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The relation of peasants to the Soviet power in the Voronezh province (1917-1921)

a. V. Nesnykh


Work is presented by department of history and political science of the Voronezh state technological academy.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor A.S. Panevin

In article the difficult process of formation of relationship of the peasantry and the Soviet power in the Voronezh province, in the region with considerable prevalence of the country population is considered. In work not only the pursued food policy of the new power in the village, but also response to it is analyzed from country people. It is in details shown how the peasantry by the peace, and then and armed methods fought for the vital interests.

The complicated process of formation of interrelations between peasantry and the Soviet power in the Voronezh government with the considerable majority of peasant population is under consideration in the article. The author analyses not only food policy of the new power in the country, but also the feedback on it on the part of the population. He also shows in details how the peasantry were fighting for their vital interests by peaceful and later by armed methods.

All history of studying a problem can be divided into two periods: 1) more extensive on lifetime and by the number of researches - Soviet and

2) modern. The features are characteristic of each of these periods. Negative line of the Soviet historiography were ideological censorship, og-

ranichivayushchy a circle of questions for a research. At the present stage of development of a historiography the considerable reduction of number of the researches lighting the relation of peasants to the Soviet power, especially at the regional level is observed. Also now there were several directions in assessment of policy of "military communism". Some researchers consider policy of the first years of the Soviet power the unsuccessful experiment made according to the ideas of Bolsheviks, others - the forced military step.

Many researchers dealt with an issue of the relation of the Voronezh peasants to the Soviet power: B.L. of Bruk1, P.N. Lane-shin2, A.V. of Shestakov3, I.G. of Voronkov4, V.M. of Fefelov5, E.G. of Shulyakovskiy6, V.I. of Logunov7, A.Ya. Pereverzev8, etc. In their numerous researches the relation of peasants to the Soviet power and policy of "military communism" are estimated ambiguously.

So, in A.V. work Shestakova9 for the first time publish data on preparation and holding country congresses in Guber - niya of the Central Black Earth. The author gives a set of examples of kulak performances, specifying the "petty-bourgeois" reason of their emergence. So, in works of the outstanding regional researcher A.Ya. of Pereverzeva10 on extensive actual materials the activity of Bolsheviks in the village of the Prices - the trawl Black Earth is analyzed. Researches are devoted to the first agrarian transformations, implementation of food policy, class fight in the village, organizing work of party. The author notes that the policy of the Soviet power brought good points in life of the Voronezh peasantry: increase in norm of an allotment, improvement of food in 1918-1919 11

The historiographic review demonstrate that on stories of the relations krest-

yan and the Soviet power there is already quite numerous historical literature. But, as a rule, these researches which are taking up single questions it is given - ache perspectives. At the present stage of development of society there was a possibility of filling of the existing gaps in the history of the peasantry and the power, in the context of their interaction in 1917-1921. So, the most characteristic feature of "military communism" was the food allotment. So, still Temporary the governor - the stvo was forced to announce on March 25, 1917 grain monopoly and delivery by peasants of surplus on firm tsenam12. The Soviet state, having inherited the collapsing economies and finance from the previous system, inherited also tendencies to emergency measures which were considerably strengthened by the Civil war and ideology promising a fast victory of socialism and world revolution. From there is that ease with which Bolsheviks went for application of the emergency measures designed to strengthen dictatorship of proletarian minority in the country with the huge petty-bourgeois majority (peasantry). Therefore actions of "military communism" proceeded in agricultural areas more painfully, than in industrial. In the Voronezh province as the agricultural region, the policy of the Soviet power was perceived it is very contradictory. This problem was aggravated also with the fact that in each region which had common features also local features were observed. Especially as the crises which were imminent before revolution were not completely solved also after establishment of the Soviet power.

