V. I.   Lenin

The Agrarian Question in Russia Towards the Close of the Nineteenth Century



Peasant farming is the focal point of the agrarian question today in Russia. We have shown above the conditions of peasant landownership and now we must deal with the organisation of peasant farming—not in the technical sense, hut from the standpoint of political economy.

In the forefront we encounter here the question of the peasant commune. A very extensive literature has been devoted to this question, and the Narodnik trend in Russian social thought connects the main points of its world-outlook with the national peculiarities of this “equalitarian” institution. In this respect it should be said, in the first place, that in the literature on the Russian land commune two distinct   aspects of the question are constantly interwoven and very often confused; these are the aspect relating to agricultural methods and mode of life, on the one hand, and the politico-economic aspect, on the other. In most works on the village commune (V. Orlov, Trirogov, Keussler, V. V.),[2] so much space and attention is devoted to the first aspect of the question that the second is left completely in the shade. This method of treating the subject is absolutely wrong. That agrarian relations in Russia differ from those in other countries is beyond doubt, but no two purely capitalist countries, generally recognised as such, will be found, where village life, the history of agrarian relations, the forms of ownership and use of the land, etc., do not differ to the same degree. It is by no means the aspect relating to agricultural methods nor that of village life which have made the question of the Russian land commune so important and acute and have, since the second half of the nineteenth century, divided the two main trends in Russian social thought, i. e., the Narodnik and the Marxist. Possibly local investigators have had to devote so much attention to this aspect of the question in order both to be able to make a comprehensive study of local peculiarities in the agricultural mode of life and to repel the ignorant and brazen at tempts of the bureaucracy to introduce petty-detailed regulation permeated with a police spirit. But it is quite impermissible, for an economist at any rate, to allow the study of the various forms of land redistribution, the technique of this redistribution, etc., to obscure the question of what types of economies are emerging within the commune, how these types are developing, what sort of relations are building up between those who hire workers and those who hire themselves out as labourers, between the well-to-do and the poor, between those who are improving their farms and introducing better techniques, and those who are being ruined, who are abandoning their farms, and fleeing from the village. No doubt it was awareness of this truth that induced our Zemstvo statisticians—who have contributed invaluable material for the study of the national economy of Russia—to abandon, in the eighties of last century, the official grouping of the peasantry according to commune, allotment, the number of “registered souls”[3]   or available males, and to adopt the only scientific grouping, according to economic strength of households. It should be remembered that at that time, when interest in the economic study of Russia was particularly great, even a writer like V. V., such a “party” man on this subject, heartily welcomed “the new type of local statistical publication” (the title of V. V.’s article in Severny Vestnik,[4] No. 3 for 1885) and declared: “These statistics must be adapted, not to such an agglomeration of the most varied economic groups of the peasantry as the village or the commune, but to these groups themselves.”

The fundamental feature of our commune, which lent it special importance in the eyes of the Narodniks, is equalised land tenure. We shall leave aside entirely the question of how the village commune achieves this equalisation, and address ourselves directly to the economic facts, to the results of this equalisation. As we have shown above on the basis of precise data, the distribution of the total allotment land in European Russia is by no means equalitarian. Nor is the distribution of land among the various categories of peasants, among the peasants of different villages, even among the peasants belonging ("formerly belonging”) to different landlords in the same village in the least equalitarian. Only within the small communes does the machinery of redistribution create the equalisation of these small, exclusive associations. Let us examine the Zemstvo statistics regarding the distribution of allotment land among households. In doing so, of course, we must take t.he grouping of. households not according to the size of families, not according to the number of those working, but according to the economic strength of the different households (crop area, number of draught animals, number of cows, etc.). For the entire essence of the capitalist evolution of small farming lies in the creation and intensification of inequality of property within patriarchal associations, and further in the transformation of simple inequality into capitalist relationships. Hence we should be obscuring all the peculiar features of the new economic evolution if we did not set out to make a special study of the differences in economic strength Within the peasantry.

