Documents from the State Archive of the Orel Region as a Source for Studying Peasant Legal Sense in Early 20th Century

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УДК: 930.253+94(47)

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2018-1-98-108

Vadim V. Kulachkov

Bryansk State Engineering and Technology University, Bryansk, Russian Federation

Documents from the State Archive of the Orel Region as a Source for Studying Peasant Legal Sense in Early 20th Century


The article studies documents from the State Archive of the Orel Region (GAOO) as an important source for studying the sense of justice of the Oryol gubernia peasants in early 20th century. Introduction of new archival materials allows to flesh out our knowledge and to produce a true-to-life picture of the Oryol peasants’ way of life. The peasant origins of the majority of the population necessitate a comprehensive study of peasant legal consciousness. Historical legacy is pertinent to present day, and forgetting its lessons is fraught with consequences. Evolution of modern Russian statehood hedges on its historical and legal traditions. The article studies documents in the fonds of public authorities, police, gendarmerie, courts, and prosecution offices. Introduction of new materials of public authorities, police, gendarmerie, courts, and prosecution offices into the scholarship promotes the analysis of the evolution of peasant legal sense in early 20th century. The chronological framework of the article is limited to the period from 1900 to 1917, its territorial framework is limited to the Oryol gubernia in its pre-revolutionary borders. The article studies reports, dispatches, and circular letters using the comparative method. The intensification of peasant protest was incidental to the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907 – the peasants hoped to force the government to settle the agrarian question, wherein lay the crux of their interests. As peasants of the Oryol gubernia suffered from shortage of arable land, antimonarchical sentiments gained momentum and translated a growing number of trials for contempt of the Emperor. Illegal literature spreading among the peasants, further radicalized them, and the authorities grew more and more hesitant in their assessment of peasant loyalty, which is quite intelligible in the archival documents. Thus, the use of new archival documents in addition to published materials promotes the scholarship on the peasant legal sense.

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Historical source, legal sense, archival documents, peasantry, State Archive of the Orel Region, state policy.


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About author

Kulachkov Vadim Vitalyevich, PhD in History, associate professor, Bryansk State Engineering and Technology University, department of philosophy, history and sociology, assistant professor, Bryansk, Russian Federation, +7-953-270-81-37, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted 27.07.2017, published:

KULACHKOV, V. V. Dokumenty Gosudarstvennogo arkhiva Orlovskoi oblasti kak istochniki dlya izucheniya pravovogo soznaniya krest'yan v nachale XX veka [Documents from the State Archive of the Orel Region as a Source for Studying Peasant Legal Sense in Early 20th Century. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2018, no. 1, pp. 98-108. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2018-1-98-108

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