In the Decree about the earth adopted at the II congress of Councils on November 8, 1917 and the Order of peasants attached to the decree it was written down: "The landowner property for the earth is cancelled immediately without any repayment". However at its realization in counties of the Voronezh province land departments

faced a set of difficulties. So, land committees in volosts of the Zadonsky County of the Voronezh province faced considerable difficulties. Here it was necessary to make the earth equation between volosts. For implementation of it three were created komissii13. So-called "unearned lands" were located across the territory of the county unevenly. Therefore in some volosts (central and southern) there was "a lack of the earth against all-district norm" (1 des. 131 sq. sazhens on the eater), in others (northern and one southern) there was land surplus which had to pass to land-poor volosts. Similar relocation of lands demanded huge land and technical works, the equation was impracticable without resettlement. In the work the land district commissions met also other difficulties. Peasants of multiland volosts did not want to leave the surplus of the earth, owing to this fact in every possible way interfered with work of the commissions. They voluntarily conceded only inconvenient lands. Therefore peasants of land-poor volosts had to be content with the "separate scattered shreds" which were on average at distance of 30-40 versts the friend from druga14. In 18 settlements of the Zadonsky County at distribution of lands, collisions of peasants in which suppression the power did not take any part were recorded. Archive materials demonstrate that the earth equation passed in the majority of counties and volosts of the Voronezh province with considerable difficulties.

Along with the land question in derev - also the food issue was resolved that led to increase dissatisfied with the policy of the Soviet power in the village. For strengthening of the situation on places Narkomat of internal affairs of RSFSR in May, 1918 published the order at which it was regularly recommended to volispolkoma of provinces to report to counties about the relation

the population to all innovations of the authorities: to deserters from its ranks, periodically to report to service in the Red Army on growth or falling of prestige of Councils among the population and on extent of influence kommunistov15. All this information on a political situation collected by volispolkoma was sent to information and instructor department of provincial executive committee. These data were analyzed and went to the central departments of the Soviet government: Department of communication and information at operations section of Council of People's Commissars, Propaganda department of executive committee, People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of RSFSR, Information department of the Chief commissioner and military head all food groups of the country, Propaganda and educational department of the All-Russian bureau of military commissioners, the All-Russian commission on the organization and formation of the Red Army and other departments. In some of them it was reported not only about the course of the organization of Red Army formations, their moral shape and fighting capacity, but also about the rumors going among the rural population, food situation, the relation to the Soviet power.

The big role assembled of general information on mood of the population in villages and volosts was played by volost military registration and enlistment offices. So, the military commissioner of the Biryuchensky County of Stepanchenko in June, 1919 cabled in Voronezh a gubispolok: "Peasants are hostile in places against the taken measures for desertion elimination, propaganda local does not satisfy" 16. From Ostrogozhsk the district military commissar of telegraphy - rovat to Voronezh on November 17, 1920 that in the Goncharovsky volost "some persons agitate in favor of a revolt" 17. The political department of the headquarters of the VIII army reported in provincial executive committee about a situation, adverse for the Soviet power. So, in January, 1919 "in the Bobrovsky County it is unsuccessful. Councils and poor committees stay idle..." 18. Data about

peasants uprisings against the food policy of the Soviet power came from all counties of the Voronezh province. So, at the end of 1918 it was reported: "The Nizhnedevitsky county obviously kontrrevolyutsionen acceptance of drastic measures against propagandas, going because of requisition of bread [is also [necessary], it finds strong support in masses and does not give the chance to strengthening of the Soviet power there at all" 19. The provincial military commissioner (gubvoyenok) Blagodarny sent on March 20, 1919 special telegrams in which he noted that to all district executive committees "... the province is not quiet and worries because of grain monopoly, emergency taxes." 20. For suppression of disorders and strengthening of local authorities a gubvoyenok indicated the need "to arm comrade of communists with rifles and revolvers", also petitioned for cancellation of the decree of Council of People's Commissars of December 10, 1918 on which delivery of weapon to sympathizers was zapreshchena21.

Under the influence of a difficult internal situation in the village the Soviet power repeatedly adjusted the food policy for 1917 — 1921. It is possible to allocate its next periods. The first - the end of 1917 - spring

1918 . At this time the Soviet government carries out preparations according to exclusive policy, but allows some derogations from the pursued policy: a peculiar barter is entered, fight against private trade is not conducted. It, probably, is explained by weakness of the Soviet local authorities and influence of party of Social Revolutionaries on the population of the province.

