The humanities and social science

2023 Issue №4

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The legal regulation of agricultural cooperation during the period of the Provisional Government and Soviet Russia



The study examines the transformation of the legal status of agricultural cooperatives in Russia from the period when the Provisional Government came to power to 1929, the period when this type of cooperation was liquidated as a separate entity. The study demonstrates changes in cooperative legislation after the February Revolution of 1917 until the late 1920s — from expanding the democratic foundations of cooperative societies to the complete abolition of agricultural cooperation as a separate type of this socio-economic movement. The legislation of the Provisional Government on cooperation, including agricultural, expanded the rights of agricultural societies, established a unified legal status for all types of cooperatives, introduced the concept of a “cooperative society” into legal circulation for the first time, allowed cooperatives to form unions, and outlined a clear algorithm for the organization of cooperative activities. The period of “war communism” was characterized by extremely harsh measures regarding the state control of cooperatives. During the New Economic Policy, the legislator adopted imperial cooperative legislation, granting democratic rights and freedoms to cooperatives. This was driven by the difficult financial situation of the population, especially peasants, and the acute shortage of food products. The policy of building a socialist state determined the further fate of agricultural cooperation, as well as cooperation in general, transforming it from a private-law institution into a public-law one and thereby depriving it of the fundamental principles on which it had been built for several decades.