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Category: History

Russia in the European context, 1789-1914: family member. (paper)



of Ed. by S.P. McCaffray and M. Melancon. - N. Y.: Palgrave: Macmillan, 2005. - X, 238 p.

the Collection of articles "Russia in the European context, 17891914: The family member" under S. Makkefri's edition (Wilmington) and M. Melankona (Auburn un-t, the USA) submits to un-t of Northern Carolina himself the review of history of the Russian society and economy. The choice of a chronological framework is caused by the fact that during this period of a problem of national identity, progress, backwardness and its overcoming gained special sharpness - not only in Russia, but also in other European states. The collection consists of introduction and eleven articles united in two parts devoted, respectively, to economic and social problems. The Russian life in the 19th century is considered against the background of the history of the European countries and in comparison with them.

the general concept to which the group of authors adheres is proved In the introduction written by editors of the collection by

>. Makkefri and Melankon, in particular, criticize the tough opposition of "backward" Russia to the "advanced" Europe accepted in scientific literature, noting that in fact the situation was much more difficult. Concepts of Western and Eastern Europe in their modern (i.e. rather cultural, than geographical) value arose during "Cold War". In the 19th century, on the contrary, the all-European identity only began to be formed. Then European civilization, according to authors, differed in much bigger variety of the development, than now so the excessive generalizations based on experience of one-two countries only shade this circumstance. "In the European history, - Makkefri and Melankon claim, - the uniqueness is not unique" (page 8). There were unique also no reasonings of the Russian thinkers of the 19th century on features of historical development of Russia: the European contemporaries were also concerned by a problem of own identity. Besides, for educated Europeans those years the numerous archaic phenomena in life of their countries were an example of backwardness in not smaller degree, than similar realities in Russia. Educated Russians, in return, considered the homeland the European state, despite various reservations. Proceeding from all this, authors of the collection tried to refuse traditional division of the European countries of the 19th century in literature (including Russia) on "advanced" and "backward" and to look at history of that era from the point of view of contemporaries for whom Europe together with Russia made a whole. But thus each country had the features and developed according to own geographical location and cultural traditions, in own way overcoming own backwardness.

the First part of the collection Li A. Farou's article (Auburn un-t) "Discovers binding threads: A sort role in the law of succession and the property right in Russia", devoted to features of Russian land and the law of succession. Comparing the relation of the Russian nobility to the land possession with a nobility position in some other the European countries, the author shows basic divergences in this question between Russia and its western neighbors. So, in Europe throughout centuries the principles of a male entail or, at least, the system of restrictions by transfer of land possession by inheritance with the purpose to prevent crushing of manors were developed. The Russian noblemen, on the contrary, preferred to divide the estate equally between sons; the law on a male entail entered by Peter I in 1714 met wide opposition and was repealed by Anna Ioannovna in 1731. However the mechanism of repayment of the earth was the brightest difference of the Russian land law: relatives of the landowner who sold or put the land had the right to strive for its transfer to their possession for repayment. Thereby the law protected the rights of a sort. Its application led to the fact that even after purchase and sale registration the buyer of the earth did not become her owner yet true as could not be sure that the transaction will not be challenged especially as the limitation period during which relatives of the person who sold the land could exercise the right for its repayment made 40 years and only in 1737 was reduced up to three years. Thereby the new owner of land was not interested in its fastest improvement and use because of risk again to lose it. The approaches to regulation of land property which are so persistently protected by the Russian nobility in practice not so much strengthened how many undermined its positions in economy and in society.

S. Makkefri's

in article "The Capital, Diligence and Private Banks in Economic Views of the Statesman of the Nineteenth Century" in detail analyzes views of the count N.S. Mordvinov (1754-1845) - in 1823-1840 the president of Free economic society, one of the first representatives of political economy in Russia, on ways of development of the Russian banking system. The author considers also the all-European context of the studied problem, sorts the main features of early history of the European banks; Mordvinov's views are compared to representations of the English economist D. Ricardo who was engaged in a similar perspective. According to Makkefri to speak about fundamental difference of the banking system which developed in Russia from all other Europe incorrectly: "On the dawn of the nineteenth century the Russian banking system was unique, just as any other. Despite of the certain common features coming from those tasks which had to solve banks finance and the credit, the different countries of Europe established own homebrew and idiosyncratic rules corresponding to features of their political, geographical, commercial and financial position. Though Russia lacked that intensity of trade operations which generated the first banks, in the basis the history of the Russian banking is similar to the history of banks in other countries of the continent" (page 34). Comparing Mordvinov and Ricardo's views, the author shows their considerable similarity (conviction in need to actively develop private banks in the province to stimulate development of local economy, etc.). Such similarity is of particular interest, considering serious differences between the Russian and English economy. Huge extent of the territory of Russia led, for example, to the fact that the purchasing power of paper money not only differed from that at silver, but also differed in different regions of the country. Mordvinov's ideas did not find a response in ruling

circles of Russia, but the value of its works should not be underestimated. It was not only transfer of the ideas of A. Smith on the Russian soil, but also their further development which had significant effect on the subsequent evolution of a domestic economic thought.

