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Activity of the All-Russian Country Union in the Voronezh province at the beginning of the 20th century

s. R. Demidov


Work is presented by department of national history of modern and latest times of the Voronezh state pedagogical university.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor V.N. Fursov

The author for the first time made attempt on the basis of archival documents to open a role of the Country Union in the organization of peasants uprisings against land owners of the Voronezh province. The analysis of statistical data allowed to show growth of country protests depending on activity of propagandists of the Union in days of the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907

The author of the article for the first time makes an attempt to show the role of the Peasant Union in organization of peasant insurrections against landowners in the Voronezh government. The analysis of the statistical data allowed to show the growth of peasant protests depending on the activity of the Union’s propagandists during the years of the first Russian Revolution of 1905-1907.

The All-Russian Country Union had huge influence on formation of revolutionary outlook of the peasantry of the Voronezh province at the beginning of the 20th century

From July 31 to August 1, 1905 in Moscow there took place the Constituent congress of the All-Russian Country Union. Representatives of twenty two provinces including from Voronezhskoy1 took part in work of a congress. The resolution on the organization of the Country Union was printed in the Russia and Bulletin of Agriculture newspapers: "Peasants in Russia of 90 million, and all this weight was in an enslaved state at a small group of the people who seized in hands wealth and power" 2 till this moment. At a congress elected the Main Committee of the Country Union from 8 persons whose names were not subject to announcement. Approved structure of the Country Union on which provincial, district, volost and rural committees were created. The popularity of the Union grew, and by November, 1905 its offices were created in 42 provinces, and all in Russia members of the Union there were 200 thousand chelovek3. At a congress repeatedly under -

"need of formation of the small organizations and giving of activity of the Country Union of secret character" cherkivatsya. Delegates came to a consensus that "... the reasons of our poverty, ignorance and oppression are to a malozemelya and that high rent which is raised from us by land owners for one permission to cultivate their land". The congress decided: "To recognize that activity of the Country Union depending on local conditions can be both open and secret (secret). All members of the Union have to extend the views and carry out the requirements in all possible ways, without hesitating of counteraction of territorial chiefs, police and other administration. Including persistently we advise to exercise the right to make public censures at village and volost assemblies and private collections about improvement of the state improvement and improvement of national well-being". Message about a congress of peasants and organization of the All-Russian Country Union and it

decisions on July 19, 1905 in Paris Pyotr Struve published in the Osvobozhdeniye newspaper. About the taken place congress there was a publication in the Russia newspaper 4.

S.P. Shesternin and "the peasant of the village of Smygovki Bobrovskoy of the volost of the same county Vasily Titov Selivanov who arrived at own expense" took part in work of a congress the city judge Mr. Bobrova. After arrival from Moscow V.T. Selivanov under the leadership of "S.P. Shesternin, Klirikov, Antonenko and others started in recruitment of members in the Country Union, not only in the, but also in the neighboring volost", - the chief of the Voronezh Provincial Gendarme department B. 3 reported in Department of police. Tarkhov. Gendarmes noted that activities for the organization of the Country Union in the Voronezh province quickened since November, 1905. She said in distribution among peasants of the ideas of the Country Union, in their instigation to disobedience to the authorities, occupation of landowners' estates, non-execution of a compulsory military service and non-payment of taxes. In "some areas of the Bobrovsky County the sentences made in the known form developed at the Moscow Country congress in which peasants, joining the All-Russian Country Union, recognize the State Duma as non-conforming to country interests took place demand destruction of any land ownership, cancellation indirect and the equations of direct taxes, convocation of the Constituent assembly on the basis of general, direct, equal and a ballot and a complete amnesty" 5.