Let us take, at first, one typical uyezd (house-to-house   investigations by Zemstvo statisticians with detailed combined tables, adapted to separate uyezds), and then state the reasons that oblige us to apply the conclusions which interest us to the peasants of the whole of Russia. The material is taken from The Development of Capitalism,, Chapter II.[1]

In Krasnoufimsk Uyezd, Perm Gubernia, where peasant landownership is entirely communal, allotment land is distributed as follows:

  Per household
Persons of both sexes Allotment land (dess.)
Cultivating no land 3.5 9.8
” up to 5 dessiatines 4.5 12.9
” 5 to 10 ” 5.4 17.4
” 10 to 20 ” 6.7 21.8
” 20 to 50 ” 7.9 28.8
” over 50 ” 8.2 44.6
Total 5.5 17.4

We see that with the improvement in the economic strength - of the household, the size of the family increases with absolute regularity. Clearly, a large. family is one of the factors in peasant well-being. That is indisputable. The only question is, to what social and economic relations does this well-being lead in the present state of the national economy. as a whole? As far as allotment land is concerned, we see unevenness in distribution, although not too considerable. The more prosperous a-peasant household is, the more allotment land it has per head. The lowest group has less than 3 dessiatines of allotment land per head of both sexes; in the next groups, nearly 3 dessiatines, 3 dessiatines, nearly 4, and 4 dessiatines respectively; and finally, in the last, the highest. group, over 5 dessiatines of allotment land per head of both sexes. Hence large families and the greatest possession of allotment land serve as the basis of the prosperity of a small minority of the peasants. For the two highest groups cover only one-tenth of the total number of households. The following table shows as percentages the   number of households, the population, and the distribution of allotment land among the different groups:

Groups of households Percentages of total
House- holds Population of both sexes Allotment land
Cultivating no land . . . . 10.2 6.5 5.7
” up to 5 dessiatines . . . . . 30.3 24.8 22.6
” from 5 to 10 dessiatines . . . . 27.0 26.7 26.0
” from 10 to 20 dessiatines . . 22.4 27.3 28.3
” from 20 to 50 dessiatines . . 9.4 13.5 15.5
” over 50 dessiatines . . . . . 0.7 1.2 1.9
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0

These figures clearly, show that there is proportion in the distribution of allotment land, and that we do take into account the result of communal equalisation. The ratios of the population and of allotment land according to groups are fairly close’ to each other. But here, too, the economic strength of the different households begins to take effect: among the lower groups the ratio of land is less than the ratio of the population, and among the higher groups it is greater. And this is not an isolated phenomenon, relating to just one uyezd, but is true for the whole of Russia. In the work mentioned above, I have combined similar data for 21 uyezds of 7 gubernias in the most varied parts of Russia. These data, which cover half a million peasant households, show the same relations in all places. Well-to-do house holds, constituting 20 per cent of the total, account for 26.1 to 30.3 per cent of the population and have 29.0 to 36.7 per cent of the allotment land. The poorest households, constituting 50 per cent -of the total, account for 36.6 to 44.7 per cent of the population and have 33.0 to 37.7 per cent of the allotment land. We have this ratio in the distribution of.the allotment land everywhere, but at the same time the trend of the village commune everywhere -is towards the peasant bourgeoisie: departures from the ratio proceed -in all cases in favour of the higher groups of the peasantry.

Hence it would be a profound mistake to think that, in studying the grouping of the peasantry according to-economic strength, we ignore the “equalising” influence of the commune. On the contrary, by means of precise data we establish the real economic significance of this equalisation. We demonstrate just how far it extends, and what the whole system of land redistribution leads to in the final analysis. Even if this system provides the best distribution of land of various qualities and various categories, it is an indisputable fact that the position of the well-to-do peas ants is superior to that of the poor peasants also in the matter of the distribution of allotment land. The distribution of other, non-allotment land, as we shall see in a moment, is immeasurably more uneven.

