Major Reasons why the Famine took place a. To suppress peasants resistance to collectivism It is believed that agricultural production was controlled by peasant farmers before collectivism was introduced in the Soviet Union. Land privatization was introduced by Lenin before the 1920s. However, the owners still used primitive modes of production. It is no doubt that the need for scientific measures would have helped improve and develop the state’s agricultural production. Stalin believed that collectivism was the way forward to advancing the agricultural state; where pieces of peasants’ farms were consolidated into larger farms (collectives) in which scientific methods of farming and mechanization would be used.
The peasants did not react positively to Stalin’s policy, they knew it meant losing their own lands that they had worked hard for years to raise their families and improve their lives. After numerous trials to convince poor peasants to collectivism, both the rich and poor peasants were certain that Stalin’s policy was headed to taking advantage of them, and in turn objected it. Resistance was deemed unfavorable for Stalin’s strategy of industrialization. It was expected that through collectivism, produced yields would be sufficient to feed more workers who were to work in factories in the following 5 years of modernization.
Despite the imposed penalties, peasants remained opposed; they not only ignored the instructions but went as far as destroying their produce. Stalin embarked on eliminating disobedient peasants, which began as an anti-kulak plan. Hunger and starvations was used as “instrument to break the resistance of the peasantry to the new system, oblige them to work under state’s provided conditions and deliver what the government demanded. ”2 It obvious the famine was deliberately induced to wipe out the peasant and leave the government in control of the land.
Witnesses confirmed that government sent agents to peasants’ houses, confiscated all their grains/livestock including the households’ reserves, set high grain taxes. It basically ignored the life of a peasant and were left to nothing but a sure famine death. b. To suppress nationalist aspirations of Ukraine Ukrainians had for a long time tried to maintain their identity and culture under the vast Russian rule. During Lenin’s tenure, the tension between Ukrainians and Soviet Union existed but there were an agreement was reached and were given the power to practice their cultures.
Other than the Russian community, they were the second largest group in society and posed a nationality threat in the nation’s politics.
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