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Food crisis in agricultural provinces of the Central Russia on the eve of the February revolution

prodovolstvenny crisis in agricultural provinces of the central Russia on the eve of the February revolution

A.S. Kasimov

Penza state pedagogical university of V.G. Belinsky Department of the contemporary history of Russia and study of local lore

In this article the reasons and scales of food crisis in Central Black Earth provinces on the eve of the February revolution are considered. Earlier given problem in a historiography was investigated mainly on the example of large industrial centers and the cities.

Revolutions of 1917 were caused by the general what Was reflected in a condition of agriculture so -

a nomic and political crisis, in considerable mobilization for needs of army about 2 million losha-

degrees caused and deepened by World War I. Food crisis was a compound and interdependent part of an economic crisis. On the eve of and after the February revolution the food problem became aggravated in Russia to unknown degree. Political, economic and ideological struggle in the country during this period could not bypass a food question.

That is why this problem was deeply studied by such large historians as A.M. Anfimov, P.V. Volo-buyev, V.Ya. Laverychev, P.I. Lyashchenko, etc. [19] Comprehensively and deeply this problem was investigated by the St. Petersburg historians T.M. Kitanina, I.P. Leyberov and S.D. Rudachenko [20]. On big actual material the authors disclosed many aspects of food policy of autocracy, increase of food crisis in the country in general, and especially in industrial centers and in the capitals - Petrograd and Moscow. This circumstance is explained by the fact that in the capitals and large industrial centers the food crisis was most sharply felt and in connection with it there were revolutionary events.

The food question in Russia was all-democratic in character. Workers of weight and the city, and village were interested in its decision. Food crisis on the eve of the February revolution engulfed not only the large cities, but was also sharply shown also in agricultural provinces. In this article the task to investigate the reasons and scales of aggravation of a food problem in the provinces producing bread that substantially will allow to see depth of food crisis on the eve of the February revolution is set.

There were many reasons which influenced aggravation of a food problem in the years of World War I. The acute shortage of working hands affected a condition of agricultural production. According to the All-Russian census of 1916 the efficient male population of the village was reduced approximately by 40%. Due to war the domestic production and import from abroad of farm vehicles was sharply reduced. In 1916 only 25% of their total produced by the industry of Russia in 1913 were produced, and import decreased by a half from abroad.

Tay. Mass requisitions of the cattle led to fast reduction of a livestock that will have an adverse effect on food supply. Reduction of acreage, losses when harvesting led to reduction of gross collecting grain. Preparation of food for needs of army also influenced reduction of a commodity part of bread which will most of all have an adverse effect on reduction of consumption rates by workers and the rural poor.

Influenced deterioration in food position of the population the general increase in prices during the war and speculation of dealers. At the same time it should be noted that the prices grew from month to month, and salary increase workers tried to obtain the fight only from time to time, and the last constantly lagged behind the first. For example, according to factory inspection, at cloth factories of the Tambov province from October, 1915 to April, 1916 the prices grew by 37%, and monthly earnings of weavers increased from 5 to 13% [8. L.15 about]. At the same time it is about food prices in factory benches which could not satisfy all needs of workers. In free trade of the price were much higher.

Scales of speculation in food products are confirmed by the report of the Tambov chief of police to the governor in November, 1915: "At fixed capital of trading house of Egorov by December 1, 1914 in 1478 thousand rubles and a turnover in 10 months of 3617030 rub the firm acquired 922342 rub that makes profit on working capital of 25.5%, and on fixed capital of 74.9%. Profit on fixed capital by 6 times exceeds the percent of profit established by the law and cannot but be recognized excessive as it is received at trade in necessities and price increase on which could not but harmfully respond on the population" [7. L.5, 7].

In March, 1916 follows from correspondence of gendarme ranks of the Kursk province that dealers in flour in Belgorod almost daily raise the prices. So, the miller Pisklov sold on March 2 to the baker a sack in 5 poods for 16 rub 50 kopeks, and on March 3 the same flour for 17 rub 50 kopeks. Other merchant sold flour on March 12 already at 19 rub there Were cases when merchants raised the price of the same consignment of flour during the day by 50 kopeks for a sack... The population complains that dealers in flour before the holiday Saint of Easter will sell flour

exclusively bags with an inscription "easter" - the same quality, but is 50 kopeks more expensive" [4. L.11].

