The Land Decree of 1917 was adopted the day after the Great October Socialist Revolution (November 8 of the above year). According to its introductory part, the property of landowners on land was abolished without any redemption.
The prerequisites for the adoption of this document arose quite a long time ago relative to the date of its release. The fact is that the program of the Bolsheviks was opposed to the programs of other parties that existed at that time, which wanted to make partial concessions without changing the entire capitalist system as a whole, including without changing land rights.
April theses as the basis for future decrees
The Decree on Land of 1917 grew out of Lenin's April theses, which he announced on April 4th. In his speech, Vladimir Ilyich then declared that it was necessary to confiscate all the landlords' lands and transfer them to the established Soviets of Peasants' and Laborers' Deputies, which should include representatives of the poorest farms. From each large landowner's estate, which could include from 100 to 300 peasant farmsteads, it was supposed to create an exemplary farm under the control of laborers' deputies. Need to say,that Lenin did not find support for such ideas among the first listeners of the theses, and some (Bogdanov A.A. - a scientist, the future head of the world's first blood transfusion institute) considered them to be the ravings of a madman. However, they were approved by the Sixth Congress of the Bolshevik Party, which was held August 8-16, 1917.
The ideas of the leader of the revolution - to the masses
In his April theses, V.I. Lenin pointed out that the Bolsheviks were in the Soviet of Workers' Deputies in a weak minority, therefore, party ideas were required to be actively disseminated among the masses, which was done, and quite successfully. There are cases in September-October 1917, when peasants staged riots in one or another settlement, accompanied by pogroms, arson of estates and a demand for landowners to “cut their land” under threat of life. Therefore, the Decree on Land (1917) simply consolidated the ongoing historical processes of that time.
The land issue has been brewing for a long time
The peasant land problem became relevant, of course, not in 1917, but much earlier, and was due to the fact that the rural population, with the active export of the same grain, led a semi-beggarly existence in many areas of tsarist Russia, selling the best of what was produced and eating the worst, getting sick and dying. Zemstvo statistics have been preserved (for the Rybinsk and Yaroslavl provinces), according to which already in 1902, 35% of peasant households in this area did not have a horse, and 7.3% had their own land.
Colossal difference in taxation before the revolution
Peasants who enthusiastically accepted the Decree on Land of 1917, before its release, for many years rented plots and horses, paying both the owners of the means of production (up to half of the harvest) and the state (taxes). The latter were more than significant, since for a tithe of land it was required to contribute 1 ruble to the treasury. 97 kopecks, and the yield of the same tithe (under favorable weather conditions) was only about 4 rubles. It should also be taken into account that a tax of two kopecks (!) For the same tithe was levied from noble households, despite the fact that estates were equal in size to 200-300 peasant plots.
The Decree on Land of 1917 gave the peasants the opportunity to confiscate not only the landlords, but also specific, church and monastery lands with all their property. Those who left the village for the city could return to these land plots from their earnings. For example, in the Yaroslavl province in 1902, about 202,000 passports were issued. This meant that so many men (mostly) left their households. The lands of ordinary Cossacks and peasants were not subject to withdrawal.
Letters from peasants are an important factor
It is believed that the decree on land in 1917 was drawn up on the basis of about 240 "peasant mandates" by the editors of the newspaper "Izvestia of the All-Russian Council of Peasant Deputies". It was intended that this document was to be a guideline regarding land operations until the decisionConstituent Assembly.
Prohibition of private ownership of land
What land transformations followed in 1917? The Decree on Land reflected the point of view of the peasants that the most just would be an order in which land could not be privately owned. It becomes public property and passes to the people working on it. At the same time, it was stipulated that persons affected by the “property coup” were en titled to temporary public support to adapt to new living conditions.
In its second paragraph, the Decree on Land (1917) indicated that subsoil and large water bodies become state-owned, while small rivers and lakes are transferred to communities that have local governments. The document further stated that "highly cultivated plantations", that is, gardens, greenhouses, go to the state or to communities (depending on size), and home gardens and orchards remain to their owners, but the size of the plots and the level of taxes on them are established by law.
The Land Decree of 1917 touched not only on land issues. It mentions that horse factories, breeding poultry and cattle breeding also become national property and pass into state ownership, in favor of the community, or can be redeemed (the issue remained for the decision of the Constituent Assembly).
Household inventory from confiscated lands was transferred to new owners withoutredemption, but at the same time, theoretically, it was not allowed to leave small-land peasants without such.
When the Decree on Land was adopted, it was assumed that allotments could be used by everyone who was able to cultivate them on their own, family or in partnerships without the use of hired labor. In the event of a person's incapacity, the rural society helped to cultivate his land until the restoration of his ability to work, but not more than two years. And when the farmer grew old and could not personally work on the land, he lost the right to use it in exchange for a pension from the state.
To each according to his needs
It is worth noting such conditions as the distribution of land according to needs depending on climatic conditions, the formation of a nationwide fund, which was managed by local communities and central institutions (in the region). The land fund could be redistributed if the population or productivity of the allotment changed. If the user left the land, then it came back to the fund and other persons, primarily relatives of the retired member of the community, could receive it. At the same time, fundamental improvements (amelioration, fertilizers, etc.) had to be paid for.
If the land fund was not enough to feed the peasants living on it, then the state should have organized the resettlement of people with the supply of their inventory. Peasants had to move to new plots in the following order: willing, then “vicious” members of the communities, then deserters, the rest - by lot or by agreement of each other.with a friend.
Based on the above, we can say that the Decree on Land was adopted by the II All-Russian Congress of Soviets, based on the economic and political situation at that time. He, most likely, simply consolidated the processes that were already taking place in society and were inevitable.