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The power of stanitsa atamans on common law at the Don Cossacks in the second half of the 19th Century .



In article the author carries out the scientific analysis of the questions connected with usual and legal regulation of functioning of bodies of territorial public self-government in villages and farms of area of army of Donskoy in the second a polo to fault of the 19th century

In the article the author carries out the scientific analysis of the questions related with common law regulating and functioning of the bodies of territorial public self-government in stanitsas and khutors of the area of the Don Army in the second half of the 19th century.

common law, Don Cossacks, bodies of territorial public self-government; customary law, Don Cossacks, territorial public self-government bodies.


Sergey Yuryevich is a PhD in Law, the associate professor

civil law and process VOLGA

In modern conditions of revival of the Cossacks in Russia, in particular its traditional forms of territorial public self-government, usual and legal relations management of "the power and submission" at the Don Cossacks in the second half of the 19th century is of great interest. Without reconstruction of these relations, in our opinion, it is impossible to understand and to correctly estimate a role and value of each body of territorial public self-government in the field of Donskoy's army.

Frequent change of stanitsa atamans in some villages obviously contradicted the official legislation (To provisions 1835, 1870 and 1891 of — S.K.) as according to it stanitsa atamans had to be elected to 3 goda1. According to ancient customs, stanitsa atamans were elected for 1 year.

"In recent years in the village Old Cherkassk stanitsa atamans are replaced not pogodno, and almost by the month. The other day in stanitsa board the instruction about the new choice and balloting of persons to a position of the stanitsa ataman and two of his candidates is received. Stanichniki here that say: "It is not necessary to elect to this position of persons from people noble or noblemen; give, brothers, we will choose from Cossacks, with them punishment is easier, with them we will make that we will want: they are our brothers". In a type of such intention, say that already many dashed away on farms and back streets to ask and cajole a vodka cup, olives and sardines, meaning inheritance of a desired atamanstvo. In a type of an otstranyaemost of persons of a noble state from balloting to a position of the stanitsa ataman, nowadays (in 1878 — S.K.) each citizen such words which became have already the right to declare the desire: "I, brothers, will not lose myself face, I will even better operate the fate of the stanichnik, than noble"" 2.

"When (in the village Upper Kurmoyarsky. — S.K.) began the weather choice of atamans and who was the first ataman — it is unknown; only in old times the hunters in atamanye were not. Appointed on

1 Provision on management of the Don army of May 26, 1835//PSZRI. — the 2nd prod. — SPb., 1881, t. 10, 8163; The Provision on public management in the Cossack troops of May 13, 1870//the Memorable book of the Kuban region for 1874 — Ekaterinodar, 1873.
2 S.D. From Starocherkassk//the Don regional sheets, 1878, No. 44.

this position ordinary took the leave among collecting wherever one wishes in a belt and if diligently asked for leave, bowed to the earth. It is remarkable, but since 1775 hunters, that is persons interested" 1 began to appear.

We believe that in the examples given above the Don Cossack communities authorized application of more ancient by origin of the customs concerning the choice of the ataman.

In spite of the fact that the official legislation provided to the stanitsa ataman rather wide range of powers of authority (administrative, economic, etc.), realization of these powers, and in other words, the real power in villages in the second half of the 19th century in most cases belonged not to stanitsa atamans, but stanitsa societies.

"The stanitsa power is elected by stanitsa societies, in some villages from the circle of the people of the semiliterate, than not allocated from the environment sobrat of citizens of the village, and therefore these authorities can never have influence on stanitsa societies, and opposite, on the first time submit to influence of the stanitsa clerks and Cossack patters who turned gray at positions. Under such conditions in position of some stanitsa societies the arbitrariness is also shown; arbitrariness it in some villages accepted the wide sizes" 2.

In our opinion, it is necessary to understand broad use of norms of common law by the Don Cossack communities as the "arbitrariness" mentioned in similar cases causing so sharp and negative attitude of the district and army administration, but not standards of the official legislation and instructions of the district or army administration.

"In most cases not citizens, but atamans depend on citizens. The ataman serves not to destination from the government, and for choice from society on which depends to appoint to it the size of a salary and

1 E. Katelnikov. The historical data of Army of Donskoy on the Upper Kurmoyarsky village made of legends by old residents and own notes, 1818, December of 31 days. — Novocherkassk, 1886, page 18.
2 From Ust-Medveditsa//the Don regional sheets, 1880, No. 36.

other" 3. "The ataman will take in head to collect from the Cossack strictly. And they (stanichnik on a descent. — S.K.) answer: "former atamans were not worse than it, and so did not do" and will force, after all, in order to avoid the evil, to do serious work somehow. They did not forget still the Ermakovsky path" 4.

