The status and powers of township officials on the Right Bank (the second half of the nineteenth century)


  • A. I. Kassian Bohdan Khmelnytsky national university of Cherkassy
Keywords: volost, volost government, bureaucracy, status, regionalism

Abstract

The Great Reform of 1861 radically changed the administrative divisions of the traditional Ukrainian village. True, it had to influence on the regional peculiarities of the latter which formed historically. One of the innovations was the introduction of peasant (local) self-government, which spread at the village and volost level. As this problem was already highlighted in historical scholarship, the author focused on the anthropological aspect. Because there were considerable differences between the juridically determined norms of volost government and the real state of things. As a rule, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Russian historians did not pay attention to them, in particular because the theoretical basis from which they took guidance in the second half of the 19th and in the 20th centuries did not anticipate being deep in the problems of commonness. The author tried to remedy this deficit. He focused his research on the political and legal status and powers of the volost officials in «Polish» Right bank Ukraine in the post-reform period paying attention to their real introduction.  That is the statements of the Great Reform of 1861 were the background, starting lit from which the author showed the real situation in the sphere of state government on the local level. He demonstrated that it was characteristic to preserve and even strengthen the clan system, which in turn significantly modified local traditions and minimized the effectiveness of self-government as such.  To prove the difference between the juridical statements and the real situation, the author used the methodological principles of the Ukrainian researchers Yu. Prysiazhniuk, О. Mykhailiuk, А. Zaiarniuk and others. This gave the opportunity to use in scientific research the main characteristics of the traditional peasant way of life, the patriarch agrarian society proper. So, the rule of customary law was reflected in the character of introduction of new laws. It was proven that power was often in the hands of local clans. All researchers, including Soviet ones, stress this point. Besides, the peculiarity of Right bank Ukraine was that while choosing officials for volost government in this region the national factor remained important: the role of Poles in the formation of local organs, particularly volost officials, remained significant. Together with the problems of transformation into market relations this created a mental barrier between peasants and own/non-local volost officials.

Author Biography

A. I. Kassian, Bohdan Khmelnytsky national university of Cherkassy
postgraduate

References

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Published
2016-03-14
How to Cite
Kassian, A. (2016). The status and powers of township officials on the Right Bank (the second half of the nineteenth century). Grani, 19(4), 119-123. https://doi.org/10.15421/1716088
Section
HISTORY