Molotov pp 89-104 | Cite as

Change and Consolidation 1929–1930

  • Derek Watson
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History and Society book series


The defeat of the Right removed any restraint on implementing the radical policies of forced collectivisation and ‘elimination of the kulaks as a class’. Molotov’s prominence in the attack on the Right meant that he was in the forefront of the collectivisation campaign, but he had already demonstrated his own inclination to extreme policies in his attitude towards the kulaks. In February 1929, he wrote of a ‘deep chasm’ between ‘the policy of an offensive against the kulak and the theory of the peaceful growth of the kulak into socialism’. The latter led to ‘an emancipation of the capitalist elements, and finally to the re-establishment of the power of the bourgeoisie’.1 At this time Molotov was preoccupied with the struggle against the Right, and at the Central Committee plenum, 16–23 April 1929, prior to the XVI Party Conference, Kalinin introduced the main proposals on agriculture for the Conference.2 In mid-July, however, in his speech to the Ivanovskii oblast’ party conference, one of the first in which he dealt in any detail with industrialisation and the pyatiletka, Molotov asserted that ‘our chief difficulties lie in agriculture’. He claimed that ‘the influence of the petty-bourgeois factor … puts its stamp on a certain number of party proletarians, especially those who have close connections with the countryside’. Later in the speech he made a clear distinction between the ‘offensive’ against the kulak and Trotskyite ‘panic in face of the kulak’.3


Central Committee Leningrad Oblast Party Organisation Party Secretary Capitalist Element 
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  1. 8.
    Davies, The Socialist Offensive, p. 408.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    Up to this point there had been no Commissariat of Agriculture of the USSR. See Watson, D., Molotov and Soviet Government: Sovnarkom 1930–1941, Basingstoke: 1996, pp. 15–16. Tucker, R. C., Stalin in Power: the Revolution from Above, 1928–1941, New York: 1990, p. 134 claims that Molotov made three speeches, but the third was a short introduction to the resolution proposing the Union Commissariat of Agriculture, RGAS-PI, 17/2/441b2, 49–50.Google Scholar
  3. 24.
    RGAS-PI, 17/3/772, 3; Davies, The Socialist Offensive, pp. 232, 240; Ivnitskii, N. A., Klassovaya borba v derevne i likvidatsiya kulachestva kak klassa, Moscow: 1972, p. 179.Google Scholar
  4. 25.
    RGAS-PI, 17/162/8, 64–9, see Viola, L., ‘The Other Archipelago: Kulak Deportations to the North in 1930’, Slavic Review, vol. 60, no. 4, 2001, p. 734.Google Scholar
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    Chernopitskii, P. G., Na velikom perelome: Selskie sovety Dona v period podgotovki i provideniya massovoi kollektivizatsii (1928–1931gg.), Rostov on Don: 1965, pp. 124–5.Google Scholar
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    See for instance, Ivnitskii, N. A., ‘Istoriya podgotovki postanovleniya TsK VKP(b) O tempakh kollektivizatsii sel’skogo khozyaistva ob 5 yanvarya 1930 g.’, in Istochnikovedenie istorii sovetskogo obshchestva, Moscow: 1964, pp. 265–88.Google Scholar
  7. 54.
    Stalin, Sochineniya, t. 12, pp. 147–8, 192. Cf. Kemp-Welch, A., ‘Stalinism and the Intellectual Order’, in Rigby, T. H., Brown, A. and Reddaway, P., Authority Power and Policy in the USSR: Essays Dedicated to Leonard Schapiro, London: 1980, p. 122.Google Scholar
  8. 63.
    Ibid., pp. 719, 732, 737; Haslam, J., Soviet Foreign Policy, 1930–1933: the Impact of the Depression, London: 1983, p. 60; Carr, E. H., The Twilight of Comintern, p. 18.Google Scholar
  9. 64.
    Cf. Ulam, A.B., Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy 1917–73, New York: 1974, pp. 191–2; McDermott and Agnew, The Comintern, pp. 99–101.Google Scholar
  10. 68.
    Pravda, 1, 2, 5, October 1930; Molotov, V., V borbe za sotsializm: rechi i stat”i, Moscow: 1935, p. 50. Cf. Davies, R. W. The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, vol. 3, The Soviet Economy in Turmoil, Basingstoke: 1989, p. 425.Google Scholar
  11. 93.
    Quoted Vorobechuk, G., and Zhurov, V., ‘K voprosam ratsionalizatsii gosapparati,’ Organizatsiya upravleniya, no. 5, 1932, p. 6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Derek Watson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Russian and East European StudiesThe University of BirminghamUK

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