The second period - summer of 1918 - the end

1919 . It coincided with strengthening of the Soviet power in the Voronezh province. It was the period when peasants hid bread, confiscations of bread and requisition of country property were carried out. VTsIK and SNK adopt on May 9, 1918 the resolution in which it was indicated that everyone

the peasant who is not taking out bread on ssypny points appears "the enemy of the Soviet power" 22. This resolution gained the further development in I will follow - shchy decrees (of May 13 and 27, 1918) which the Soviet government enters a food allotment. Rural society was assessed with nature behind mutual responsibility of owners, and each certain owner did not know for sure how many he is obliged to bring products and if it brought products - could not be sure that new requirements as all "surplus" belongs to the state will not be imposed to it. For peasants during this period the collective responsibility was imposed and practice of capture of hostages from the prosperous peasants who are responsible with life for collecting and delivery of all surplus and performance of an emergency tax was quite often applied. So, in the Ostrogozhsky County the group of a revtribunal detained 30 people of hostages from among prosperous peasants who in case of revolts or failure to follow a surplus-appropriation system were subject to immediate execution. It concerned first of all villages from so-called "unreliable volosts" 23.

The people's commissar of food A.D. Tsiurupa distributed on June 1, 1918 in everything gubispolko-we special instructions in which the attention much withdrawal of bread was paid. It was specified in the instruction that the owner should leave bread not over the established norms of sincere consumption: 12 poods of grain, 1 pood of grain for a year. All bread over the specified norms received the name "surplus" and had to be given to the state for symbolical kompensatsiyu24. This instruction was differently estimated by the peasantry on places. So, at the IV Nizhnedevitsky congress, having listened to the report on norm of shower food, deputies made the decision that these consumption rates are considerably underestimated as for the person who is engaged in a hard country work and for contents to -

mashny animals: the horse has not enough 18 poods of grain a year in order that "she worked", a cow - 9 poods in order that "to have from it milk", a pig - 5 poods of grain a year are not enough that "to have then meat" 25. District council unanimously recognized the consumption rate established by the instruction of June 1, 1918 "insufficient" and created own commission, it was entrusted to them to determine the "most minimum consumption rate of products" suitable for country economy. The commission offered a country congress the following extent of norms: 30 poods of food a year on the person (instead of 12 poods established by the People's commissar of food); a working horse not less than 38 poods (instead of 18 poods); to a cow not less than 15 poods of a rye (instead of 9 poods); the pig needs 18 poods of a rye a year (instead of 5 poods) 26. However the congress under the influence of the communists who arrived from Moscow during the vote rejected the norms developed by the special commission, but the overweight was insignificant (against adoption of the norms developed by the commission 52 persons, for - 43 voices voted) 27.

For holding more productive surplus-appropriation system in the village committees of the poor which as a result of began to be opposed to prosperous peasants and "fists" are created at this time. Under the decree of June 11, 1918 the new authorities (poor committees) became the only real power at the level of the volost, the village, the village. They had wide powers and quite often had the military groups, sometimes could replace Councils 28.

The third period (the end of 1919 and spring of 1921) is characterized by further development of a food allotment. Its result was falling of rural production, growth of peasants uprisings, development of gangsterism and a meshochnichestvo and also hunger distribution. In 1920-1921, telegrams sle-came from many counties of the Voronezh province

the blowing contents: "In the New Khopyor County strong hunger... the population eats hay and hats from a sunflower. Acorns and an orach entered food since fall of 1920. Families of Red Army men do not receive soldering" 29. In the telegram from Kalatch it was noted that in the county "cruel food crisis" 30. Cases of mass starvation were stated. In the telegram of February 27, 1921 from the Bo-gucharsky County it was reported that in the county "terrible food crisis at which starvation is inevitable for huge most of the population... On places of bread is not present at all" 31. The emergency tax was not carried out, and the Soviet government toughened measures. V.I. Lenin explained all manifestations of cruelty in food policy with the fact that in Russia the class fight not for a production share is conducted "to a .uzha. and for rescue from hunger" 32. The Soviet power at the end of this period was forced to make the decision on transition from an allotment to a food tax.