Big propaganda and advocacy work among peasants in favor of the Country Union was carried out by rural teachers. The teacher Knyazheva participated in promotion of the ideas of the Country Union,

about than gendarmes learned from her letter found in it during the search: "... Now I have still a new familiar midwife of the Mat-rensky medical site (Merkulo-

va) the irreplaceable speaker for peasants. From peasants (Matrensky, Vyaznovsky, Gnilu-shinsky, Coldeevsky) we selected sentences with statement of their needs. Only on the Matrenovsky descent we offered the services, and to all villages we were invited by peasants.". The teacher M.V. Gukov addressed on October 27, 1905 peasants of page. Grease the Valuysky County with explanations of the Program of the All-Russian Country Union. At this meeting in the Country Union 27 people registered. At the end of 1905 the organization of the Union arose also in the village. Lousy Voronezh County. The Voronezh gendarmes reported in Department of police: "Especially favorable circumstances in the Bobrovsky County, thanks to vigorous activity of such skilled propagandists what the famous territorial employees who organized local office of the Country Union are...". In two years 1905-1907, troops and Cossacks were sent in villages of the Bobrovsky County of 28 times. In nine cases the peasants showed armed resistance. For this period 197 landowner manors and kulak farms were crushed. During 1905-1907 in the Bobrovsky County there were 303 peasants uprisings on which number the county was in the lead among other counties of the province. In the settlement Buturlinovke of this county of 500 peasants led by the fellow villager Vasilchenko demanded from volost board of the report on the spent money. Vasilchenko urged to abolish the existing local authorities and to create revolutionary committee. The peasants uprising was depressed military team (Cossacks were sent from Bobrova, and a platoon of soldiers - from Liski) 6.

In the village. Sands of the New Khopyor County peasants arrested volost administration. Arrest of the propagandist from local peasants was the cause of nervousness of peasants. During the blessing of the waters on January 6 peasants demanded from the local policeman to let out the arrested, but the volost foreman and

the policeman tried to run. They were seized and put under the lock, and then elected new. Two days in the village. Sands there was a country power. The retaliatory group which arrived from Borisoglebsk released arrested, and peasants of a pereporola lashes.

In country weight leaflets with programs for a country question of the Russian social democratic Labour Party and party of social revolutionary were widely distributed. Gendarmes quite often found it difficult to define party accessory of propagandists. For example, in the village of Tresorukovo of the Korotoyaksky County the teacher M.V. Dyakova brought together peasants at territorial school and convinced them to join the Country Union. The rural clerk, having taken the leaf lying before it, learned that it is the leaflet with the text of the RSDRP Program. Propaganda for the accession to the Country Union was carried out: in the Kotro-toyaksky County - the teacher Kudinov; in the Nizh-nedevitsky county - the pupil of the Voronezh medical assistant's school; in Bobrovsky and Wasps togozhsky counties of the teacher. In the village of Gnilusha of the Zadonsky County the doctor of Sizem-Skye carried on propaganda. At propagandists and propagandists works V.I. Lenina, K. Tsetkin, K. Liebknecht, etc. 7 were found

Already on August 14-15, 1905 the organizational congress of the Voronezh provincial office of the All-Russian Country Union at which there were 51 delegates, from them 33 - rural teachers gathered in Voronezh. Quite often rural priests were propagandists of the ideas of the Union. In the Voronezh province there were 35 priests - members of the Union. In December

1905 the second provincial congress of the Union had to take place. Peasants of the settlement of Klimenkovoy of the Valuysky County elected to this congress the delegate of the priest Meretsko-go. Having forbidden holding a congress in People's House of Voronezh, the administration hoped that the congress will not take place, however workers of railway workshops invited peasants to a meeting to the painting shop.

