Decree on Land
DECREE ON LAND
Upon seizing power from the Provisional Government in October 1917, the Bolsheviks immediately issued two decrees. The first decree served to withdraw Russia from World War I. The second decree issued by the new Bolshevik regime was entitled "On Land." The decree abolished property rights of landlords and provided for the confiscation of estates with no compensation. More generally, the Decree on Land abolished private ownership of land and introduced the nationalization of land. Under the terms of the decree, about 150 million hectares of arable land, pasture land, and forest land were confiscated and distributed to 25 million communal households. The October 1917 land decree was followed by legislation in January 1918 that forbade the selling, renting, or mortgaging of land. Nationalized land became the possession of "all the people" and could be used only by those who cultivated it. Although all land was nationalized, individuals or families could obtain allotments of land for small-scale agricultural activities, assuming that they themselves used the land and did not employ hired labor. These land plots included collective garden plots, private plots, and dacha plots, the size of which was restricted by local norms.
The prohibition on leasing land remained until March 1990, when a USSR law on land came into effect. Legal restrictions on private ownership of land remained in effect until December 1990 when a law was passed in the RSFSR that permitted the ownership of land, subject to certain constraints.
See also: bolshevism; october revolution
Danilov, Viktor. P. (1988). Rural Russia Under the New Regime. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Keep, John L. H. (1976). The Russian Revolution: A Study in Mass Mobilization. New York: Norton.
Medvedev, Zhores A. (1987). Soviet Agriculture. New York: Norton.
Volin, Lazar. (1970). A Century of Russian Agriculture: From Alexander II to Khrushchev. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Stephen K. Wegren
"Decree on Land." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/decree-land
"Decree on Land." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/decree-land
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.