«КЛАССОВЫЙ ПАЕК» И БРОНИРОВАННОЕ СНАБЖЕНИЕ ПРОДОВОЛЬСТВИЕМ В ГОДЫ ГРАЖДАНСКОЙ ВОЙНЫ

Translated title of the contribution: THE “CLASS RATION” AND FOOD RESERVES DURING THE CIVIL WAR

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Abstract

This article examines the evolution of the system of rationed food supplies in Russia. The author focuses on specific forms of food distribution during the Civil War, such as “class rations” and food reserves. At the same time, it is emphasised that a rationing system was already in effect in Russia during World War I, and the practice of fixing prices for bread and providing special food norms for certain categories of workers had begun taking shape long before the Bolsheviks came to power. Describing the introduction in 1918 of the “class ration” in Petrograd, the author proposes that the initiative was largely due to the authorities’ attempts to mitigate the growing crisis between the Bolsheviks and some industrial workers. Although the “class ration” dominated among the principles of food distribution, its economic importance should not be overestimated – even the deprivation of the “exploiters” of food could not significantly improve the nutrition of the working population. From this point of view, the introduction of “class rations” only had political significance. In most cases, the local food authorities failed to develop clear criteria to categorise the population. Using documents from the Russian State Archive of the Economy, the author demonstrates that the idea of “class rations” was developed after the establishment in November 1919 of a special commission for the supply of workers at the People’s Commissariat of Food Industry. The formation of the commission was a consequence of policies meant to centralise all aspects of life in Soviet society. Having received emergency powers from the government in supplying the population with food, the commission formed monthly lists of plants and factories and determined groups of enterprises in various sectors of the economy. As a matter of priority, the reservation of food supplies was made to provide workers. However, the norms of state supply were not always implemented and were significantly lower than the needs of the population. The idea of “class rations” was rejected only after the adoption of a decree on 30 April 1920, which declared the transition to a new form of incentives for workers, labour rations.
Translated title of the contributionTHE “CLASS RATION” AND FOOD RESERVES DURING THE CIVIL WAR
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)169-187
JournalQuaestio Rossica
Volume9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • “class rations”
  • reserved supplies
  • food problem
  • Civil War

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