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1837Russia's Quiet Revolution$
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Paul W. Werth

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826354.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

Guardians of the Benighted

Guardians of the Benighted

(p.105) 6 Guardians of the Benighted

Paul W. Werth

Oxford University Press

Created in December 1837, the Ministry of State Properties played a crucial role in agrarian reform and peasant affairs in Russia for decades thereafter. Armed with a reformist ethos and headed for two decades by Pavel Kiselev, the ministry sought to reorder the lives of state peasants—Russia’s principal non-serf population—by promoting new crops such as the potato, establishing communal grain reserves, and building schools. These and other initiatives heralded a new degree of state intervention into the lives of Russia’s rural population and defined key parameters of Russia’s subsequent efforts to solve its ‘peasant question’. The ministry thus occupies a critical place in Russia’s agrarian history.

Keywords:   state peasants, Pavel Kiselev, serfdom, potatoes, crown peasants, forests, agriculture, guardianship, revolt

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