionary 1917 the North Caucasian cooperation continued to develop, though was in difficult conditions. The continuing World War I demanded from it the increasing efforts in activization of the activity for the purpose of providing the isstradavshy population of the region.

After renunciation on March 2, 1917 of the tsar from a throne, the Provisional government which paid to cooperation development much attention came to the power in the country. This government on March 20 the same year adopted the first cooperative Law in Russia "The provision on cooperative associations and their unions" which opened a scope for creation and development of the cooperative movement in strane20.

To the most important achievements of the Law there was an introduction instead of an authorization system of an attendance order of opening of cooperatives of all types. The law set the best traditions

15 L.E. Fayn. Domestic cooperation: Historical experience. Ivanovo, 1994. Page 53.
16 Eye V.N., R.M. Kushcheterov, Z.R. Kochkarova. Consumer cooperation of Stavropol Territory: history of development and social and economic activity. 1869-2003 Stavropol, 2004. Page 53, 56.
17 L.V. Kovtun. The history of consumer cooperation to Dona. Rostov-on-Don, 2005. Page 20, 23.
18 Eyes V.N., R.M. Kushcheterov, Z.R. Kochkarova. Consumer cooperation of Stavropol Territory: history of development and social and economic activity. 1869-2003 Stavropol, 2004. Page 56.
19 V.F. Duplyakin, etc. Consumer cooperation of Kuban 1872-1992 / V.F. Duplyakin, Co-lomiyets V.A., Shevyakov G.D. Krasnodar, 1992. Page 8.
20 Russian cooperation. 2000. October 28.

the cooperative movement in Russia, having emphasized that the cooperative association aims to promote not only to material, but also spiritual wellbeing of the members.

"Situation" and additions to it of June 21, 1917 ("About registration of associations, societies and unions") and of August 1, 1917 ("About congresses of representatives of cooperative institutions") for the first time in the history of Russia most fully defined a legal status of cooperation. These normative legal acts destroyed all that interfered with cooperation development, ordered its organizational structure and considerably expanded an activity framework on the basis of self-government and an initiative. They contributed to the free development of cooperation and consolidation cooperative sil21.

The cooperative Law adopted in 1917 - in a year of great shocks adequately finished decades of fight and efforts of creative thought of the Russian cooperators. The magazine "Consumers union", characterizing this Law, wrote: "Our cooperative law will take a place of honor among cooperative laws of other countries. Without exaggeration it is possible to tell that it will win first place in this row. It is impregnated with a general view on cooperation as the movement combining with purely economic purposes - multiplication of cultural wealth; found in it, thus, reflection of a view of the cooperative movement, making feature, one may say, of the Russian cooperative school and precisely corresponding to aspirations and expectations of the broad democratic masses captured by cooperation. On the other hand, with the steady sequence the total freedom of self-determination of the cooperative organizations is carried out in the law, since the lowest and finishing, crowning the building of cooperation, the center. Any stesneniye in free public construction, only the most general framework guaranteeing really cooperative nature of the organization, and providing total freedom when filling this general framework with the concrete cooperative contents" 22.

Change of a political situation in the country and adoption of the first Russian Law on cooperation directly were reflected also in the provision of cooperation of the North Caucasian region. So, on March 22, 1917. The provisional government approved the charter of the Stavropol union of consumer societies adopted still on December 12, 1916 and not approved by the previous power. Work on organizational registration of the union was developed in the province. At the beginning of April, 1917 there took place the provincial congress of representatives of consumer societies at which the board of the union was elected and ways of further development of consumer cooperation are planned. The union of consumer societies which united originally 45 societies the activity gained authority among the population, and already less than in a year (for January 1, 1918) united already 163 potre-bobshchestvo, had 2403 thousand rubles of own current assets, and the trade turnover made 2636.8 thousand rubles 23

