Demolished by the whirlwind of revolution

Destruction of large landed estates in Ukraine in 1917 – early 1920s

Abstract

The purpose of the article: to study the process of elimination of large landholdings from the agricultural sector of Ukraine throughout the revolutionary transformations of 1917 – early 1920s. Research methods: historical-typological, historical-genetic, historical-comparative. Main results. It is shown that the destruction of large landowner households, beginning in 1917, lasted until the early 1920s and was part of the agrarian policy of the bolsheviks. Agro-industrial complex on the landed estates were under a devastating blow: вuildings were destroyed, working cattle and grain were dismantled by the peasants, the property of the recent owners of the estates was looted, and industrial facilities were destroyed. Liquidation of landowners’ holdings was accompanied by extreme cruelty justified by  revolutionary goals. The paper demonstrates M. Shcherbatova’s and S. Falz-Fein’s tragic fate as victims of revolution. Despite attempts to  give this process a form of legitimacy and a whole series of legal acts to regulate the process in the countryside, peasants’ spontaneous movement to redistribute land and property in their favour was of great importance. Centuries-old wounds and hatreds, exacerbation of the feeling of social injustice, revolutionary expediency and desire to get rich at the expense of others floated to the surface as a result. In the revolutionary years of 1917–1921 and afterwards, the last page in the history of the landowners’ economy unfolded, when, despite attempts to settle the “land question”, a radical approach prevailed. As the outcome, recent agrarian elite was uprooted by force with material, moral and psychological damage. Scientific novelty: a study of the destruction of large farms through the perception of their owners based on the study of personal archival funds of the Grokholsky, Linke, Tereshchenko, Shcherbatova and others. Type of article: analytical.

Author Biographies

Nadiya Temirova, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

Sc. D. in History, Professor, Acting Head of the Department of History of Ukraine and special branches of historical science, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

Inna Petrova, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

Ph. D. in History, Associate Professor, Associate Professor at the Department of World History and Archaeology, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

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Published
2020-12-29
How to Cite
TEMIROVA, Nadiya; PETROVA, Inna. Demolished by the whirlwind of revolution. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. 61–70, dec. 2020. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/97>. Date accessed: 25 sep. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/26200206.
Section
History of Ukraine