Chapter 2

NCERT
Class 9
History
Solutions
6. Write a few lines to show what you know about: kulaks

Question:

Write a few lines to show what you know about:

  • kulaks
  • the Duma
  • women workers between 1900 and 1930
  • the Liberals
  • Stalin’s collectivisation programme.

Answer:

Kulaks: Kulaks refer to the well to do peasants in Russia. From 1927 to 1928 there was a scarcity of food grains so Stalin took the decision to develop modern farms and run them along industrial lines. So to do this it was necessary to eliminate Kulaks. Many kulaks' properties were confiscated. During the reign of Lenin, lands of Kulaks were taken away from them and converted into large modern farms under the collectivisation programme. In opposition to this programme, many Kulaks destroyed their livestock. Those who criticised this programme were punished or deported.

The Duma: After the revolution of 1905, the Duma was an elected consultative Parliament. It was created by the Tsar. Its members had the responsibility of making laws. The Tsar dismissed the first Duma within 75 days and re-elected the second Duma after 3 months. They changed the voting rights and packed the third Duma with conservative politicians. In February, 1917 the Duma was finally suspended.

Women workers between 1900 and 1930: In Russia when Industrialization started, it brought men, women and children to the factory. 31% of the workforce was women in the factories but still they were paid less than men. Most of the Russian women worked in their farms and those who did not have any land worked in the lands of nobles and the Churches. In January 1905, male workers took a peaceful demonstration and wives of these workers participated in it. They faced outrage from the government troops along with their children. During the February Revolution, women led the way to strike in many factories.

The Liberals: The people who wanted change in society during the 18th and 19th century were called liberals. They were against the power of dynastic rulers. They wanted a nation which can accumulate all the religions. They favoured a parliamentary system of government and an independent judiciary. They wanted voting rights to be given only to men who have property.

Stalin's Collectivisation Programme: During the period of 1927-1928, Russia was facing the problem of scarcity of grains. The peasants refused to sell their grains at a price fixed by the government. Stalin believed that there were about 25 million land holdings, most of which were very small and less productive. So, to increase the production, it was important to introduce farm machinery. He introduced the concept of collectivisation of lands (Kolkhoz). It was necessary to eliminate the Kulaks, take away the lands from peasants and establish large farms controlled by the state. From 1929, peasants were forced to work in collective farms and the profit was shared among them. Those who criticised collectivisation were severely punished. Though Stalin allowed some independent farming, he treated them unsympathetically.

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