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Main requirements to shire reeve’s post on a counter-reform of Alexander III


The institution of the shire reeve can be actually named one of the few unsolved problems in the history of Russia at the end of XIX - the beginning of XX centuries. The highest decree from July 12, 1889 in the provinces by the Russian Empire were introduced the judicial administrative institutions in the person of the shire reeve. The basic requirements applied to the shire reeve’s post of post-reform villages are discussed. Analysis of the staff composition of the shire reeve shows that such positions were occupied by hereditary noblemen, mostly landowners, seldom with a legal education. Although the law of 1889 provided for the termination of one of Empire universities, there were not enough people with this kind of education. In the end, this post could even get those who had unfinished education at home. As for the question of hereditary nobles’ appointment, here it is easily explained by the fact that hereditary nobility was regarded by the monarchy as a pillar of the monarchy. A mandatory condition of approval in the office of the shire reeve was political reliability. Specific examples are given in the text. The age limit for this position was 25 years, but in 1904 was lowered to 21. Thus, in the course of the reform, the level of status requirements for candidates for the post of the shire reeve was down and was generally low. It was supposed that locally there exist a sufficient number of persons possessing the qualifications for appointment to the position. But the problem was that there were not enough such people. Most saw their work as something temporary until you had something more appropriate. This work contributes greatly to detailed research of counter-reform of Alexander III.


shire reeve; requirements; age limit; hereditary nobleman; peasants

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National history

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