The Peasant Union Movement: The Quest for the Political Organization of Peasants in the Soviet Union in the 1920s Page: 91
- Highlighting On/Off
- Adjust Image
- Rotate Left
- Rotate Right
- Brightness, Contrast, etc. (Experimental)
- Cropping Tool
- Download Sizes
- Preview all sizes/dimensions or...
- Download Thumbnail
- Download Small
- Download Medium
- Download Large
- High Resolution Files
- IIIF Image JSON
- IIIF Image URL
- View Extracted Text
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
OLGA VELIKANOVA (HALIFAX, CANADA)
The Peasant Union Movement: The Quest for the Political
Organization of Peasants in the Soviet Union in the 1920s'
Documents from the Soviet archives show that a powerful peasant movement
for the creation of a Peasant Union (PU, krestsoiuz) existed in the 1920s. While
opposing the Bolsheviks' policies in the countryside, peasants developed and ar-
ticulated specific demands for representation - in the form of a Peasant Union -
to defend their political and economic interests. Though this movement failed to
develop into a full-scale political institution, to a considerable extent due to re-
pression by the Soviet authorities, its history reveals a great potential of the peas-
ants to oppose the regime and the growing class consciousness among peasants
during this period. The movement for the PU in the 1920s has yet to be explored
by scholars," and this article is the attempt to draw attention of scholars to the
new characteristic of the social landscape in the Soviet countryside of the 1920s.
The primary sources for this essay are documents reflecting the political moods
of peasantry: particularly letters they wrote to the authorities and newspapers.
Along with complaints, such letters often included practical suggestions and dis-
cussions of various political topics. Another kind of letters used in this essay is
private correspondence which was secretly intercepted by the VChK-OGPU-
NKVD. In comparison with the letters to the authorities, private letters are more
sincere and open-minded documents, mostly unaffected by attempts of self-
representation. The OGPU and party reviews (svodkz) of the public's moods
comprise the third source for this study. Usually they include analysis and statis-
tics, in addition to quotations from conversations and other utterances - both for-
mal and informal. Memoirs complement this corpus of sources. These documents
1 The idea of this article came from Lynne Viola and her works. I appreciate very much her profes-
sional guidance in the field of peasant studies. She read the early version of the manuscript and
gave me very valuable critique and comments. I perceive as blessing the encouragement to write
this article from the late V. P. Danilov that he gave me in our meeting in summer 2003. The work
greatly benefited from the discussions at the meeting of the Canadian Association of Slavists in
2003 and then at the 2004 convention of the American Association for Advancement of Slavic
Studies. The article is a part of a project supported by the Social Science and Humanities Re-
search Council of Canada and the University of Toronto. My special thanks go to Mikhail Iakov-
lev, Rachel Applebaum and Ilona Kosova, who helped to prepare the manuscript for publication.
2 it was briefly described by Brovkin, Vladimir: Russia after Lenin: Politics, Culture and Society,
London/New York 1998, pp. 68-71.
Here’s what’s next.
This chapter can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Matching Search ResultsView 13 pages within this chapter that match your search.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Chapter.
Velikanova, Olga V. The Peasant Union Movement: The Quest for the Political Organization of Peasants in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, chapter, 2007; [Berlin, Germany]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc181691/m1/4/?q=velikanova: accessed January 29, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .