O perspektywach badania chłopskiego doświadczenia refeormy rolnej. Z warsztatur badawczego
On Perspectives of Research into Peasants’ Experiences of the 1944 Agricultural Reform in Poland. Some Research Techniques
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The article aims at presenting and analysing peasants’ experiences of the agricultural reform conducted in Poland by a decree issued by Polish Committee of National Liberation on the 6th of September 1944. The article is mostly based on the peasants’ personal sources: materials from diary competitions (including the original ones that have not been used before in studies on the agricultural reform) memories, interviews, letters. As an aid, official documents and memories by land gentry have also been used. Three dimensions of peasants’ experiences of the agricultural reform have been differentiated for the needs of the article. The first one is made by emotions and attitudes in the time of the reform implementation; the second one includes personal feelings connected with the reform, including long-term influences on biographies; the third one represents evaluations, thoughts, and memories of the reform from a time perspective. The analysis shows a significant diversification of peasants’ experiences, which depends on numerous factors: usually on social status, political involvement, being a beneficiary of the reform or not. However, some elements that undoubtedly are common may be identified: mostly a generally positive attitude towards parcellation of the gentry’s land. Some other common experiences include mixed feelings of insecurity, fear, and joy when accepting the lands, difficulties in developing the allotted plots, as well as conflicts and litigations when parcelling the gentry’s land. The analysis of the peasants’ experiences reveals a very high conflict potential brought by the results of the reform.
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