Issue 1 (70)

Year 2021 Number 1(70)
Pages 178-184 Type scientific article
UDC 930(2):94(47) BBK 63.3(2)523
Authors Nefedov Sergei A.
Summary The article is devoted to the discussion on living standards in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century in the context of the P. A. Stolypin reform. This discussion has been ongoing for ten years ago and divided historians into two groups, “optimists” and “pessimists”. The “pessimists” adhered to the traditional position of pre-revolutionary economists (and Soviet historiography) about the “impoverishment” of the peasantry in the central regions of Russia. The “optimists” (both Western and Russian) defended the thesis of raising the peasants’ living standards. The most famous representatives of the “optimistic” school in Russia are B. N. Mironov and M. A. Davydov. The article analyzes the evolution of M. A. Davydov’s position, which can be judged by his latest article in “Ural Historical Journal”. If previously Davydov avoided mentioning the “agrarian crisis” in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, now he recognizes the existence of a “crisis of agrarian overpopulation” and considers the Stolypin reform as an attempt to mitigate this crisis. Davydov claims that this attempt was successful and the crisis was mitigated thanks to the “agrotechnological revolution”. However, the author of the article shows that in reality, the increase in crop yields was not associated with the Stolypin reform. The greatest increase in productivity was noted not in those provinces where the reform was carried out most intensively.
Keywords Russia, beginning of the 20th century, standard of living, agricultural crisis, agricultural overpopulation, Stolypin reform, agrotechnical revolution

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