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Durham e-Theses
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The tsarist government, the Zemstvos and peasant migration to Siberia 1861 -1914

Ralph, Rosalind (1992) The tsarist government, the Zemstvos and peasant migration to Siberia 1861 -1914. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis examines the development of Tsarist government policy with regard to the colonisation of Siberia and to peasant migration eastwards from the more densely populated provinces of central European Russia. Government policy prior to the Emancipation Act of 1861 is discussed, showing that under Kiselev, the principle of allowing excess population from one area to another was accepted and acted upon. It is argued that far from facilitating the colonisation of Siberia, the Emancipation Act effectively halted its further development by restricting the mobility of the peasantry. Population growth increasing impoverishment of the peasantry, demands for more land and government ambitions to harness Siberia's resources converged resulting in growing government interest in encouraging the colonisation of Siberia from the mid-1880s. Peasant migration to Siberia increased rapidly during the 1890s under the auspices of the Siberian Railway Committee then fell back in the early 1900s. The Japanese attack in the Far East in 1904 highlighted the need for swift, large-scale colonisation of Siberia and the upheavals and revolution of 1905 emphasized continuing peasant disaffection The Stolypin reforms of 1905-1908 addressed both issues simultaneously, freeing the peasant from his ties and paving the way for heavy out-migration from European Russia to Siberia between 1906 and 1913 After the initial peak years, by 1910, numbers of out-migrants were falling due in part, it is suggested, to the growing effectiveness of the Stolypin reforms in resolving peasant grievances in European Russia. The role of the zemstvo movement in relation to peasant out-migration is examined. Zemstvo efforts were largely in the field of welfare and practical assistance and directed pricipally through two regional organisations, of which the South-Russian Regional Zemstvo Resettlement Organisation, based in Poltava, was by far the more important. Its contribution and effectiveness are assessed.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:58

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