Land censuses in Russia

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      <br><br>Land census – a complete statistical survey of land tenure and land use at a certain point, which is an important source of study of the dynamics and structure of land tenure.<br><br>Until 1917, three land censuses were in Russia – in 1877, 1887 and 1905. In 1917, an agricultural and land census was carried out. The data of these censuses have been widely introduced into scientific circulation and have repeatedly become the subject of special studies.<br><br>The land census of 1877 was carried out by sending and collecting, through the local county police, questionnaires to the volost boards and private landowners. The county results of the census in 49 of European Russia were published in two editions, each with 8 issues: „Statistics of land property …» and „Volosts and the most important villages …». When published, the results of the census were summarized in six tables, which contain county-level information on the total amount of land with distribution by categories (private property, property of peasant communities, treasury and various institutions); on lands of private personal property with distribution according to the size of land holdings; the distribution of private personal property according to the estate of owners; detailed information about allotment lands; the number of settlements by category; the number of residential buildings in all villages together and separately.<br><br>The publication „Volosts and Major Settlements» contains information about the number of rural societies and communities, households, population and land ownership. Information on the number of communities and societies is especially valuable, since it makes it possible to analyze the ratio of these unions.<br><br>The next census was carried out in 1887. Along with general data on land tenure, materials were collected on land use in agriculture. The results of the 1887 census were published in 46 issues of Statistics of the Russian Empire (Vol. 22). The publication contains information about the distribution of land between different categories of owners; distribution by land (arable land, hayfields, forest, pastures); about the use of arable land; distribution of crops by agricultural crops. These data are of great interest in the study of farming and agricultural systems. However, for a number of reasons, the first and second census are almost incomparable. In general, the 1887 census proceeded in a less organized and much shorter time frame than the 1877 survey.<br><br>The 1905 census followed a program similar to that of the 1877 land census. Therefore, the data of the first and third census are generally comparable with each other, which is especially important when analyzing the dynamics of land tenure in the post-reform period. The 1905 census provides information on the total number and distribution of land ownership by three main groups of owners: private property, allotment land, state land, churches and institutions. The first group, in turn, is subdivided into personal private property and property of societies and partnerships, and is also distributed by estates. Allotment lands are subdivided into lands of former proprietors, state and specific peasants, as well as lands of the communal and household type of ownership. The third group includes the lands of the treasury, estates, churches, monasteries, cities, and other institutions. For private and allotment land tenure, information is provided on the distribution of land by size of plots.<br><br>The results of the third census have been published in separate issues for 50 provinces of European Russia, as well as in the general «Data Code». The publications compare the data from the 1905 census with the corresponding data from the 1877 survey.<br><br>In 1917, the All-Russian land and agricultural census was carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture in 57 provinces and regions of Russia. Among others, the census collected information on land tenure and land use. The most complete publication of 1923 contains county information with the distribution into „private farms» and „peasant-type farms» on the total area of ​​land, with the distribution into „convenient» and „inconvenient», distribution by land (arable land, hayfields, forest, pasture). Also included in the publication of information is the indicator of the number of landless peasant farms and farms that had purchased land.<br><br>Despite some shortcomings, in general, the data from all censuses are reasonably accurate, especially at the scale of large territorial units. The most accurate census results are 1877, the least – 1887.<br>

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