The appearance of provincial newspapers in Russia represents a pivotal moment in the history of the Russia’s press and life beyond its two capitals. Arising in 42 provinces of European Russia by a decree of June 1837, the new gazettes offered possibilities to invest those territories with content and thus played a critical role in the emergence of provincial consciousness. They also gave provincial inhabitants the opportunity to participate directly in intellectual life, laid the foundations for a civil society on the local level, and created a forum for the exchange of useful information on agriculture and trade. Marrying unity with diversity, newspapers furthermore linked the provinces with one another by granting them a common intellectual experience, even while inducing their inhabitants to explore and celebrate the distinctiveness of each.
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