The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians

By Anatole L. Leroy-Beaulieu; Zaenaefde A. Ragozin | Go to book overview

BOOK V. CHAPTER III.

Classification of the Urban Population since Catherine II.--The Mechanic
and the Miésh-tchanìn or "Small Burgher"--Urban Proletariate--How
this Class has, as a Rule, Preserved the same Spirit as the Rural Popula-
tion--The Merchant Guilds and their Privileges--How Emancipation
has Made it Possible for them to Own Real Estate--The "Honorary
Citizens" or "Notables" among the Townspeople--Russia, till very
Lately, Had none of the Professions out of which the Western Bour-
geoisie
Used to be Recruited--In how far the Reforms Help Create a
Middle Class in the European Sense.

THE town population, ever since Peter I. and Catherine II., has been classed under five or six rubrics, themselves divided into two main categories: the wholesale traders, forming a superior class, which was long a privileged one; and the retail traders, the mechanics of all sorts, subdivided into several categories, differing only in name. There are the poorer townspeople,--the mechanics,--the members of trade corporations, and lastly the "miscellany," a sort of town-rabble, containing all those who do not fit into any particular class. Of these categories, the first is the most important, and can be regarded as the type of the entire lower class of the urban population. Its name, miêsh-tchanìn, is usually translated in French bourgeois, yet the man thus designated answers little enough to the French term. The miêshtchanìn* is a person who dwells in towns and who, being neither noble nor priest, is not rich enough to inscribe his name on the roll of the merchants, yet does not belong to a trade corporation. He usually gets his livelihood from some small business or some

____________________
*
Miêsh-tchanìn, plural miêsh-tchánié, from miêsto, "a place," which gives the diminutive miês-tiétch-ko, "a borough, a small town."

-334-

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The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • A Word from the Translator. iii
  • Author's Preface. Written Expressly for the American Edition. vii
  • Contents xiii
  • List of Maps xxi
  • Part I. the Country and Its Inhabitants xxiii
  • Book I. Nature, Climate, and Soil. 1
  • Book I. Chapter Ii. 15
  • Book I. Chapter Iii. 35
  • Book Ii. Races and Nationality. 54
  • Book Ii. Chapter Ii. 63
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iii. 77
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iv. 95
  • Book Ii. Chapter V. 122
  • Book III. the National Temperament and Character. 138
  • Book Iii. Chapter Ii. 161
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iii. 179
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iv. 195
  • Book Iv. History and the Elements of Civilization. 223
  • Book Iv. Chapter Ii. 241
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iii. 256
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iv. 282
  • Book V. the Social Hierarchy: the Towns and Urban Classes. 305
  • Book V. Chapter Ii. 322
  • Book V. Chapter Iii. 334
  • Book Vi. Nobility and Tchin. 346
  • Book Vi. Chapter Ii. 362
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iii. 381
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iv. 390
  • Book VII the Peasant and the Emancipation. 403
  • Book Vii. Chapter Ii. 422
  • Book Vii. Chapter Iii. 436
  • Book VII Chapter Iv. 450
  • Book VIII. Mir, Family, and Village Communities. 474
  • Book Viii. Chapter Ii. 486
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iii. 505
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iv. 521
  • Book Viii. Chapter V. 534
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vl. 548
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vii. 563
  • Index 581
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