The importance of rented land in peasant farming is well known. The need for land gives rise to an extraordinary variety of forms of bondage relations on this basis. As we have already stated above, very often the renting of land by peasants is in effect a labour-service system of landlord farming—a feudalist way of securing hands for the squire. Thus the feudalist character of land renting by our peas ants is beyond doubt. But since we have before us-the capitalist evolution of this country, we must make a special study of the question as to how bourgeois relations manifest themselves, and whether they do manifest them selves, in peasant land renting. Here again we need data on the various economic groups of the peasantry and not on entire communes and villages. For example, in his Results of Zemstvo Statistical Investigations, Mr. Karyshev had to admit that rents in kind (i. e., rentings of land for which payment is made not in money but by métayage or by labour service) as a general rule are everywhere more costly than money rent, and very much more costly at that, sometimes twice as much; further, that rent in kind is most widespread among the poorest groups of the peasantry. The peasants who are at all well-to-do try to rent land for money. “The tenant takes advantage of every opportunity to pay his rent in money and thus reduce the cost of using other people’s land” (Karyshev, op. cit., p. 265).[5]

Hence the whole weight of the feudal features of our land- renting system falls upon the poorest peasants. The well-to-do   peasants try to escape from the medieval yoke, and they succeed in doing so only to the extent that they have sufficient money. If you have money, you can rent land for cash at the ordinary market price. If you have no money, you go into bondage and pay three times as dear for the land, either by métayage or by labour service. We have seen above how many times lower are the prices of work done-by labour service than those of work done by freely hired labourers. And if the terms of renting are different for peasants of different economic strength, it is clear that we cannot confine ourselves (as Karyshev constantly does) to grouping the peasants according to their allotment, since such a method of grouping artificially lumps together households of different economic strength, and mixes up the rural proletariat with the peasant bourgeoisie.

As an illustration, let us take the figures covering Kamyshin Uyezd, Saratov Gubernia, which consists almost entirely of communes (out of 2,455 communes in this gubernia, 2,436 hold the land in communal tenure). The following table shows the ratio between the various groups of house holds in regard to the renting of land.

Groups of householders Percent age of households Dessiatines per household
Allotment land Rented land
With no draught animals 26.4 5.4 0.3
” 1 ” animal 20.3 6.5 1.6
” 2 ” animals 14.6 8.5 3.5
” 3 ” ” 9.3 10.1 5.6
” 4 ” ” 8.3 12.5 7.4
” 5 ” ” and more 21.1 16.1 16.6
Total 100.0 9.3 5.4

The distribution of allotment land is a familiar picture: the prosperous households are better provided with land per head of the population than the poor ones. The distribution of rented land is dozens of times more uneven. The highest group has three times as much allotment land as the lowest group (16.1 as against 5.4); but in regard to rented land the highest group has fifty times as much as the lowest group (16.6 as against 0.3). Thus, renting does not even out   differences in the peasants’ economic strength, but intensifies, increases them dozens of times over. The opposite conclusion, which is repeatedly met with in the writings of the Narodnik economists (V. V., Nik.—on,[6] Maress, Karyshev, Vikhlayev and others), is due to the following error. They usually take the peasants grouped according to the size of allotment land, and show that those with small allotments rent more than those with large allotments—and there they stop. They do not mention that it is largely the well-to-do households in village communes with small allotments that rent land and that, therefore, seeming communal equalisation merely covers up the tremendous unevenness of distribution within the commune. Karyshev himself, for example, admits that “large amounts of land are rented by (a) the categories less provided with land, but (b) by the more well-to-do groups within these categories” (op. cit. p. 139). Nevertheless, he does not systematically study the distribution of rentings by groups.

