An Economic History of Russia - Vol. 1

By James Mavor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
THE AGRICULTURAL PEASANTS IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

3. THE PEASANTS OF THE COURT, OF THE TSAR, AND OF THE STABLES AND THE FALCONERS

(a) THE COURT PEASANTS

THE Court peasantry make their appearance in the appanage ages, when the princes and grand princes gave lands to their servants for their maintenance. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Court lands were increased by adding to them from the "black lands" of Central Russia, which up till that time had belonged neither to private proprietors nor to the Court. This process of transferring lands into the Court domain continued until the beginning of the seventeenth century. At this time they were administered by the so-called Great Court.1 But grants of land were continually being made from the Court lands to private persons who had in some way served the throne. In 1646, under the administration of the Great Court, there were 37,200 households, and in 1678 the number had increased to 90,550. In 1701, however, the number had diminished to 74,402 households. In the Kazan Court lands there were in addition 5580, so that the total of Court lands possessed 79,982 households.2 These households consisted of ploughing peasants, who rendered certain money obligations and certain obligations in kind to the Court of the Tsar, reserving the balance of their produce for themselves. Besides these there were non-ploughing peasants, who supplied the Court with fish, honey, &c., and who paid money obròk.3 There were also in the Court villages some landless peasants.4

____________________
1
Mēlyukov, History of Russian Culture ( St. Petersburg, 1898), i. pp. 205-6.
2
Ibid., 206.
3
Miklashevsky, Towards the History of the Economical Life of the Moscow State, part. i. ( Moscow, 1894), pp. 122-3; cited by Semevsky, ii. p. 3.
4
Dyakonov, Outline of the History of the Village Population of the Moscow State ( Moscow, 1898), iv.; cited by Semevsky, ibid.

-246-

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