ARTICLES ANITA B. BAKER (Salt Lake City, U.S.A.) Deterioration or Development?: The Peasant Economy of Moscow Province Prior to 1914 In the last decades before World War I tsarist officials and the educated public became increasingly concerned about the state of Russia's rural econ- omy. Many such individuals began to fear the social and political consequences of the development of a landless, presumably restless rural proletariat, as ever larger numbers of peasants slighted their traditional agricultural pursuits for other forms of economic activity.1 The peasantry of industrial regions, such as Moscow province, aroused particular alarm in this regard. Zemstvo agrono- mists in Moscow province noted what they considered to be signs of the pos- sible growth of a rural proletariat in their region. One agronomist in 1892 maintained that "agriculture in the province is deteriorating in general as the data indicate."2 The statistical data to which he referred were not unique to Moscow province but reflected the situation of peasant agriculture through- .. out most of the Central Industrial Region: almost every year since the 1880s the area sown in grain by the peasants of this region had declined. A second factor supporting the pessimistic conclusions of many
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1978
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