In B.V. Gorshkov's article (Auburn un-t) "To the comprehensive law: The royal factory labor law in the European context, 1830-1914" is considered evolution of the labor law in tsarist Russia. The author especially notes that this extremely important subject still is almost completely ignored by the Russian and foreign researchers while on stories of the labor relations and the labor law in the West there is the richest literature and new works appear. In spite of the fact that industrial revolution in Russia took place later, than in Western Europe, formation of the domestic labor law happened almost synchronously to similar processes in the West - during XIX and at the beginning of the 20th century. The first laws regulating position of workers appeared in the 30th years of the 19th century with the growing application of civilian work which steadily forced out work of serfs at factories. The law of 1835 entered the written employment contract as a legal basis of employment. In 1845. the first law limiting child labor was issued. These legal documents were still fragmentary, however their emergence promoted further discussion of the raised questions. During the begun discussions, ideas of the rights of workers gradually were developed and extended that found the reflection in new laws of the 60-70th and especially the 80th years of the 19th century. In the 80th years the whole complex of the regulations which are comprehensively covering different components of life of workers including working conditions, medical care, education, etc. was issued; the factory inspectorate was founded. In 1905-1906, strikes and the trade-union movement were legalized, in 1912 the system of public health insurance is created. Thus, "during nineteenth and first the twentieth century the factory legislation of imperial Russia passed a way from sketchy acts to the complete, coherent charter for industrial work of 1913", potentially capable "considerably to improve matters of workers, do not break World War I all similar undertakings" (page 65).

F. Vchislo (Vanderbilt's un-t, the USA) in article "Re-reading old texts: Sergey Witte and industrialization in Russia" analyzes economic views of S.Yu. Witte in the 80th years of the 19th century and first of all its ideas of a role of the railroads in national economy and their alleged development. By this time Witte had already considerable experience in administration of Society of the Southwest railroads, studied work of railway transport, its situation in an economic system in detail. The author believes that studying works of Witte of the specified period, even before its arrival to big-time politics, adds new strokes to a portrait of future reformer.

Article B.V. Ananyich (St. Petersburg) "Religious and national aspects of business in Russia" represents the short review of such phenomenon as Old Belief and Jewish business (the author mentions the same problem of Muslim business which is also still really not investigated, but in detail on it does not stop).

the Second part of the collection Susanna Rebou-Edling's article (un-t of Uppsala) "Opens a role & #34; Европы" in the Russian nationalism: Reinterpreting the relations between Russia and the West in a Slavophile thought", devoted to perception of Europe in the Russian Slavophilism. The author shows Slavophilism sources, his main ideas and arguments, communication with other currents in social thought. In modern European and American literature the philosophy of Slavophiles is considered often as anti-Western, isolationist. Meanwhile, it is emphasized in article, Slavophiles never called for isolation of Russia from the western culture. Emergence of Slavophilism was result of penetration into Russia of the ideas of the European romanticism according to which only through development of national cultures the mankind in general can grow and develop. Thereby the simple external imitation the West peculiar to the literate of the Russian society in the 18th century became unacceptable. Like the European romantics, Slavophiles used biological analogy, considering each culture as the independent organism living own life - the birth, growth, blossoming, withering; artificial "implantation" of alien material as it was represented, only harms this process. Also the argument about crisis of the European culture penetrated by rationalism was adduced. However a practical conclusion had to consist of these reasonings, according to Slavophiles, not in discharge of Russia from the European culture, and in creation of truly national culture by synthesis western

of heritage with domestic tradition. Only thus Russia as it was supposed, could become the worthy member of European cultural "family", only on this way its culture could gain world value and recognition (page 108-109).

