Agrarian Issue – „Sacred Issue“: The General Ideological Scope of Interwar Agrarian Reform in Yugoslavia  Cover Image

Agrarian Issue – „Sacred Issue“: The General Ideological Scope of Interwar Agrarian Reform in Yugoslavia

Author(s): Srđan Milošević
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije
Keywords: Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia; Agrarian reform; Ideology; legal nihilism; peasant state

Summary/Abstract: As a state controlled intervention in agrarian issues, starting from land production up to (and above all) the land ownership, agrarian reform means more or less elaborated range of attitudes and values, undoubtedly of ideological provenance. In this article, I tried to deal with those ideological aspects of agrarian reform in the interwar Yugoslavia, limiting the fi eld research in twofold: chronologically – to the period 1919–1920, and thematically – to the general scope of the ideological contents. Ideological aspects of the reform are mostly present in the agrarian legislature and even more in vigorous public debate on agrarian issue. The encompassing ideological base was the concept of Yugoslavia as the „peasant state“, in which the agrarian issue is to be solved following Serbian model (small free peasant ownership), abolishing feudal and capitalist social differences. Besides omnipresent emphasizing of the agrarian issue as one of the most important in the state, the proper laws have been waiting for the passing until 1931. In the meantime, the authorities regulated the reform neglecting existing weak legal base embodied in the controversial Interim Decree and other regulations issued by the related Ministry or by the Government. This legal nihilism enabled the substantial relativisation of the private property principle, which was the problem inherited from the prewar Serbian practice. In spite of the sharp political differences amongst opposed parties, in the view of the ideology, if not the practice con cerning Agrarian Reform, it is possible to identify substantial harmony of values.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 149-171
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Serbian