In general the food policy led to aggravation of the relation of the peasantry to the Soviet power which in certain cases led to the armed peasants uprisings against the policy of local authorities. So, already in the first attempts in December, 1917 to withdraw bread in the village of Boyevo the revolt krestyan33 broke out. Along with this revolt there passed the Voronezh Council of working and soldier's deputies which condemned actions of peasants of the village of Boyevo and expressed readiness "all measures to requisition surplus of bread in the village, and to betray instigators to revolutionary court" 34. The food policy of the Soviet power was the main reason for distribution of country revolts in many provinces of Russia including in Voronezh. So, in June, 1918 residents of villages Old Chigla and Tishanka of the Bobrovsky County, Old Hvorostan of the Korotoyaksky County and Livenki of the Pavlovsk County sover-

sewed armed attack on food groups. Having crushed group, peasants returned requisitioned hleb35. In June, 1918 addressed to the editor of "the Voronezh Gubispolkom's News" the letter of "the Shukavsky Volost Central Committee of RCP(b)" is received. In it it was reported that at "requisition of bread by the poor at fists, [fists] showed resistance as a result of which one fist was killed then at the meeting the fists pronounced the death sentence & #34; to friends of the labor proletariat to members Bolshevist партии"" 36. In the Ostrogozhsky County the peasants hung up locks on ssypny points, delivered "to the guard and did not produce bread" 37.

Gravity of situation in the Voronezh province the telegram from Voronezh reveals L.D. Trotsky to V.I. Lenin. In it it was noted: "All news from the place demonstrate that the emergency tax extremely excited local community... In view of bad food situation it would be represented necessary an emergency tax to suspend or to soften extremely, at least, concerning the families mobilized" 38.

A large number of complaints from peasants arrived not only on weight of an emergency tax, but also on the wrong holding a surplus-appropriation system (on eaters, release of the rich and unreasonable taxation of serednyatsky farms) 39. The country movement began to incorporate not only prosperous peasants, but also middling persons and poor people. It begins to gain more fierce and long character. Especially the greatest raising of performances took place in March, 1919. This results from the fact that this month the peasants had to hand over 30% of an annual allotment of bread. The provincial military commissioner Blagodarny sent telegrams to all counties in which he noted that large-scale "the revolt spreads, capturing by himself the southern parts of the province" 40. And the situation is even more aggravated with the fact that "the province not -

it is quiet and worries because of grain monopoly of emergency taxes." 41. Country revolts covered Boguchar-sky, Zemlyansky, Zadonsky, Biryuchen-sky, Valuysky, Kalacheevsky, New Khopyor, Pavlovsk Counties of the Voronezh province. These events led to the fact that a gubispolok on March 30, 1919 it was forced to announce the Voronezh province on the military polozhenii42.

The spontaneous, spontaneous beginning was characteristic of country revolts of the Voronezh province of 1918-1919. Almost all revolts of these years were short-term. Raising of peasants uprisings, as a rule, began during collecting an emergency tax by the power, and recession fell on the beginning of the period of field works. In the Soviet historiography many country revolts were characterized as counterrevolutionary, directed against formation and strengthening of the Soviet power. Archive materials demonstrate that the peasants participating in such revolts in the requirements did not come further, than to move away "objectionable heads and to replace them with other persons". Peasants often refused to submit to orders of local council. So, in April, 1919 in the village of Beryozovka of the Fellow countrymen lyansky county the peasants decided not to recognize the rural Soviet power and elected the Council. However the Village Council of the village of Beryozovka through the military group which arrived from Voronezh restored order in the village and imposed a penalty on separated krestyan43.