According to the chief of the Voronezh office of gendarme police department of the railroads V.N. Deboli,

4 December, 1905 at 11 hours 30 minutes in the painting shop the meeting at which there were three thousand people began. On this meeting as the police agent reported, "about one o'clock in the afternoon some young women began to bring the peasants who are well dressed, besides, to a painting workshop and earlier about 35 people of peasants with some priest and since Kilchevsky, and then to this group and newcomers to peasants, all generally till 60-70 people came to workshops, was shown to state the desires, it turned out that they were delegates of the Union of peasants of the Voronezh province who it is visible will be organized on counties.". Apparently from the document, prohibition of provincial administration brought only to closer a game - to steps of workers and peasants. Exactly here at a meeting of the Delegate meeting as it is noted by gendarmes, delegates peasants received the action program: "Peasants began to ask a meeting to reduce them the rent. On it Shinga-rev and other propagandists (Studenkin, Ispo-latov, Lukin) promised them to reduce the rent to 3 rubles from tithe and told that since spring they all earth of landowners will be given to full use. delegates suggested peasants to collect descents, to deliver sentences on districts to whom how many the earth it is necessary. When peasants said that territorial chiefs, the rural administration and police do not resolve similar descents, delegates advised to banish all these officials and to replace them elective and if Cossacks come, then, arming with everything, to show them resistance by force. At the same time leaves from leaflets" 8 were distributed.

Sentences of country descents often had pronounced political character. Peasants of the settlement Uspenskoy of the Biryu-chensky County accepted on November 1, 1905

a sentence in which refused participation in State Duma elections and demanded convocation of the Constituent assembly on the basis of general and equal suffrage at a ballot and transfers of all earth to peasants. Peasants of the farm of the Jug of the Ostrogozhsky County in the sentence demanded destruction of redemption payments, indirect taxes and class privileges. In a selets of Maryino of the Nizhnedevitsky county in a sentence the peasants decided to take 219 tithes of the earth at the landowner Reshetova on the basis of the fact that, according to them, she owns it illegally. Peasants of the village of Sergeevki Bob-rovskogouyezda at princes Meshchersky and the countess Panina took out on November 24-28, 1905 10 thousand poods of bread, and on November 29 on a descent made the decision to crush four manors: Meshchersky, Panina, Zvyagintsev and Megden9. The Program of the All-Russian Country Union in the Voronezh province was so put into practice.

The government saw in the All-Russian Country Union of the enemy and from the first days of his existence subjected his members to repressions. The Voronezh governor notified on November 24, 1905 the chief of Provincial gendarme management that "the propagandists acting on behalf of the All-Russian Country Union have to be subjected to search and arrest as the provision on the State protection". On the basis of this order at the beginning of January, 1906 28 people - participants 2 congresses of the Voronezh office of the All-Russian Country Union passing in December, 1905 were arrested. Among arrested was: peasants - 13, other doctors, teachers, priests. The central bodies of the All-Russian Country Union were crushed on December 3, 1905. Repressions exsanguinated the Union, and some researchers considered that since 1906 in documents of that time on its activity in the Chernozem region it was not mentioned. However it is inexact.

From February 21 to April 16, 1906 in settlement. Kharkiv the Biryuchensky County active promotion among peasants for their accession to the Country Union was carried out by the student of the Yuryevsky university S.I. Sergiyen-co which was presented to peasants by the member of the Country Union and that he "deals with the Voronezh justice of this Union". He suggested to elect from the environment 2 persons for representation in the Country Union and to contribute 10-15 kopeks in its cash desk. Gendarmes reported to the governor that Ser-giyenko urged not to be employed for landowners, not to lease the earth as they have to receive the landowners' and state estates. If the State Duma does not resolve this issue, then to organize a general strike. In the settlement Rovenki of the Ostrogozhsky County on December 28, 1906 the teacher Popereka was arrested for promotion of the program of the Country Union. On an alarm 900 peasants armed with guns, stakes, stones, etc. which tried to release it ran together. The police killed two peasants. In settlement. Left Rossish of the Corot-toyaksky county the country society run by the propagandist pronounced a sentence about non-payment of collecting and about removal of the rural authorities, police and the priest. To the village

10 July, 1906 there arrived the group the dragoon and arrested agitatora10. From January 1 to July 30
1906 in the Bobrovsky County there took place more than 40 village assemblies which accepted sentences about accession to the Country Union. Contemporary of events of 1905-1907

