The Stolypin Reform (1906-17) is one of the well-known agrarian land reform programs, which brought immense, revolutionary changes in the agricultural sector of Imperial Russia, affecting both the agricultural productivities and the lives of the native farmers. The Stolypin Reform was the brain-child of the Chairman of the Russian Council of Ministers, Pyotr Stolypin. Implemented during the tenure of Pyotr Stolypin, the Stolypin Reform was born out of the recommendations of the "The Needs of Agricultural Industry Special Conference", held in Russia during 1901-1903. However, most of the benefits offered by the Stolypin Reform were implemented by the 1920 Soviet agrarian reform programs.
Objectives of the Stolypin Reform:
Stolypin Reform was introduced, for bringing about differences in the agricultural activities of Russia. It was therefore, guided by the following goals:
The Stolypin Reform initiated a metamorphosis of the "Archaic Obshchina" form of agriculture in Russia. This enabled the Russian imperialism to trap the Russian farmers and scrap them out of their independence they enjoyed as a result of various emancipation reform programs in 1861. The reasons why "Archaic Obshchina" required transformation was that it emphasized more on aggregate land ownerships, repressing control on the lands by the elder members of a family and dispersed allotment of lands depending on size of the families involved.
Being a firm believer of conservative ides and views, Pyotr Stolypin's aim in initiating the Stolypin Reform was the complete eradication of the existing commune system known as the Mir. The reform also attempted to banish the emancipation enjoyed by the Russian peasants so far, to prevent the emergence of further causes of peasant revolution, like the one in 1905. The primary aim of all these imposed restrictions was to tie the farmers to their own private pieces of land. It also tried to make the farmer class loyal to the then Russian Tsar rulers.
Implementation of the Stolypin Reform:
Implementation of the Stolypin Agrarian Reforms started with the introduction of Ukase or the unconditional right of individual landownership on 9th November 1906, The immediate aim of this reform was to get rid of the "Archaic Obshchina" agricultural system, replacing it with a more capitalist-oriented, advanced form of agriculture, with special emphasis on modern and strengthened farm places and private land ownership.
Main features of the Stolypin Reform:
After successful implementation of the Stolypin Reform, it displayed the following features:
- Initiation of cooperation in the Russian agricultural sector
- Large-scale development of individual farming or the "Khutors"
- Dispersion of fresh methods, for improvement of the existing land areas
- Provision for the cheap credits availability for the Russian farmer class
- Formation of an Agrarian Party, for representing the peasant interests
- Improvement of education, pertaining to the increase in the agricultural productivities
Stolypin Reform: Some More Facts
It must be noted that several elements of the Stolypin Reform cooperation-assistance plans were integrated into the former Russian agrarian reform plans independently, without interferences of the Tsar ministers. These cooperation-assistances included:
- Cooperation for boosting up productivity in the agriculture sector of Russia
- Schemes for cooperating the consumers
- Cooperation for offereing credit to the Russian peasants