Article E. Kingston Mann (un-t of Massachusetts, Boston) "Statistics, social science and public justice: Territorial statisticians in pre-revolutionary Russia" contains the review of history of territorial statistics in post-reform Russia in the European context. The author writes about formation of the European statistics in the 19th century and also about statistical researches in our country to an abolition of serfdom. Functioning of territorial statistical bodies, the main results of their activity and their perception in the Russian society is in detail shown, including from landowners and bureaucracy. They were hostile to statistical institutions - as to a nursery of the revolutionary ideas. It was unsurprising as post-reform statistics, using the newest methods of data collection, often came to the conclusions unpleasant for local authorities and landowners' elite. Repressive measures concerning statisticians, according to the author, times developed into the real terror, including closing of separate statistical bureaus, the bans on the publication of results of researches, burning of ready reports, etc. But also the relation of Marxists to territorial statistics was alerted. Both was the Russian specifics. However in general statistics in the country developed in the same direction, as in Europe, and in close interaction with foreign science (page 133).

L. Hefner (Leipzig un-t) in article "& #34; Temple безделья": Associations and the public sphere in provincial Russia" considers the history of public associations of Saratov since the beginning of the 19th century on 1917 against the background of the similar processes proceeding in other parts of the country. As the author notes, in Russia during this period there was a set of the various clubs and associations which played a significant role in self-organization of local society. Especially actively creation of new public organizations was developed after Great reforms of the 1860th years. Even more various associations arose during the revolution of 1905. The author gives the compressed essay of work of public associations of Saratov, including social and ethnic composition of their members, the directions them to activity, everyday life, politicization of public organizations. The right for membership in similar associations and clubs only the limited circle


of persons. Nevertheless public associations of Saratov gave to citizens considerable opportunities for communication, the organization of "reasonable" leisure, acquisition of skills of self-government. Clubs and societies often united under the roof people of different professions, with the different level of education, representatives of all estates and religions, thereby effectively breaking the barriers dividing them.

J. Daley's Work (un-t of Illinois, Chicago) "Punishments in Russia in a mirror of Europe" is devoted by

to development of a system of punishments in Russia throughout XIX and at the beginning of the 20th century in comparison with the European countries and with the USA. The author sorts considerable statistical material, shows the main features of the Russian criminal law in comparison with European and American (such, for example, as much more incidental, than in Europe and especially in America, death penalty which in Russia besides punished only high treasons whereas in the West - also serious crimes against the personality and property). Also the reasons of differences between the Russian and European criminal law are discussed in article.

In A. Peyt's (USA) article "St. Petersburg workers and application of the law of 1912 on social insurance" the history of preparation of the law and its introduction to action in 1912-1914 and the political fights developed in this regard is considered by

>. The author, in particular, compares positions of various political groups on the organization of insurance funds and cash desks, shows influence of disagreements between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks for the outcome of discussions about an order of application of the new law.

the collection "Perception of the present and expectations in Russia, Comes to the end 1910-1914 with M. Melankon's article with

>: What the press tells about". The author analyzes the maintenance of the domestic press of the last pre-war years, reveals the most actively discussed problems and features of their interpretation in newspapers of various political orientation. Out of sight of Melankon there are socialist newspapers which were pursued by the authorities and owing to this fact were often issued abroad and extended illegally or existed during too short time. The circle of the issues discussed in the press was quite wide: policy of the government, democratic rights and freedoms, position of workers, country question, women's rights, discrimination of ethnic minorities. The range of the expressed opinions was not less wide. However the author considers idea of dissociation, atomization of the Russian society on the eve of World War I wrong. The attentive analysis of newspaper publications of that time shows that their authors, despite disagreements in particulars, on many fundamental issues took in general quite close positions. So, practically all press was severe in relation to the policy of the government. Also the fact that Russia is the European country did not raise some considerable doubts and has to evolve on the same way which already there passed other developed countries in Europe and beyond its limits; ideas of "a special historical way" of Russia were not popular. Even in the far-right press, the author emphasizes, many articles look quite liberal. If cut out anti-Semitic passages from nationalist "Modern times", the inattentive reader could imagine that the newspaper reflects views of moderate Russian intelligentsia (page 222). Such unanimity in the press would hardly be possible in hopelessly the separated society. In other words, educated society in 1910-1914 managed, being in general in opposition (more or less rigid) to Nicholas II's government, to come to a certain internal consensus. Therefore, Melankon concludes, sources of catastrophic events of 1917 should be looked for not in public disagreements of pre-war years, and in the system crisis of the Russian state and society caused by the begun World War I (page 222-223).

M.M. Mintz

van den Berg Mathijs
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