> I. Lenin wrote V.: "The facts on stories of the Russian revolution show that the first wave of rise at the end of 1905 pushes peasants at once to such political organization (All-Russian Country Union) which, undoubtedly, was a germ of special peasants party" 11. Revolution of 1905-1907 - given a milestone in the history of the peasantry of the Voronezh province. It took a huge step in formation of the political outlook. Though revolution got beaten also it ru-

the kovodyashchy organizations were crushed, a tsarism and landowners were forced to make concessions. Peasants strove for cancellation of redemption payments, decrease in the rent price, increase in a payment to peasants for work in landowner farms. In the Ostrogozhsky County the rent decreased from 15 to 9 rubles for tithe, in God charsky - for 15-20%, in the Bobrovsky County the payment for cleaning of bread from tithe from 8 to 12 rubles raised. Contemporaries noted that "all Russia got considerable freedom of assembly, a word and the unions, achieved national renunciation of autocracy of old regimes and recognition of the constitution" 12. Ives it is op-

a redelenny contribution of the first labor unions of Russia, including Country Union which conducted active advocacy and organizational work in the Voronezh province. Propaganda activity of members of the Country Union who at the same time were members of Bolshevik parties and Social Revolutionaries had huge educational influence on country weight. The trade-union movement as the difficult social and economic phenomenon causes great public and scientific interest at the beginning of the 21st century. Relying on experience of the past it is possible to avoid mistakes at construction of the modern state.

1 GAOPIWO. T. 290. Op. 1. 19. Page 5.
2 GAOPIWO. T. 290. Op. 1. 19. Page 5-6.
3 GAOPIWO. T. 290. Op. 1. 19. Page 40. Page 20; E.I. Kiryukhina. All-Russian Country Union//Historical notes. T. 50. 1955. Page 114, 133.
4 GAOPIWO. T. 290. Op. 1. 19. Page 4, 39. L. 83; Newspapers: "Release" on July 19, 1905 No. 73, Russia on May 28, 1905 No. 84.
5 GAVO. T. 1. Op. 1. 666. L. 222-226.
6 GAVO. T. 1. Op. 1. 666. L. 226; GAVO. T. 6. Op. 1. 3. L. 81-82; Revolutionary movement

in the Voronezh province of 1905-1907: Sb. documents and materials. Thief. Prince. Prod., 1955. No. 325.

S. 403-405; R.G. Demidov. The country movement in the Bobrovsky County of the Voronezh province in days of the First Russian revolution of 1905-1907//Materials for studying the settlements of Russia: Reports and messages of the sixth Russian nauch. - prakt. conferences "Russian village: history and present". Nizhny Novgorod, 1997. Part I. M of 1997. Page 11; GAVO. T. 6. Op. 1. 3. L. 81, 82.

7 GAVO. T. 1. Op. 1. 20. L. 156, 164; GAOPIWO. T. 5. Op. 1. 76. L. 21; GAVO. T. 1. Op. 15.
7. L. 490; T.M. Oleynikov. From history of Peasants' revolts in 1905 year in limits Voronezh -

sky province//Voronezh local history collection. Voronezh. Issue I. 1924. Page 29.

8 GAVO. T. 1. Op. 1. 669. L. 5-6; V.A. Stepynin. The peasantry of the Chernozem Center in revolution of 1905-1907. Voronezh: Prod. VSU. 1991. Page 93-96.
9 V.A. Stepynin. The chronicle of revolutionary events in the village of the Voronezh province (18611917). Voronezh: Prod. VSU. 1977. With.66, 75-76, 79, 84.
10 S.R. Demidov's calculations on the basis of documents GAVO. T. 1. Op. 1. 715. L. 1-50; Op. 1. 730. L. 22; Op. 1. 840. L. 15-16.
11 Lenin V.I. Tsel of fight of the proletariat in our revolution. V.I. Lenin's PSS. T. 17. M, 1961. Page 385.
12 GAVO. T. 1. Op. 1. 715. L. 358; Lenin V. And. Revolution and counterrevolution. PSS. T. 16. M,
1961. Page 120.
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