In order to bring out more clearly the mistake of the Narodnik economists, let us cite the example of Mr. Maress (in his book The Influence of Harvests and Grain Prices, Vol. I, p. 34). From data covering Melitopol Uyezd he draws the conclusion that “the distribution of rented land per head is approximately equal”. How does he arrive at this? In this way: if households are grouped according to the number of male workers in them, it will be found that households with no workers rent “on the average” 1.6 dessiatines per renting household, those with one worker rent 4.4 dessiatines, those with two workers, 8.3 dessiatines, those with three workers, 14.0 dessiatines per household. But the point is that these “averages” cover households of absolutely different economic strength; that among the households having one worker, for example, there are those which rent four dessiatines, cultivate five to ten dessiatines and have two or three draught animals, and households which rent 38 dessiatines, cultivate more than 50 dessiatines arid have four and more draught animals. Consequently, the equality Mr. Maress arrives at is fictitious. As a matter of fact, in Melitopol Uyezd the richest households, constituting 20 per cent of the total, notwithstanding the fact that they are best provided with both allotment and purchased land, account for 66.3 per cent, i. e.,   two-thirds of all the rented land, leaving only 5.6 per cent as the share of the poorest households which constitute one half of the total.

To proceed. If we see, on the one hand, households with no horses, or with only one horse, renting one dessiatine, or even part of a dessiatine, and, on the other hand, households with four or more horses, renting from 7 to 16 dessiatines, it is clear that here quantity is turning into quality. In the first case renting is the result of poverty, and amounts to bond age. The “tenant” placed in such conditions cannot but be come an object of exploitation by means of labour service, winter hiring,[7] money loans, etc. On the other hand, the household that has from 12 to 16 dessiatines of allotment land and ,over and above this, rents from 7 to 16 dessiatines, obviously does so not because it is poor, but because it is well off, not to subsist but to get rich, to “make money”. We have here a clear example of the conversion of land renting into capitalist farming, of the rise of capitalist enterprise in agriculture. Such households, as we shall see further on, do not get along without hiring agricultural labourers.

The question now arises: to what extent is this obvious entrepreneur renting of land a general phenomenon? Be low we shall quote data which show that the growth of entrepreneur farming varies in different districts of commercial farming. For the moment let us quote a few more examples and draw our general conclusions regarding the renting of land.

In Dnieper Uyezd, Taurida Gubernia, households cultivating 25 dessiatines and over comprise 18.2 per cent of the total number. These have from 16 to 17 dessiatines of allotment land and rent from 17 to 44 dessiatines per household. In Novouzensk Uyezd, Samara Gubernia, households having five draught animals and more represent 24.7 per cent of the total. They cultivate averages of 25, 53, and 149 dessiatines, and rent respectively 14, 54, and 304 dessiatines of non-allotment land per household (the first figure refers to the group with from 5 to 10 draught animals, representing 17.1 per cent of the households; the second to the group with from 10 to 20 draught animals, representing 5.8 per cent of the house holds; the third to the group with 20 and more draught animals, representing 1.8 per cent of the households). These households rent averages of 12, 29, and 67 dessiatines respectively   of allotment land from other communities, and 9, 21, and 74 dessiatines in their own communities˜ In Krasnoufimsk Uyezd, Perm Gubernia, 10.1 per cent of the total households cultivate 20 and more dessiatines per household. These have 28 to 44 dessiatines of allotment land per house hold and rent 14 to 40 dessiatines of arable land and 118 to 261 dessiatines of grassland. In two uyezds in Orel Gubernia (Yelets and Trubchevsk), households with four horses and more comprise 7.2 per cent of the total. They have 15.2 dessiatines per household of allotment land, and by purchasing and renting land they bring up the amount of land they use to 28.4 dessiatines. In Zadonsk Uyezd, Voronezh Gubernia, the corresponding figures are: 3.2 per cent of the households averaging 17.1 dessiatines of allotment land, and 33.2 dessiatines as the total area in use per household. In three uyezds in Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia (Knyaginin, Makaryev and Vasil), 9.5 per cent of the households possess three horses and more. These households average from 13 to 16 dessiatines of allotment land but farm a total of 21 to 34 dessiatines.

