The Committees of Poor Peasants
Hunter, George Hammond
MetadataShow full item record
Prior to the creation of the Commlttees of Poor Peasants on June ll, 1918, there had been relatively little contact between the peasants and the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks had been active in Russia for twenty years before their seizure of power in November 1917, but most of their propaganda during that time was directed at the workers and it was amongst the workers that they enjoyed their greatest success. Meetings between Bolsheviks and peasants were occasional and sporadic, taking place during the visits of peasants to the cities, during army service, or at the infrequent appearance of agitators in the villages. Not only were the Bolsheviks primarily concerned with the urban workers, but they were too few in number to cover the rural areas with any thoroughness, there being only 23,600 Communist members as late as January 1917. As adherents of an illegal organization for most of their existence, their ranks were often further declmated by the arrest and exile of leaders and members. Lenin, for example, was in exile from the summer of 1900 to November 1905, and again from 1908 to 1917. Battles amongst themselves consumed much of the Bolsheviks' energy. They engaged in endless quarrels over legal marxism, over economlsm, and over the differences which finally resulted in the split between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. The lack of any long association between peasants and Bolsheviks, or of any real knowledge of one another, was to produce a number of surprises for both groups at the time of their first major encounter in the summer of 1918.
- History