Between Clan and Crown: The Struggle to Define Noble Property Rights in Imperial Russia

By Ransel, David L. | Canadian Slavonic Papers, March-June 2006 | Go to article overview

Between Clan and Crown: The Struggle to Define Noble Property Rights in Imperial Russia


Ransel, David L., Canadian Slavonic Papers


Lee A. Farrow. Between Clan and Crown: The Struggle to Define Noble Property Rights in Imperial Russia. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth.

After a long famine of work on imperial Russian property law, we are able to enjoy a feast of two monographs in the space of two years. Lee Farrow's book on noble property rights follows the publication of a path-breaking monograph on women and property in imperial Russia by Michelle Marrese (A Woman's Kingdom: Noblewomen and the Control of Property in Russia 1700-1861 [Cornell, 2002]). Farrow's study covers a shorter period of time and rests on a thinner source base than Marrese's but is nevertheless useful for setting out the basic contours of property law in the eighteenth century.

Farrow concentrates on two aspects of Russian property law-redemption and confiscation-that she believes were especially salient and consequential in imperial Russia. "This study," she writes, "seeks to demonstrate two things-that noble life, including possession and control of the all-important resource of land, was inextricably intertwined with clan life, and that this often stifling influence combined with the significant power of the ruler to restrict the growth of private property and political freedom." What she means by the "growth of private property" is the individual's right to dispose freely of his or her property, a right that was hedged round in Russia by the claims of members of one's extended family to redeem land sold or mortgaged to others and by the ruler's right to confiscate land (and other property) on a number of pretexts.

Farrow walks the reader through the seventeenth-century legal background and the changes introduced in the period of Peter the Great's reign. She has a chapter on the Single Inheritance Law and, more important, on the legislation passed in the subsequent reigns of Catherine I and Anna that refined and partially overturned it. The Single Inheritance Law is well known to historians. The details of the legislation that altered it are less well understood and well worth knowing better. We are in Farrow's debt for clarifying them.

The chapter on Catherine the Great's legislation is titled "Fool's Gold." Farrow argues here that the nobles did not wrest any great concessions out of Catherine on property rights and that the Charter to the Nobility, despite the claims of historians about a new plateau of rights, provided no guarantee of property.

The core of Farrow's book and its thesis about the insecurity of nobles' control of property lies in her discussion of redemption and confiscation. The source base for the first is redemption suits. While Farrow references her cases, she does not tell us how typical they were. It is hard to provide a balanced view of noble property rights on the basis of a limited number of purely conflictual instances. It would be interesting to know the proportion of redemption challenges that occurred in what was a highly active market in property.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Between Clan and Crown: The Struggle to Define Noble Property Rights in Imperial Russia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.