From this it is evident that entrepreneur renting of land among the peasantry is no isolated or casual phenomenon, but is general and universal. Everywhere there emerge in the village communes well-to-do households, which always constitute an insignificant minority and always organise capitalist farming with the aid of entrepreneur renting of land. For this reason general phrases about subsistence and capitalist renting can do nothing to clear up questions relating to our peasant farming; a study must be made of the concrete facts regarding the development of feudal features in the renting of land, and regarding the formation of capitalist relations within this very renting of land.

We quoted figures above showing what ratios of the population and of allotment land are accounted for by the most well-to-do peasant households, comprising 20 per cent of the total. Now we may add that these concentrate in their hands from 50.8 to 83.7 per cent of all the land rented by the peasantry, leaving to the poorest groups, comprising 50 per cent of all households, from 5 to 16 per cent of the total rent ed land. The conclusion to be drawn from this is clear: if we are asked what kind of renting preponderates in Russia, subsistence or entrepreneur renting, renting through poverty   or renting by well-to-do peasants, feudal renting (based on labour service and bondage) or bourgeois renting, there can be only one answer. Among the households which rent land, undoubtedly the majority do so because of poverty. For the overwhelming majority of the peasants renting means bondage. If we take the quantity of land rented, undoubtedly not less than half of it is in the hands of well-to-do peasants, the rural bourgeoisie, who are organising agriculture on capitalist lines.

Usually statistics of the prices of rented land are only given in “averages”, covering the total number of tenants and the total amount of land. The extent to which these averages camouflage the extreme poverty and oppression of the peasantry can be seen from the Zemstvo statistics for Dnieper Uyezd, Taurida Gubernia, which, by a lucky exception, show the rental prices paid by the various groups of peasants, viz.:

  Percentage of house holds renting land Arable in dess. per renting household Price per dess. in rubles
Cultivating up to 5 dessiatines . . . . . 25 2.4 15.25
“ from 5 to 10 dessiatines . . . . 42 3.9 12.00
“ from 10 to 25 dessiatines . . 69 8.5 4.75
“ from 25 to 50 dessiatines . . 88 20.0 3.75
“ over 50 dessiatines . . . . . 91 48.6 3.55
Total . . . . . . . . . 56.2 12.4 4.23

Thus, the “average” rental price of 4 rubles 23 kopeks per dessiatine is an outright distortion of the real situation; it obscures the contradictions which are the very crux of the matter. The poor peasants are compelled to rent land at a ruinous price, more than three times the average. The rich buy up land “wholesale” at advantageous prices, and, of course, as occasion offers, lease it to their needy neighbour at a profit of 275 per cent. There is renting and renting. There is feudal bondage, there is Irish renting, and there is trading in land, capitalist farming.

The phenomenon of peasants leasing their allotment land reveals still more strikingly the capitalist relations with in the village commune, the pauperisation of the poor and the enrichment of a minority at the expense of this peasant mass which is being reduced to ruin. The renting and letting of land are phenomena in no way connected with the village commune and communal equalisation. Of what significance in real life will this equalised distribution of allotment land be, if the poor are forced to let to the rich the land allotted to them on the basis of equalisation? And what more striking refutation of “communalist” views can one imagine than this fact, that real life circumvents the official, the register-established equalisation of allotments? The impotence of any kind of equalisation in face of developing capitalism is clearly demonstrated by the fact of the poor letting their allotments and of the rich concentrating rented land in their hands.