In this plan the power of farm atamans differed in nothing from the power of stanitsa atamans. Obviously, there are no bases for a statement about existence along with the system of common law of the village also certain subsystems of common law of farms.

"It is explained first of all by dependence and communication of the elective farm ataman with society and that influence which the public descent in farm life has. The ataman is afraid to make something without the consent of society not to draw upon himself displeasure. Society is afraid that the chosen ataman did not usurp the power belonging to it and sharp-sightedly watches it. As far as farmers of the atamans who are vigorously acting without volition of society, so do not love they love those which all do with the consent of society" 5.

To some extent position of the stanitsa ataman in society depended also on its personal qualities, on his ability to command to itself trust and respect of society, from his authority and organizing abilities, and the most important — on whether maintained its most of citizens on a stanitsa descent or not. "... But it does not happen and if happens, then it is very rare; rather an ataman is forged under tone of society. My God save to contradict a descent though business would go probably to harm of stanitsa interests" 6.

To get support of most of citizens to the stanitsa ataman it was difficult as in the Don Cossack community there was a fight for authorization of any given customs various on origin time, contents and it is directed -

3 P.S. Neskolko of words concerning correspondence "From Kachalin"//the Don regional sheets, 1879, No. 100.
4 Not the Cossack. To a question of unwillingness of Cossacks to accept territorial institutions//the Don voice, 1880, No. 34.
5 A. Kazmin. Usual courts in the farms of Donskoy of area//the Ethnographic review, 1891, No. 3, book X, page 124-125.
6 En. On swamps. (From the traveller's notes)//the Don voice, 1880, No. 54.

Nosta of action. After authorization by community they became existing rules of common law. In it communal democratism at which the power of the stanitsa ataman was not separated from society just was also shown, and society had a real opportunity ahead of schedule to replace the objectionable ataman and to hold elections of new. Even if the stanitsa ataman de jure, according to standards of the official legislation, was elected for three years, then after one year of service or irrespective of any term (traditional norms), he could be re-elected on various pretexts (alcoholism, the negligent relation to business, etc.). The stanitsa ataman himself also had the right to submit the resignation, having specified good reasons for early dismissal from service (frustration of economy, etc.), but in most cases behind such dismissal at own will there was a coercion from community.

At the same time it is worth to remember that the stanitsa ataman was obliged to execute circulars and instructions of the district or army administration for which non-execution he could be made responsible. Thus, he was put in such position at which it was forced to say to the administration that "society does not wish", and to a stanitsa descent that "the administration ordered".

The stanitsa ataman who in the activity tried to be guided not so much by norms of common law how many standards of the official legislation, could not get support of most of members of the Don Cossack community and became the candidate for early dismissal or was not re-elected for new term. "Time was driven (the stanitsa ataman. — S.K.) from a descent also wrote a sentence that to consider all its sentences invalid, and he was promised to put us in jail "you, speaks, impostors"" 1.

Absolutely other relation was at stanichnik to those stanitsa atamans who in the activity were guided by norms of common law. Of course, not always collision of norms of common law of the Don Cossacks with standards of the official legislation had obviously expressed and open character. In most cases negative attitude of the Don Cossack communities to standards of the official legislation had the hidden character and was expressed in inaction and non-execution of instructions of the higher administration from the stanitsa ataman and his assistants.

In turn, those stanitsa atamans and their assistants who did not hurry to execute circulars and instructions of the higher administration were attracted to various measures of responsibility. "Stanitsa atamans and their assistants are "told off" by district administrations for divergence and unsuccessful collecting debts and salaries, fine them in income of the village, subject to personal arrest, impose arrest on a salary them, sometimes on all current third anniversary" 2.

Summing up the result, it is possible to make, in our opinion, rather valid conclusion that, despite all attempts of the government to regulate formation and activity of bodies of territorial public self-government in the field of Donskoy's army by means of standards of the official legislation, the Don Cossacks in the second half of the 19th century were still guided by the norms of common law.

The research is executed with financial support of the Russian public scientific foundation and Administration of the Volgograd region within the nauchnoissledovatelsky project "Common Law of the Don Cossacks in the Second Half of the 19th Century" — project No. 11-13-34009 and / V.

>------------- 2 Timoshchenkov I. Stanitsa Kremenskaya (Ust-

1 P. Nikulin. Stanitsa pictures//Don Medveditsky district)//Azov region, 1899, newspaper, 1875, No. 74. No. 39.
Perini Silvia Gabriella
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