Rural Unrest during the First Russian Revolution

Rural Unrest during the First Russian Revolution: Kursk Province, 1905-1906

Burton Richard Miller
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 466
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  • Book Info
    Rural Unrest during the First Russian Revolution
    Book Description:

    The narrative of peasant unrest in Russia during 1905–1906 combines a chronology of incidents drawn from official documents, with close analysis of the villages associated with the disorders based upon detailed census materials compiled by local specialists. The analysis concentrates on a single province: Kursk Oblast, bordering the now independent Ukraine. In place of the general surveys of the revolution that dominate the literature, Miller focuses on local events and the rural populations that participated in them.

    eISBN: 978-615-5225-50-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Maps, Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. [Map]
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-52)

    The events to which I shall devote my attention in this study, even at the remove of a century, retain immense interest for historians of revolutionary processes that shook the ancien régime in Russia in the first decade of the twentieth century. The “dress rehearsal” for the larger cataclysms of 1917 from which Soviet power emerged triumphant, the First Russian Revolution of 1905–1907 occupies a significant place in this historiography. Among the tumultuous events of these years, the waves of unrest that engulfed many rural districts of the Empire during 1905–1907, particularly in the Baltic, Central Agricultural and...

  7. Chapter I Kursk Province on the Eve of the Revolution
    (pp. 53-136)

    Before proceeding to a narrative of peasant collective action in Kursk Province during 1905–1906, a review of the general context in which these disturbances took place is indispensable. By almost all accounts, rural unrest in the heavily agricultural provinces of the Black Earth belt had its origins in the “land question” and scholarly treatments of peasant actions in Kursk Province are no exception in this regard.¹ Yet even a cursory review of the literature suggests that this issue cannot be understood only within the framework of peasant land hunger (malozemel’e) to which it is often reduced. Rather, one must...

  8. Chapter II 1905 in the Rural Districts of Kursk Province
    (pp. 137-186)

    The accounts of incidents of rural unrest in 1905–1906 in Kursk Province that follow are drawn from a narrow complex of official documents, published in anniversary collections (among these documentation from the State Historical Archive of the Kursk Region)¹ or abstracted from the repositories of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (of the Department of Police, Special Section, and of the Land Section) and of the Ministry of Justice.² In almost all cases, the site, the nature of the incidents of unrest, the estate and the name of the owner and the immediate measures taken by the authorities were observed...

  9. Chapter III Rural Disorders in Spring–Summer 1906
    (pp. 187-224)

    By the end of 1905, it must have been evident to all the protagonists that the tide had begun to turn in the local authorities’ struggle to bring sufficient force to bear on the villages, both to deter new outbreaks of unrest and to speed up the work of the police and judiciary. By mid-January 1906, Governor Borzenko had at his disposal an armed force of perhaps 12,000 men: nine Cossack “hundreds” (32nd Don, 2nd Eiskii Regiments), a dragoon regiment (31st Riga; the 29th Odessa Dragoons arrived in May–June) and two squadrons of another (36th Akhtirsk) as cavalry, five...

  10. Chapter IV Typology, Chronology and Geographical Distributions of Rural Disorders, 1905–1906
    (pp. 225-288)

    In the foregoing chapters, a selection from the narrative record of a large sample of incidents of peasant collective actions in Kursk Province during 1905–1906 has been presented in detail. A review of the main characteristics of these events, however, will allow us to draw out some general conclusions about the revolutionary processes at work. What does a typology of peasant unrest in the province, and its chronology and geographical distribution, tell us about the emergence of acts of revolt or protest in these localities? What do distributions by type, by time and by place suggest about the local...

  11. Chapter V The Villages That Revolted
    (pp. 289-338)

    In the foregoing chapter, we have seen that when the incidence of agrarian unrest during 1905–1906 is viewed on the level of districts, peasants in all fifteen districts participated in the events of these years, but that when the number of parishes in which unrest occurred is determined, the scale of unrest is somewhat less imposing. Of the 195 volosti extant in 1905, 109 recorded disturbances. Then, the corpus of documents consulted for this work contains references to 289 settlements as being associated with incidents of unrest, which, among the 2,916 populated points catalogued by zemstvo surveys of the...

  12. Conclusion
    (pp. 339-354)

    The emergence of a revolutionary situation at the end of the nineteenth century in Kursk Province was ultimately a response to an evident corrosion of the older certainties and inevitabilities of rural life in the face of the accumulated effects of demographic pressures and of long-term economic and cultural processes. Prince Peter Dmitrievich Dolgorukov, writing in early 1906, identified the core problem with “festering wounds of the era of serfdom, which have not yet entirely healed,” and there remains a great deal of truth to this assessment. The Emancipation acts of the 1860s represent the central axis of the ambitious...

  13. Appendix A: Correlation Tables: Parishes and Villages
    (pp. 355-364)
  14. Appendix B: Villages Listing
    (pp. 365-384)
  15. Abbreviations
    (pp. 385-386)
  16. Glossary
    (pp. 387-388)
  17. Sources and Literature
    (pp. 389-428)
  18. Index
    (pp. 429-448)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 449-449)