Monday, February 8, 2010


A kolkhoz, plural kolkhozy, was a form of collective farming in the Soviet Union that existed along with state farms (sovkhoz, plural sovkhozy). The word is a contraction of коллекти́вное хозя́йство, or "collective farm", while sovkhoz is a contraction of советское хозяйство (literally, "Soviet farm"). Kolkhozy and sovkhozy were the two components of the so-called socialized farm sector that began to emerge in Soviet agriculture after the October Revolution of 1917 as an antithesis to individual or family farming. The 1920s were characterized by spontaneous and apparently voluntary emergence of collective farms, which included an updated version of the traditional Russian “commune”, the generic “farming association” (zemledel’cheskaya artel), the association for joint cultivation of land (TOZ), and finally the kolkhoz. This peaceful and gradual shift to collective farming in the first 15 years after the October Revolution turned into a violent stampede during the forced collectivization campaign that began in 1928.

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