How prevalent is this practice of letting allotment land? According to the now obsolete Zemstvo statistical investigations made in the eighties of the last century, to which we have perforce to con fine ourselves for the time being, the number of households letting their land and the percentage of allotment land thus let appear to be small. For example, in Dnieper Uyezd, Taurida Gubernia, 25.7 per cent of the house holders let their allotment land, the amount of allotment land let representing 14.9 per cent of the total. In Novouzensk Uyezd, Samara Gubernia, 12 per cent of the households let their land. In Kamyshin Uyezd, Saratov Gubernia, the amount of land let represents 16 per cent of the total. In Krasnoufimsk Uyezd, Perm Gubernia, allotment arable land is let by 8,500 householders out of a total of 23,500, m. e., more than one-third. The allotment land let amounts to 50,500 dessiatines out of a total of 410,000 dessiatines, i.e., about 12 per cent. In Zadonsk Uyezd, Voronezh Gubernia, 6,500 dessiatines of allotment land out of a total of 135,500 dessiatines are let, i. e., less than 5 per cent. In three uyezds of Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia, 19,000 out of a total of 433,000 dessiatines are let, i, e., also less than 5 per cent. But all these figures only seem insignificant because such percentages tacitly assume that the householders in all groups let their land more or less evenly. But such an assumption is quite   contrary to the facts. What is more important than the absolute figures of renting and letting, than the average percent ages of the amount of land let or of the householders letting their land, is the fact that it is the poor peasants who mostly let their land, and that the largest amount of land is rented by the well-to-do peasants. The data of the Zemstvo statistical investigations leave no doubt whatever on this score. The most well-to-do households, comprising 20 per cent of the total, account for from 0.3 to 12.5 per cent of the total land let. On the other hand, the poor groups, comprising 50 per cent of the total households, let from 63.3 per cent to 98.0 per cent of the total land let. And, of course, it is the selfsame well-to-do peasants who rent the land let by the poor peasants. Here again it is clear that the significance of land-letting varies in the different groups of peasants: the poor peasant lets his land out of poverty, as he is unable to cultivate his land˜, having no seed, no cattle, no implements, and being desperately hard up for money. The rich peasants let little land: they either exchange one plot of land for another more suitable for their farm, or directly trade in land.

The following are concrete figures for Dnieper Uyezd, Taurida Gubernia:

  Percentages of
householders letting allotment land allotment land let
Cultivating no land . . . . . . 80 97.1
“ up to 5 dessiatines . . 30 38.4
“ 5 to 1O ” . . 23 17.2
” 10 to 25 ” .. 16 8.1
” 25 to 50 ” .. 7 2.9
” over 50 ” .. 7 13.8
In the uyezd 25.7 14.9

Is it not clear from these figures that the abandonment of the land and proletarisation on a huge scale are combined here with trading in land by a handful of rich people? Is it not characteristic that the percentage of allotment land let rises precisely among those big cultivators who have an average of 17 dessiatines of allotment land per household, 30 dessiatines of purchased land and 44 dessiatines of rented land? All in all, the entire poor group in Dnieper Uyezd, i. e., 40 per cent of the total number of households, having 56,000   dessiatines of allotment land, rents 8,000 and lets 21,500 dessiatines. The well-to-do group, on the other hand, which represents 18.4 per cent of the households, and has 62,000 dessiatines of allotment land, lets 3,000 dessiatines of allotment land and rents 82,000 dessiatines. In three uyezds in Taurida Gubernia, this well-to-do group rents 150,000 dessiatines of allotment land, i. e., three-fifths of the total allotment land let.! In Novouzensk Uyezd, Samara Gubernia, house holds possessing no horse (47 per cent of all households) and those having one horse (13 per cent of the total) let allotment land, while owners of tell and more draught animals, i. e., only 7.6 per cent of all households, rent 20, 30, 60 and 70 dessiatines of allotment land.