Similar speculation in bread was observed also in other chernozem provinces. The Voronezh chief of police in the report to the governor in March, 1916 pays attention that "The Voronezh town council stopped flour sale to residents with the purpose to give the chance strongly to potorgovat to flour dealers who almost everything consist vowels of the Duma... On the city, rumors circulate that dealers want to raise still flour price, having brought it to 7-8 rub for pood. In this regard rumors about the disorder of the market and shops which is coming on March 24 began to go" [2. L.1-4].

Speculation in products of prime necessity found during the war unprecedented scope. In archives the huge set of the documents confirming deliberate inflation by dealers of the prices remained. At the beginning of 1916 on the instructions of the Oryol governor, data about stored in the cities of Oryol, Bryansk and Yelets of the vital products and the reason of their high cost were collected. "Abundance" of products in an eagle and Yelets was revealed, and "speculation of dealers was the reason of the progressing high cost" [6. L.14]. At the same time local authorities often justified this phenomenon. Indicative the explanation of the head of the Mtsensk town council of the Oryol province in February, 1915 about the inflated price of oil is furnished to us: "Butter is not necessity for most of the population and furthermore during the Lent when it is not used by average citizens, and it is used by only more well-founded. Especially as this oil not secretly and any-nibud of dark Luda, and to a rank of police is sold" [5. l.98].

In process of deepening of economic and transport crisis in the country the lack of food which took in 1915-1916 and chernozem provinces progressed. In the conditions of distribution of speculation and fall of the real wage of workers the consumption of food, articles of clothing and footwear was sharply reduced. The Penza newspaper "Chernozem" reported on January 26, 1916: "Despite activity of recently created city food commission, prices for goods of daily demand grew three times and there is not enough flour, grain, salt, meat, sugar and other products. there is no edible bread even in the slightest degree".

The transport ruin deprived of a possibility of delivery of food from other areas. In January, 1917 the representative of administration of the Bryansk plant on purchases of food in the Samara province reported that "now and here you will not buy some meat. It everything is hidden. Besides, export and import is not allowed so from our edges meat will not be". For November, December, 1916 and January, 1917. The Bryansk plant (16 thousand workers) needed to get 120 thousand poods of bread, and 78 thousand poods were received. In January the intake of flour was not [1. L.79, 182 about].

On months in chernozem provinces confirm scales of delivery of food denunciations -

ki in Ministry of Railways about the required number of cars. for example, delivery in December, 1915 - January, 1916 to Penza of wheat flour, wheat, grain, fish, pasta, sugar, potatoes, salt required 138 cars, and all for needs of the province - 637 cars [10. L.12-14].

The railroads of the country did not cope with providing with all necessary field army. In the conditions of the shortage of fuel, increases in "sick" engines and cars could not satisfy the need for food even of the city of Central Black Earth Region, many food which were in close proximity to production.

In distress there were all population groups including employees of the defense enterprises. Correspondence of the chairman of the board of joint-stock company the Maltsevsky plants with various departments of the capital from the second half of 1915 and till February, 1917 demonstrates to it: "The plants and factories of Society are located in the Oryol and Kaluga provinces. The local community makes about 200 thousand people. Make shrapnels, bombs, garnets, cement for construction of powder mill and the railroads, lokomobil for fortresses, cars and other. Because of a lack of food there can be strikes of workers" [16. L.13, 14]. On February 1, 1917 a telegram was sent to the Special meeting on food business: "The proximity of the Oryol province to the war zone, the enormous number of the military units concentrated in the province, considerable inflow of refugees considerably increased the population of the province (only in Oryol it increased by 16 thousand people). All this led to food crisis in the province" [17. L.63]. In the report on food position in the Maltsevsky plants it is said: "Since November, 1916 the acute shortage of products - only rye flour, and wheat flour is had, workers do not eat some grain and millet for a long time. The diets given to workers are forced to reduce constantly. Workers eat exclusively rye flour that extremely adversely responds on their health and affects their working capacity. The food question every day becomes more serious and more and more concerns workers" [15. L.119, 156].

At the end of 1916 and in 1917 to chernozem provinces the hunger began to rise. the chief of the Voronezh provincial gendarme management informed the governor that on December 17, 1916 workers of the Stollya plant during a break "as well as always, started buying something to the next benches to eat, but in one of them there was no black bread even. Workers this day were absolutely hungry" [3. l.308].

local specific circumstances also were added to all listed reasons having character natural and typical for those times: remoteness of the certain cities and settlements from the railroads, weather conditions, a crop failure and other. For example, the Representative for food supply of army for the Penza province the prince kugushev on October 14, 1916 the telegram in hundred -

told the person: "In the province, owing to continuous rains during the whole summer and fall, a full crop failure of spring crops and it is actually impossible to remove any quantity. Till this moment rainy weather, and a nemolochenny rye it was much spoiled in ricks, decayed much, remained on fields" [18. L.3, 5].

