Identifier

etd-11162005-111803

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

History

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The problems of social and economic reform were at the center of academic and political activities of Maksim M. Kovalevskii (1851-1916), a prominent Russian historian and sociologist. The comparative study of rural communal institutions led him to conclude that the village commune remained a viable social and economic institution in late imperial Russia. Although he believed firmly in private agriculture, he criticized the Stolypin land reform for attempting to pressure peasants to separate from communes. Kovalevskii argued that in a country dominated by communal traditions the state must not destroy the collective economy by legislative fiat. He urged Russian policy-makers to support the village commune instead of destroying it and pointed to substantial evidence of the commune's economic potential. Recent studies have confirmed Kovalevskii's assertions that communal economic arrangements in the post-Emancipation Russian village were flexible enough to allow for innovation and improvement. Kovalevskii's analysis challenges us to revise our understanding of rural communal institutions and of the general dynamic of social and economic change.

Date

2005

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Thomas C. Owen

Included in

History Commons

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