Rural Unrest during the First Russian Revolution
Kursk Province, 1905-1906
The narrative of peasant unrest in Russia during 1905–1906 combines a chronology of incidents drawn from official documents, with close analysis of the villages associated with the disorders based upon detailed census materials compiled by local specialists. The analysis concentrates on a single province: Kursk Oblast, bordering the now independent Ukraine. In place of the general surveys of the revolution that dominate the literature, Miller focuses on local events and the rural populations that participated in them.
Documents the degree to which the peasant community had been pushed onto the path of change by the end of the nineteenth century, how much the "peasantry" itself had become increasingly heterogeneous in outlook and occupation, and the rapidity with which these processes had begun to corrode the legitimacy of the older order. Miller concludes that unrest was concentrated mostly among peasant communities for whom the benefits the vital interactions between social unequals that had maintained a fragile social peace in the countryside had been radically eroded; he furthermore identifies the prominent role played by that spectrum of persons that retained their ties to their villages, but stood toward the margins of rural life.
About the Author
"The first attempt since Robert Edelman's 1987 Proletarian Peasants to examine the 1905 Revolution in the countryside. Set within the central agricultural region of Kursk province, it joins other studies that provide an important regional dimension to the study of agrarian protests in the broader revolutionary period of the early twentieth century and those that focus on provincial distinctions within imperial Russia. Clearly a labor of love. Using official state documents from the State Historical Archive of the Kursk Region, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice, many of which appear to be abstracts of police reports, as well as published statistical materials, Miller reconstructs the diverse economic situation of a heterogeneous peasantry on the eve of the 1905 Revolution, the frequency and ebbs and flows of revolutionary activity in 1905 and 1906, the changing nature of the collective actions, and regional variations in the disturbances within the province".—Slavic Review
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