Active fight for creation of the union went also in Kuban. Situation was aggravated here with the fact that earlier sent charter of Kubsoyuz was not approved by the deputy of the Caucasus, and in the ESA-terinodare already really there were two unions: one, created at the initiative of the chief of the Kuban region, another - "Solidarity". If the first only began to be developed, then the second considerably became stronger, and by January 1, 1917 the sum of its advance contributions grew to 70 thousand rubles, and the number of the serviced societies reached 150. In the spring and in the summer cooperators in every possible way sought to improve the economic activity and at the same time carried out active preparation for convocation of the constituent assembly of the Kuban union. The main organizational work was undertaken by board of "Solidarity". The constituent assembly of the Kuban union of potrebitelny societies took place on August 11, 1917 24

In the Don region by the end of 1916 about 400 societies of consumers, and worked in the areas and provinces of the North Caucasus which are economically gravitating to Rostov - about 213. These societies united in the melkorayonny unions which there were already more than 20. Societies of consumers began a fast stream to join Dono-Kubano-Terskoye association of cooperatives, seeking to turn it into the central organization the consumer -

21 E.N. Kozlova. Cooperative law and its background//Cooperation: Pages of history. Issue 3. M, 1993. Page 4-5.
22 V.V. Kabanov. The first Russian law on cooperation//Cooperation: Pages of history. Issue 3. M, 1993. Page 2, 3.
23 Consumers union. 1917. No. 11-12. Page 3.
24 T.A. Shebzukhova. The Stavropol cooperation in the years of World War I//From the history of the earth Stavropol. Issue 5. Stavropol, 1999. Page 80.

of sky cooperation. For this purpose on November 6, 1916 the meeting of shareholders which decided that the association has to become the Regional Union consumer obshchestv25 took place.

Rapid change in the nature of operations of association raised before it a question of it of changes of its charter which would give it the chance to develop the activity as to exclusively consumer union. And the meeting of shareholders which took place on June 2-4, 1918 adopted the new charter, having turned Dono-Kubano-Terskoye association of cooperatives into Rostov - on - Don the Regional Union of Potrebitelny societies.

As we see, along with performance of problems of providing the population in the conditions of war by necessary goods, consumer cooperation of the country did a lot of things for organizational strengthening of the system.

The same work was carried out also in the center. So, in May, 1916 the 31st Meeting of representatives decided to transform the All-Russian cooperative center operating under the sign of the Moscow Union of Potrebitelny Societies (MUPS) to the Central union of consumer cooperation. On September 19, 1917 the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Provisional government officially notified the cooperative Center about its renamings. And in October, 1916 the 33rd Meeting of representatives approved the new charter and new structure of management Centrosoyuza26.

Summing up the results of a research of a problem of evolution of cooperation at the beginning of the 20th century, it is possible to come to a conclusion that if the first revolution gave a huge impetus to development of the Russian cooperation if World War I led to its further growth and active expansion of the activity, then acts of Provisional government created a full scope to creation, allied and regional association, in general the correct building of all cooperation. She not only developed the economic activity, but also actively and consistently was engaged in cultural and educational and educational work.

Cooperative institutions actively promoted more intensive retraction of the peasantry in the commodity-money relations, accelerated process of transformation of simple small-scale production into commodity and capitalist production.

The experience accumulated by cooperation during the pre-revolutionary period in the conditions of modernization of agriculture can serve as a bright example in successful implementation of the priority national projects announced by the President of the country V. Putin, especially in the field of development of agro-industrial complex of the country.



Stavropol Co-operative Institute (brench)

Belgorod University of Consumer Co-operation


The evolution of co-operation in conditions of modernization of russian society in beginning of 20th century and its social-economics transformation in the years of the first revolution, stolypin agrarian reform and Great War is examined in the article.

25 L.V. Kovtun. The history of consumer cooperation to Dona. Rostov-on-Don, 2005.C. 25.
26 125 years of consumer cooperation of Stavropol Territory. Stavropol, 1995. Page 2.
Scott Hill
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