In the Special meeting on food from places nearly daily at the beginning of 1917 the governors reported about catastrophic food situation. In February the Penza governor Evre-inov the telegram reported "about the begun hunger strike in the cities and big settlements of the province, about absolutely stalemate of the population" [13. L.207]. On February 17 the telegram to Petrograd from Saransk: "At all there is no rye flour. submitted a petition to the authorized prince Kugushev, but did not receive the answer. I kindly ask to eliminate the come food crisis and to supply the city with rye flour". Signature: mayor Nikitin. On the telegram the addition of the capital official is placed: "It in the Penza province!" [11. L.88]

At cloth factory of the village of Litvinovo of the Penza province the workers did not receive from grocery store flour from January 25 to February 9, 1917. For this reason there was a strike. Analyzing its reasons, the senior factory inspector reported in the Ministry of Trade and the industries: "The question of food of all population and working many factories and the plants of the Penza province costs extremely unsatisfactorily and becomes complicated every week. On this soil it is necessary to expect big and frequent disorders. The half-pound sugar holiday on soul in a month, millet is allowed workers (8 rubles pood) became in counties of the province a rare product, there is no wheat flour and buckwheat at all several months, there is no rye flour owing to requisition of a rye and a stop due to the lack of fuel of oil mills. The pood of rye flour costs 4 rub 50 kopeks - the unknown price" [9. L.1-3].

And substantially symbolical the message about food position of the representative for the Penza province of the prince of a kugushev in a special meeting on food business to Petrograd of February 24, 1917 is very eloquent: "on February 18 there took place the meeting with participation of the governor, representatives of all territorial justices, mayors. it established critical position of the cities of the province in the food relation: there is no transportation on local markets of rye flour, grain, potatoes, forages for the cattle at all, there is no receipt from other provinces and wheat flour also". further kugu-shev asks "to allow it to suspend till spring sending from the province of flour according to front (!) dresses. Because daily to me arrive from the cities and counties of the telegram about scandalous need in flour, places full hunger and about delivery of flour from my stocks. Purchase of bread for army goes poorly recently, there is no voluntary supply of bread by peasants on ssypny points" [12. L.202-203].

The similar situation with food was observed on all central agricultural provinces. The threat of hunger by February, 1917 hung everywhere, here and there, especially in the large cities, it already began. Questionable there was also a provisioning of field army, providing it not only with food, but also ammunition. Food crisis generated and deepened, thus, an economic and political crisis, through the whole country the revolutionary movement accrued. All new population groups including those who, maybe, and did not think earlier of it were involved in the last. In this plan the telegram - the application of the Tambov archbishop Kirill in a special meeting on food of February 25, 1917 is characteristic: "Churches of the Tambov diocese feel need for flour for prosphoras, there are termination cases in arrivals of service. I ask for prevention of confusion among the orthodox people to give a dress to the Saratov representative for the Tambov diocese" [14. L.218].

Thus, food crisis engulfed practically all Russia, the related spontaneous disorders of workers developed in February, 1917 in Petrograd into mass demonstrations, strikes and an armed revolt with slogans: "Bread, world and freedom!" That rapidity and effectiveness of revolutionary process in the capital and its implementation "on telegraph" in the province is explained by it.

list of sources and LITERATURES

1. State Archive of the Bryansk Region (SABR). F.220. Op.1. 317.
2. State Archive of the Voronezh Region (SAVR). F.6. Op.1. 2085.
3. GAVO. F.1. Op.1. 1461.
4. State Archive of Kursk Region (SAKR). F.1642. Op.1. 761.
5. State Archive of the Oryol Region (SAOR). F.580. Op.1. 6131.
6. State Archive of the Russian Federation (SARF). F.102. DP 00. Op.245. 1915. 167. Ch.54.
7. State Archive of the Tambov Region (SATR). F.4. Op.1. 9234.
8. Russian State Historical Archive (RSHA). F.23. op.16. 189.
9. RGiA. F.23. Op.16. 252.
10. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 397.
11. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 566.
12. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 566.
13. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 566.
14. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 566.
15. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 606.
16. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 763.
17. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 764.
18. RGIA. F.457. Op.1. 1053.
19. See: A.M. Anfimov. The Russian village in the years of World War I. M.: Publishing house of social and economic literature, 1962. 383 pages; P.V. Volobuyev. Grain resources of Russia in 1917//Questions of history of agriculture, the peasantry and revolutionary movement in Russia. M.: Science, 1961. 363 pages; P.V. Volobuyev. What

