Railroad companies that charged four times as much as on the East gave farmers incentive to band together in order to combat outrages rates politically (Document D). Freight rates especially hurt farmers, who were far from both buying and selling markets, a clever extortion trick by the railroad companies to force farmers into paying at every occasion (Document F). With over a twenty percent decline in agriculture economy over fifty years, the farming community grew smaller and less organized by the day – an easy target for abusive
For a long time, Russia had been considered backward, both in its political methods and its ways of life. 80% of the population were peasants and Russia itself was a very large country to govern. Modernisation was a way for the country to keep up with its European neighbours. There were two key areas that Sergei Witte, Finance Minister for Russia, was focused upon: Industry and Transport. He felt these areas would help to solve Russia's three biggest problems; Communication, Size and Social Divide.
Also, compared to other European countries, Russian agriculture was still backward. This is because the Great Spurt under Witte focused on industrial growth and neglected agriculture. This then brought rapid growth in population in cities as peasants moved in to work in factories. As a result, working and living conditions became extremely poor, giving people more reasons to rebel and start a revolution. Furthermore, there were also political causes for the outbreak of the 1905 revolution.
Stalin achieved most of his aims; Grain production rose to nearly 100 million tonnes in 1937, although the numbers of animals never recovered. Russia sold large quantities of grain to other countries; this of course made a huge difference to the economy in Russia. A colossal 17 million people left the countryside to go to work in the towns this was part of industrialisation which helped to improve the economy. The kulaks were eliminated, this was one Stalin’s main aims and finally, the peasants were closely under the government's control, which pleased Stalin greatly. There were many failures in collectivisation, particularly in the initial phases - output fell in the 1930s largely for three reasons; the peasants resented the state taking their land, machinery and livestock, so they did not work as hard and put more effort into their private plots, where they could keep any profit generated - who wouldn't?
Since it occurred during the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl migration became significant due to the riskiness in relocation because of such high unemployment rates. So, in the context of very low internal migrations in America at this time, the Dust Bowl Migration really stands out. However, apart from the fame, the migration was misnamed because most of the people migrating weren’t victims of the dust; instead they were victims of drought and depression. Despite of the critical distance, 200,000-400,000 farmers- out of the 3 million- from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri traveled as families to California. The push factors of their homeland- no arable land for crops, contaminated water, and no money- caused the farmers and their families to leave .Then California’s pull factors, such as harvest labor job opportunities, attracted these refugees of depression.
Conscription soaked up rural unemployment and some peasants grew prosperous. Fiat received cheap loans to re-equip factories and military contracts because of the strength of demand for army vehicles. Fiat also grew fivefold. The industrial north benefited most from the war, describing it as a ‘total war’ and in the south the gap with the poverty stricken grew wider. By the time it came to 1918 food shortages had caused riots and discontent and the government was finding it difficult to keep the army supplied.
This also meant that the land was not used to it full potential, all these factors lead to the famines and causing peasants to up rise using violence against government officials. This was on the verge of the revolution. The deep resentment from the peasantry towards the Tsar increased after the war as lots of money had being invested in the war and Russia had lost. Moreover, Sergei Witte had tried to improve the economy of Russia but it was to make sure that the Russian social order stayed the same. Due to industrialisation, factories were built which lead to rapid growth of population in the towns and cities for example from 98 million in 1885 to 125 million in 1905.
For some peasants life did improve dramatically, Stolypin set up banks that would help peasants get loans and buy land. This was a huge improvement for peasants as they were getting more freedom, this may have been because they would murder their landlords. This lead to improvements in farming this therefore lead to an industrial boom and made Russia the world’s fourth largest producer of coal, pig iron and steel. Only 15% of peasants took up Stolypin’s idea though. As for the Dumas, they could not pass laws, could not appoint ministers and could not control finance.
*The decade after World War I was a period of great prosperity for most of America (although for farmers it was a period of bad fortune, as food prices fell shortly after World War I ended), and Americans were able to enjoy that prosperity with more free time than ever before. *Rising wages, shorter working hours and a shorter work week (the average work week fell from 70 hours in 1850 to 55 hours in 1910 to 45 in 1930), gave people the time and money to enjoy themselves. Furthermore, after the destruction of the Great War and the Spanish Flu, Americans wanted to cut loose, and the 1920s were known as the Roaring Twenties. *Americans had new ways to enjoy themselves. Movies were new, and much cheaper (only a few cents) than going to a play or concert.
Historians such as Steven Main argue, “WWI had given birth to the USSR1”. Which is what the Bolsheviks and Lenin would later turn Russia into. Like most wars, the First World War had a massive impact on Russia as a country and its people. The war like most took a toll on the economy and due to the fact that Russia was less industrially developed than its allies, France and Britain, this meant that they had to work harder to keep up with ammunition production as well as normal amenities such as food. As there was a shortage of supplies, standard “supply and demand” went up and inflation occurred and because 80% of Russian people were peasants and already poor this meant that many people went without causing famine.