Comparing peasants uprisings of 1918-1919 and 1920-1921, it is possible to say that revolts of these years had the differences. So, scales of disorders and number of participants, duration and bitterness of fights considerably began to differ. Existence of the developed programs of a revolt, presence of leaders was characteristic of peasants uprisings of 19201921. So, revolts from the initial form

(characteristic of 1918 - the beginnings of 1919) develop into larger and large-scale, the Antonovsky revolt was one of examples of such "integrated" resistance. In 1920, by M.N. Tukhachevsky's recognition, the Red Army had to suppress not separate "& #34; кулацкие" performances and to combat the people" 44. The Soviet power also began to consider differently peasants uprisings if in official documents in 1918-1919 they were called a counterrevolution, then on February 19, 1920 the Council of People's Commissars adopted one more resolution signed by V.I. Lenin: "About measures of fight against gangsterism", from now on peasants uprisings began to be called gangsterism.

Since the end of 1919 - the beginnings of 1920 of a revolt get other qualitative level. In the southern and southeast districts of the Voronezh province in revolts the active part is taken by all population, not excepting women and children. Councils do not disperse, and are attracted on the party of risen. The most widespread slogan of insurgents - "& #34; against robberies and голода" - says that the revolt received the beginning in the thick of the village, being alien to any third-party influence" 45. In many telegrams direct - the tely province and counties it was indicated that not only the surplus-appropriation system, but also frequent violations was the important cause of peasants uprisings from representatives of the Soviet local authorities. So, for the bread which is handed over in 1919 to the population by Nova Kalitvy "it was not paid kopeks, an allotment in the current year it was made on eaters, but not by the class principle" 46. These reasons served as the beginning of a revolt in Nova Kalitve which led to registration of one of the largest gangs in the territory of the Voronezh province under Kolesnikov's leadership subsequently.

Retraction in fight against the Soviet power local army

became feature of peasants uprisings of 1920-1921

parts and their transition to the party of the risen village and volost Councils. In order No. 3 of the Top military commander of the Oryol Military District of Skudre to troops Tambov - sky and Voronezh provinces of December 31, 1920 which passed under a signature stamp "top secret", it was recognized that "the instability of the parts operating against the risen Social Revolutionaries and fists substantially is result of very badly put educational work. It should be noted that Antonov and Kalashnikov are not limited only to promotion, but, also working with special examples, morally decompose our parts. Instead of general terror and horror which are quite often applied by our politically irresponsible parts not only to the captured insurgents, but also sometimes to local community our opponent with all severity draws a distinction between Red Army men, communists and commanders, between shooting and laying down arms. Shooting and splitting into pieces of some, generous [releasing] others, brings more harm in our ranks, than dozens of machine guns in his hands. If though [to think] a little of told, does not remain to the place of surprise that gangs of insurgents without punishment walk about during a row of months. The rash and tactless actions we often hands increase ranks of the opponent" 47. In this document with all frankness of that time it was indicated serious mistakes of certain Soviet civil and military heads and tactfulness of the "leaders" who rose in the relation with the local peasantry.

Thus, the last year of policy of "military communism" (1920-1921) differed first of all in the ban of the market relations which was followed by cruel requisitions and was supported by numerous blocking detachments. Trade in own products of country production was considered as

criminal speculation. In 1917-1921 the relations of peasants and the Soviet power were formed during its formation on places, with prevalence of the country population. Process of creation of a legitimate image of the power for the peasantry took place in the Voronezh province very difficult as the food policy pursued by the new power faced vital interests of country people of the province. During the studied period of peasants -

the sky movement became more and more large-scale. The spontaneity, a raznovremennost of development of peasants uprisings, limitation of the territory, weakness of organizing and military opportunities were the main reasons for defeat of the country movement. Though it did not gain a victory, but forced the power to make concessions and to soften the drastic measures, having replaced with spring of 1921 a surplus-appropriation system prodnalogy.