nomic policy of Provisional government. M.: Publishing house of socio-political literature, 1962. 298 pages; V.Ya. Laverychev. State-monopoly trends in food business on the eve of Great October//history Questions. 1979. N ° 9; V.Ya. Laverychev. Food policy of a tsarism and the bourgeoisie in the years of World War I (1914-1917)//

MSU bulletin. Series history. Philology. 1956. N 1. Page 46-68; P.I. Lyashchenko. History of the national economy of the USSR. M.: Gospolitizdat, 1956. T. II. The 728th page 20. See: T.M. Kitanina. War, bread, revolution: A food question in Russia. 1914 - October, 1917. L.: Science, 1985. 348 pages; I.P. Leyberov, S.D. Rudachenko. Revolution and bread. M.: Thought, 1990. 224 pages

to a question of preliminary positions of the USA and France at the first Hague peace conference

R.V. Kuznetsov

Penza state pedagogical university of V.G. Belinsky Department of modern and contemporary history

In article the attitude of the leading world powers towards the idea of holding the first Hague peace conference is considered. Special attention is paid to preliminary positions of the USA and France in relation to the questions offered for discussion of a conference. The main conclusion - delegations of all countries is drawn, and not just the United States and France arrived to a conference with the double purposes: not to allow restriction of own arms, on the one hand, and with another - to make everything to weaken the potential opponents.

Strengthening of foreign policy activity ame-but the ideas voiced in it, but really everywhere were

doubts or even fears concerning the validity of the Russian intentions. The prime minister of Great Britain the lord of Salisbury after obtaining the memorandum said that the few nations on the earth sympathize and are interested in the problems sounded in it it is more, than Great Britain. But he noticed further that modern weapon, despite the high cost and awful action, is valuable as a serious deterrent to prevention of war. Prince Uelssky in a private conversation was more frank, having said to the countess Uorvikskaya that this offer is "the biggest nonsense and nonsense which he ever heard". Further he noticed that France "will never agree to it - especially, we" and in addition he suspected that this offer - an intrigue of the Russian ministers. His sister - the empress Frederica - warned their mother, the Queen Victoria that the offer could be masking of an aggressive Russian step against England or other powers and asked a question as "the era of the world" could be begun with the nation "still operated by despotism though the tsar is so good and kind as far as it is possible for the person" [5. Page 266]. The empress's son, the Kaiser Wilhelm praised the tsar, foretelling that "the honor will extend to you from the whole world from now on even if practical execution of a plan will fail". In confidential communication the Kaiser showed quite strong irritation [2. Page 357-358]. In Vienna the statesmen were indignant much less Germans, but were offended by unwillingness of Russia to send them prevention concerning the memorandum. Italians did not show any indignation, but informed world community of undesirability of intervention in questions of the arms. The French more than someone else, was warned concerning the offer

a rikansky and German imperialism at the end of the 19th century, their frankly expansionist programs inevitably had to lead the USA and Germany to military-political collision. The United States made advances in these conditions to the persistent aspiration of the British to strengthen an interconnection and to settle the most acute contradictions, having laid thereby the foundation for steady Anglo-American cooperation in the future. Establishing friendship with the United States for the English ruling circles was business quite difficult. It is natural that the USA in foreign policy pursued the own, egoistical aims and was not inclined to change them for the benefit of Great Britain. But sharp rivalry with Germany gradually convinced ruling circles of the USA of need of joint fight with England against dangerous competitors. We want to emphasize once again that this aspiration was mutual, that is Great Britain also looked for allies for fight against the main competitor.

Moods of similar orientation existed also in the French republic wishing a revenge for the Sedan and Lorraine. Having ensured some support of Russia in 1891-1893, France was ready to go to the union also with England and consequently, and with the USA. Taking into account all aforesaid the plans of France and the United States for use of the Hague peace conference of 1899 in the interests, in our opinion, are of a certain interest to the best understanding of the developing situation in the international relations of the end of the 19th century.

the Few documents of an era of an imperialism received so various reaction as Muravyov's memorandum. All governments which received its copies officially expressed sympathy otnositel-

Alfred Joseph
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