Rural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774-1905 by Leonard FriesenRural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774-1905 by Leonard Friesen

Rural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774-1905

byLeonard Friesen

Hardcover | February 15, 2009

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Leonard Friesen presents a study of the transformation of New Russia--the region north of the Black and Azov seas--from its conquest by the Russian Empire in the late eighteenth century to the revolutionary tumult of 1905. Friesen is particularly interested in the dynamic and multifaceted relations between the region's peasants, European colonists, and Russian estate owners. He gives special attention to the settlement process whereby once free peasants were enserfed within a generation, as well as the period of servile emancipation after 1861, when the paths of the region's agriculturalists converged in unexpected ways. Overall, Friesen sees the region as vital to an understanding of the empire as a whole. He demonstrates how peasants, nobles, and estate owners were key actors in a series of rural revolutions that eventually threatened the empire itself.

This book contributes to our understanding of Imperial Russia, as well as contemporary Ukraine, by describing and analyzing rural developmental patterns over time. It explores how, when, and why agriculturalists made adjustments to long-established agrarian and social practices, and provides a fresh perspective on the link between the end of empire and the rural developments that preceded it.

Leonard Friesen is Associate Professor and founding Chair of the Global Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Title:Rural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774-1905Format:HardcoverDimensions:275 pages, 9.25 × 6.14 × 0.04 inPublished:February 15, 2009Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1932650008

ISBN - 13:9781932650006

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures

Notes on Names



1. On the Eve of Conquest

2. On Parallel Paths: Settlement and Adaptation on the New Russian Frontier

Administrative Integration and Settlement

Private Estates and the Onset of Serfdom, 1774-1861

The Settlement of Immigrants on State Lands Colonists

New Russia in the Round: The Demographics of Change

3. Land and Livelihood: Sheep Husbandry and the New Russian Frontier

Wheat and Cattle


Peasants and "Safety First" Sheep Breeding

Colonists, Estate Owners, and Fine Fleeced Sheep Breeding

The Crisis of Fine Fleeced Sheepbreeding, and Responses

4. When Paths Converged: A Revolution in Landed Relations and Land Use, 1840-1880

Land and Labour: The Background to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1861

The Crimean War and its Aftermath

Servile Responses to Late Serfdom

The Emancipation and Immediate Reaction

Life After Emancipation

5. Cities, Rails and Markets: New Russia's Transformation Beyond the Fields, 1850-1900

New Russia's Urban Revolution: Odessa and the South

Odessa and the Cities of the Coast

New Russia's Industrial Revolution: Ekaterinoslav and the Donbas

6. Weeds in the Wheat Field: Peasants and Struggle Toward Intensive Agricultural Economies in the Late Nineteenth Century

Peasant Economies at Mid-Century: "Safety First"

The Acquisition of New Implements After 1870

A Crisis Unfolds

The Turnaround in Peasant Agriculture

7. Revolting Newlyweds: The Peasant Obshchina and "Land Hunger" After 1870

Peasants, Serfs, and Turfs

Storms arise in former State Peasant villages

Former Serf Villages

Social Relations on the Eve of Revolution

8. A Fitting Conclusion? 1905 in New Russia

1905 and the New Russian countryside

Agitators Beyond the Village: Myths, Rumours, and Outsiders

Unrest from within: Rapid Social Change and Peasant Vulnerability

The Restoration of Order




Editorial Reviews

This is an important book. In a richly documented monograph, Friesen contributes to an evolving scholarly reassessment of provincial life in imperial Russia. Against the longstanding consensus of a countryside mired in stagnation, Friesen describes the economic dynamism and demographic growth of New Russia (today, southern Ukraine) in the 19th century.