In regard to purchased land, almost the same thing has to he said as in regard to rented land. The difference is that in the renting of land there are feudal features, that in certain circumstances renting is on the basis of labour service and of bondage, i. e., it is a method of binding impoverished neighbouring peasants to the landed estate as farm-hands. Whereas the purchase of land as private property by peasants who have allotment land represents a purely bourgeois phenomenon. In the West, farm-hands and day-labourers are sometimes tied to the land by selling them small plots. In Russia, a similar operation was officially carried out long ago in the shape of the “Great Reform” of 1861, and at the present time the purchase of land by peasants solely expresses the crystallisation out of the village commune of members of the rural bourgeoisie. The way in which the purchase of land by peasants developed after 1861 has been dealt with above in our examination of the statistics of landownership. Here, however, we must point out the enormous concentration of purchased land in the hands of a minority. The well-to-do households, constituting 20 per cent of the total, have concentrated in their hands from 59.7 to 99 per cent of land purchased. The poorest households, 50 per cent of the total, possess from 0.4 to 15.4 per cent of all the land purchased by peasants. We can safely say, therefore, that out of the 7,500,000 dessiatines of land which have be come the private property of peasants in the period from 1877 to 1905 (see above), from two-thirds to three-fourths are in the hands of an insignificant minority of well-to-do   households. The same applies, of course, to the purchase of land by peasant societies and associations. In 1877, peasant societies owned 765,000 dessiatines of purchased land and in 1905 the figure was 3,700,000 dessiatines, while peasant associations in 1905 were the private owners of 7,600,000 dessiatines. It would be a mistake to think that land purchased or rented by societies is distributed differently from that purchased or rented individually. The facts prove the contrary. For example in the three mainland uyezds of Taurida Gubernia, statistics collected on the distribution of land rented from the state by peasant societies showed that 76 per cent of the rent ed land was in the hands of the well-to-do group (about 20 per cent of the households), while the poorest households, constituting 40 per cent of the total, had only 4 per cent of the total rented land. The peasants divide rented or purchased land only according to “money put down”.


[1] See present edition, Vol. 3, pp. 70-187.—Ed.

[2] Lenin refers to the following books:

1) V. Orlov, Forms of Peasant Landownership In Moscow Gubernia, Moscow, published by Moscow Gubernia Zemstvo, 1879 (Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Vol. 4, Issue I);

2) V. Trirogov, The Village Commune and the Poll-Tax (Collected Investigations), St. Petersburg, 1882;

3) Johannes Keussler, Zur Geschichte und Kritik des bäuerlichen Gemeindebesitzes in Russland, Teil 1-3, 1876-87;

4) V. V., The Peasant Commune (cf. Results of Economic Investigation of Russia According to Zemstvo Statistical Data, Vol. I, Moscow, 1892).

V. V.—pseudonym of V. P. Vorontsov, an ideologue of liberal Narodism of the eighties and nineties of the nineteenth century.

[3] Registered souls—the male population of feudal Russia who were subject to the poll-tax (chiefly peasants and urban petty bourgeois), for which purpose special censuses ("registrations”) were held beg inning from 1718. The last, tenth, “registration” was made in 1857-59. Redistribution of the land within the village communes took place in a number of districts on the basis of these registration lists.

[4] Severny Vestnik (Northern Herald)—a literary, scientific, and political journal of a liberal trend, published in St. Petersburg from 1885 to 1898. In its early years the journal published articles by the Narodniks N. K. Mikhailovsky, S. N. Yuzhakov, V. P. Vorontsov, S. N. Krivenko, and others. From 1891 the journal virtually became the organ of the Russian symbolists and decadents and preached idealism and mysticism.

[5] This refers to N. Karyshev’s book Peasant Rentings of Non-Allotment Land (cf. Results of the Economic Investigation of Russia According to Zemstvo Statistical Data, Vol. II, Dorpat, 1892).

[6] Nik.—on—pseudonym of N. F. Danielson, an ideologue of liberal Narodism of the eighties and nineties of the nineteenth century.

[7] Winter hiring—the hiring of peasants for summer work by landlords and kulaks in the winter, when the peasants were badly in need of money and forced to accept extortionate terms.

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