How did agricultural collectivization differ in the USSR and China? Despite temporary opposition from affluent peasants, collectivization in China throughout the 1950s was a mainly peaceful process. Peasant opposition to collectivization in the Soviet Union erupted into widespread bloodshed between 1928 and 1933.
In fact, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered the massacre because he wanted to show that collective ownership of farms could be enforced without using violence. Armed with this knowledge, Mao Zedong could continue with his plan to collectivize agriculture in 1956. At first, Mao's government issued warnings instead of orders, but when these efforts failed to stop farmers from abandoning their plots, they were replaced by armed guards.
In conclusion, agricultural collectivization in the USSR was done peacefully in order to demonstrate that ownership of farming equipment should not depend on whether or not you have money to pay for it. In China, it was done using force so that Mao Zedong could begin the process of transforming rural China through agriculture.
The Chinese commune is more rigidly structured than the Soviet collective farm, with a broader range of activities, a larger emphasis on community life, and nonagricultural employees included. Agriculture was collectiveized in China in 1955, and by 1956, 96 percent of all agricultural households were members of cooperatives. Since then, it has been the main focus of Communist efforts to develop the country's rural areas.
In contrast, Soviet agriculture was collectivized in 1929 and by 1953 only 4 percent of farms were owned by individuals. The majority were state-owned companies that produced primarily for the market rather than the need of their members. Although some farms remained independent, they made up a small percentage of all agricultural production.
It is important to understand that despite these differences, both systems had the same aim: to make large-scale farming economically viable by reducing operating costs through cooperation between farmers. In addition, the government provided most farmers with free land and economic incentives to promote cultivation.
Under communism, there was no private ownership of farmland, so individual farmers could not profit directly from the increase in output caused by improving techniques or investing in equipment. They might be able to save some money by forming groups to share expenses but this would not give them a financial advantage over others.
However, collectively owned farms did have an incentive to produce as much as possible because the more they produced the higher their profits would be when they sold their products.
Collectivization. During Joseph Stalin's reign, the Soviet Union forced collectivization of the agricultural sector between 1928 and 1940. It began during the first Five-Year Plan and was a component of it. Individual landholdings and labor were to be consolidated into community farms under the policy. This effort was intended to make farming more efficient and reduce rural poverty. However, it also resulted in widespread famine that killed approximately seven million people between 1932 and 1933.
The policy was implemented rapidly across the country. In fact, it is estimated that by 1929, more than 99 percent of all farmland was owned by the state. At its peak, some 20 million people were working on collective farms. The system was based on strict quotas for farm production which could not be exceeded even if better equipment were available or if more labor were employed. Individuals found guilty of producing more grain than their farm was assigned would have their livestock confiscated and sold at auction to pay off their debt.
Stalin also promoted mechanization in an attempt to make agriculture more productive and eliminate much of the need for human labor. By 1939, nearly one out of every five workers in the Soviet union was involved in agriculture.
However, despite these efforts, crop failures continued to be a problem because of poor planning and management.
The "collectivization" of agriculture, which happened in China in 1955–56 and in Russia after 1929, indicated the change from a predominantly private to a primarily communal system of agricultural ownership, production, and distribution; it was most certainly the most significant event in the. History of farming.
The move toward collective ownership was motivated by two factors: the need to increase agricultural productivity in order to feed an increasing population and the desire to reduce the role of the individual landowner as opposed to the state owner of former times. In addition, it allowed for better management of resources by setting goals for each village and ensuring their implementation through penalties if necessary. Finally, it was hoped that by joining together individuals would be more willing to work with one another instead of against them.
In China, this process started in Guanzhong, an area known for its high-quality cotton and wheat. The government first tried to encourage farmers to join forces by reducing the amount of land an individual could own, then by providing financial incentives to those who did so. By the end of 1955, nearly all the region's farmers were part of organizations, which meant that virtually every farmer owned either part of a farm or had signed a contract with someone who did.
Collectivization was also implemented in other parts of China, but not everywhere was successful.
During Joseph Stalin's ascendancy, the Soviet Union implemented collectivization (Russian: Kollektivizatsiia) of the agricultural sector between 1928 and 1940. Collectivization was viewed by planners as the answer to the agricultural distribution issue (mostly in grain delivery) that had emerged since 1927. The policy aimed to transform farming into a self-sufficient industry, thereby eliminating the need for commercial agriculture.
The first signs of collectivization appeared in 1928 when collective farms began to replace private plots. By 1929, all farmers were required to join a collective farm or lose their rights to their land. Between 1929 and 1933, some 14 million people were forced onto collective farms. They included not only farmers but also urban residents who were sent to work on rural estates or in factories. Their average age was about 28 years old; almost one in three was under 18.
Stalin claimed that the program was necessary to overcome "agrarian capitalism" and to make way for an "industrial peasantry". However, most experts believe that it was done with the intention of reducing ethnic heterogeneity and consolidating political power within the Soviet system. Agriculture remained economically dependent on the capital markets until 1936 when prices were fixed at a level appropriate for industrial production rather than for individual farmers. From then on, there was no longer a need for extensive sales on which the previous system depended.