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Models of economic development of Central Black Earth Region estates in the late 19th – early 20th century


We examine the peculiarities of the economic activity of landlords in the late 19th and early 20th century. The origins of conservative approaches to the development of private estates are analyzed, the reasons that led some nobles to proceed to successful management are revealed. The urgency of work is determined by the importance of studying the most optimal forms of socio-economic modernization of the post-reform agricultural sector. An analysis of the published sources shows that the majority of owners turned to traditional methods of economic activity. A promising area was the transfer of land in rent. Evaluating the advantages of city life, they completely broke ties with rural life and moved to the cities. Only a small, economically active stratum of landowners, under new conditions, could create self-sufficient capitalist farms. They modernized the estates that belonged to them, introduced into the practice of administration progressive management methods, rationally using available economic resources. Analyzing the sources of rationalization of exemplary estates, we turned to the memoirs of A.A. Fet, A.N. Engelhardt, S.F. Sharapov. The success of modernization of estates, in their opinion, was associated with attention to specific aspects of the farms economy, the introduction of new production technologies, administrative activities rationalization.


landlord economy; entrepreneurship; Tambov Governorate; hired workers

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1. Dmitriev K.D. Kak vesti dokhodnoe khozyaystvo s naimen'shimi na eto zatratami: iz praktiki v raznykh mestnostyakh Rossii agr. K.D. Dmitrieva [How to Manage Profitable Farms with Minimal Expenses: from the Practice of Agronomist K.D. Dmitriev in Different Areas]. Moscow, Publ. by Landlords of Oryol and Tula Governorates, 1877, 14 p. (In Russian). 2. Dmitriev K.D. Obespechenniy dokhod s imeniem bez kapitala na vedenie khozyaystva [Secured Income of an Estate with No Fund for Managing Farms]. Moscow, Tipo-lit. D.A. Bonch-Bruevicha, 1894, 96 p. (In Russian). 3. Becker S. Mif o russkom dvoryanstve [Myth about Russian nobles]. (In Russian). Available at: (accessed 23.03.2018). 4. Anfimov A.M. Krupnoe pomeshchich'e khozyaystvo Evropeyskoy Rossii. (Konets XIX – nachalo XX veka) [Large Estates of European Russia. (The Late 19th – Early 20th Century)]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1969, 394 p. (In Russian). 5. Minarik L.P. Ekonomicheskaya kharakteristika krupneyshikh zemel'nykh sobstvennikov Rossii kontsa XIX – nachala XX v.: zemlevladenie, zemlepol'zovanie, sistema khozyaystva [Economic Characteristic of the Largest Landlords of Russia in Late 19th – Early 20th Century: Land Property, Land-Utilization, and Farms System]. Moscow, “Sovetskaya Rossiya” Publ., 1971, 142 p. (In Russian). 6. Barinova E.P. Rossiyskoe dvoryanstvo v nachale XX veka: ekonomicheskiy status i sotsiokul'turniy oblik [Russian Nobles in the Early 20th Century: Economical Status and Social and Cultural Image]. Moscow, ROSSPEN Publ., 2008, 351 p. (In Russian). 7. Rastopchin F.V. Plug i sokha: pisannoe stepnym dvoryaninom [Plough and Ard: Written by the Noble of the Steppe]. Moscow, Universitetskaya Typography, 1806, 45 p. (In Russian). 8. Kozlov S.A. Agrarnye traditsii i novatsii v doreformennoy Rossii (tsentral'no-nechernozemnye gubernii) [Agricultural Traditions and Innovations in Pre-Reform Russia (Central Non-Black Earth Governorates)]. Moscow, ROSSPEN Publ., 2002, 558 p. (In Russian). 9. Andreevskiy V.M. O moem sel'skom khozyaystve. Avtobiograficheskie vospominaniya [On my agronomy. Autobiographical memoirs]. Gosudarstvenniy arkhiv Tambovskoy oblasti [The State Archive of Tambov Region], fund 5328, list 1, file 8. (In Russian). 10. Volkonskiy S.M. Moi vospominaniya. Chast’ tret’ya. Rodina [My memoirs. Part 3. Homeland]. (In Russian). Available at: (accessed 23.03.2018). 11. Fet A.A. «Liricheskoe khozyaystvo» v epokhu reform [“Lyrical Farming” in the Reform Epoch]. (In Russian). Available at: (accessed 23.03.2018). 12. Engelgardt A.N. Pis'ma iz derevni (1872–1887 gg.) [Letters from the Countryside (1872–1887)]. (In Russian). Available at: (accessed 23.03.2018). 13. Sharapov S. Po russkim khozyaystvam: putevye pis'ma iz letney poezdki 1892 goda v gazetu «Novoe vremya», popolnennye i peresmotrennye. Khozyaystva sredney polosy [Visiting Russian Farms: Travel Letters from 1892 Summer Trip for “Novoe Vremya” Newspaper, Revised and Supplemented. Farms of the Central Part of the Country]. Moscow, A.G. Kolchugin’s Typography, 1893, 230 p. (In Russian). 14. Kulabukhov V.S. Evolyutsiya mentaliteta dvoryanstva Chernozemnogo regiona v poreformenniy period 1861–1905 gg.: avtoref. dis. … kand. ist. nauk [Evolution of the Black Earth Region Nobles’ Mentality in Post-Reform Period of 1861–1905. Cand. hist. sci. diss. abstr.]. Moscow, 1997, 22 p. (In Russian). 15. Khmel K. Formirovanie ratsional'nogo prirodopol'zovaniya v khozyaystvakh krupnykh zemlevladel'tsev Tambovskoy gubernii v kontse XIX – nachale XX v.: avtoref. dis. … kand. ist. nauk [Formation of Rational Natural Resources Management in Large Estate Farms of the Tambov Governorate in the Late 19th – Early 20th Century. Cand. hist. sci. diss. abstr.]. Tambov, 2004, 22 p. (In Russian).



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National history

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