1 B.L. Brook. Production districts of the Voronezh province. Voronezh, 1921; It. Country economy in 1920-21 (surplus-appropriation system period) on 29 country budgets surveyed in the Voronezh County. Voronezh, 1923.
2 P.N. Pershin. Land device of the pre-revolutionary village. T. 1. M.; Voronezh, 1928; It. Agrarian revolution in Russia: In 2 books M.,1966.
3 A.V. Shestakov. Class fight in the village of CChO during an era of military communism. Issue I. Voronezh, 1930.
4 I.G. Voronkov. The Voronezh Bolsheviks in fight for a victory of October socialist revolution. Voronezh, 1952; It. The Voronezh Bolsheviks during preparation and carrying out Great October socialist revolution. Voronezh, 1957.
5 V.M. Fefelov. From the history of establishment of the power of Councils and volosts and villages of the Voronezh province in 1917-1918//News Voronezh. ped. Inta. 1967. T. 63. Page 208-230; It. To the history of establishment of the Soviet power in Ostrogozhsk the Voronezh province//News Voronezh ped. Inta. 1958. T. 26. Page 13-22; It. Establishment of the Soviet power in the district centers of the Voronezh province//News Voronezh ped. Inta. 1960. T. 31. Page 28-51.
6 Shulyakovsky E.G.V.I. Lenin and workers of the Chernozem Center. Voronezh, 1977.
7 V.I. Logunov. The CPSU - the organizer of recovery of the national economy of the Central Black Earth of 1921-1927 Voronezh, 1970. Page 84.
8 A.Ya. Pereverzev. Socialist revolution in the village of the Chernozem center of Russia (October, 1917-1918). Voronezh. 1976; It. Great October and transformation of the village: experience of revolutionary and reformative activity of RCP(b) in the village of the Chernozem center in Russia, 1917-1921. Voronezh, 1987.
9 A.V. Shestakov. Class fight in the village of CChO during an era of military communism. Issue I. Voronezh, 1930.
10 A.Ya. Pereverzev. Decree soch.
11 A.Ya. Pereverzev. Socialist revolution in the village of the Chernozem center of Russia (October, 1917-1918). Page 163-164.
12 E.G. Gimpeljson. "Military communism": politician, practician, ideology. M, 1973. Page 56.
13 V. Keller, I. Romanenko. The first results of agrarian reform. Experience of a research of results of modern land management on the example of the Zadonsky County of the Voronezh province. Voronezh, 1922. Page 32.
14 In the same place. Page 32.
15 Messenger Komissariata of Internal Affairs. 1918. May 27. No. 14. Page 4.
16 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 77. L. 52.
17 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 181. L. 208.
18 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 79. L. 1.
19 GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 624. L. 142.
20 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 79. L. 4.
21 In the same place.
22 E.A. Sikorsky. The Soviet system of political control over the population in 1918-1920//history Questions. 1998. No. 5. Page 92.
23 GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 884. L. 26.
24 GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 393. L. 31.
25 In the same place. L. 49.
26 In the same place.
27 In the same place. L. 49-50.
28 T.V. Osipova. The Russian peasantry in revolution and civil war. M, 2001. Page 192.
29 GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 884. L. 45-46.
30 In the same place. L. 51.
31 In the same place. L. 30.
32 O.N. Migushchenko. Military communism in the Kursk province: Studies. a grant for higher educational institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Oryol, 1998. Page 29.
33 GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 623. L. 13.
34 News of the Voronezh Council of working and soldier's deputies. 1917. December 16. No. 9; GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 623. L. 13.
35 D.D. Lappo. In a red-white reflected light of the tragedy (The Voronezh province. 1917-1920). Voronezh, 1993. Page 72.
36 GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 482. L. 5.
37 Voronezh red leaf. 1918. August 6.
38 D.D. Lappo. Decree. soch. Page 73.
39 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 180. L. 3.
40 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 79. L. 4.
41 In the same place.
42 In the same place. L. 17.
43 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 75. L.27.
44 T.V. Osipova. Class fight in the village during preparation and carrying out Great October socialist revolution. M, 1974. Page 322.
45 GAOPIWO. T. 1. Op. 1. 180. L. 64.
46 In the same place. L. 65.
47 In the same place. L. 73.
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