Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions of 1864. Zemstvo reform

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Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions of 1864. Zemstvo reform
Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions of 1864. Zemstvo reform

Zemskaya reform of 1864 became one of the "Great reforms" of Alexander II. Its implementation was not marked by success; moreover, it was one of the most unsuccessful liberal reforms of that time. However, the importance of introducing local self-government in the Russian Empire cannot be underestimated.


Prerequisites and reasons for the introduction

"Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions" became one of several reforms that entered Russian historiography under the name "Great". This is the name of the set of measures taken during the reign of Emperor Alexander II in the sixties and seventies of the nineteenth century. In the course of large-scale liberal reforms, serfdom was abolished, military settlements were liquidated, the judiciary, the system of higher and secondary education were completely changed, economic reforms were carried out, and so on.

In any case, gradual changes required reforming the management system. Better and faster self-government was needed. Before that everythingthe provinces were subordinate to the central government, orders reached the local authorities for a very long time, often even changing. All this led to bad decisions on the ground.


History of creation and introduction of the reform

The preparation of the “Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions” began five years before the introduction of the reform. At the same time, the preparation of another document that had a significant impact on the course of Russian history was in full swing - the peasant reform of 1861, which provided for the abolition of serfdom in Russia.

The leader in the government's activities in preparing the provisions of the reform was N. A. Milyutin - a well-known statesman, secret adviser to the Tsar of the Russian Empire, a developer, including the peasant reform, the Secretary of State of Poland. He singled out all estates, free elections, self-government in some matters (according to local needs) as the main principles of the future package of laws. This was allocated even before Milyutin's resignation in 1861.

Then work on the project was continued by Milyutin's longtime opponent - P. A. Valuev, the new Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire. Pyotr Alexandrovich was forced to take into account the developments of his predecessor regarding the Zemstvo reform of 1864.

The idea of ​​the "Regulations on Zemstvo Institutions"

The main idea behind the Zemstvo reform was to give real power to those who knew the realities of a particular region of the Russian Empire much better than officials appointed by the central government. It was clear that the programs and decreeswhich the sent officials followed, could not help in the development of the region, because they were far from the real situation.


Main provisions of the 1864 reform

According to a large-scale liberal reform dating back to 1864, new government bodies were created, namely zemstvo assemblies and councils, which included the local population. Along with the zemstvo reform, the city reform was also prepared. As a result of the implementation of the reforms, a new system of local self-government was actually created.

The subjects of the department and the limits of power of zemstvo institutions included issues of he alth care, road construction, veterinary medicine, education, organization of statistical accounting, agronomy, and local economy. Zemstvo assemblies had a certain authority and independence (exclusively within their competence). These local authorities were under the leadership of the governors, so they had absolutely no political power.

The adopted electoral system ensured in the zemstvos the overwhelming majority of representatives of the nobility. Elections to local self-government were unequal and multistage, with a complex system inaccessible to all classes.

Formation of local bodies

The regulation adopted by the government provided for the creation of zemstvos in thirty-four provinces of Russia. The reform did not apply to the Orenburg, Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan provinces, Siberia, as well as to the national outskirts - the B altic States, Poland, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Kazakhstan. In 1911-1913 Zemstvos wereestablished in nine other provinces of the Russian Empire.


According to the provisions of the reform, zemstvo institutions were created in the province and district. As for the principle of election, it was observed in the following way: every three years, from fourteen to more than a hundred deputies (“vowels”) were elected. Elections were held in parts - estates. The first part consisted of peasants who owned a plot of land or other property worth fifteen thousand rubles, and whose annual income was six thousand rubles. The second part - the townspeople, the third - representatives of rural communities. Only the last category was not required to have a special property qualification.

Zemsky meetings

The order of action of zemstvo institutions was as follows: at least once a year, meetings were held at which the necessary issues were resolved. Meetings could be held more often if necessary. The order on the meeting of members of the zemstvo council was given by the governor. Assemblies, as a rule, resolved exclusively economic issues; they did not have executive power. The responsibility of the zemstvo institutions extended, as already mentioned above, to the construction of schools and hospitals, the provision of food for the people, the employment of doctors, the arrangement of a sanitary unit in the villages, care for the development of cattle breeding and poultry farming, and the maintenance of communication lines. The actions of the zemstvos in these areas were controlled by the Minister of the Interior and the governors.


Main problems of the reform

The composition of zemstvo institutions (on paper) was elective. Butin addition to the complex system of elections, which ensured the majority of seats in the zemstvos for representatives of the nobility, there were other rather significant problems of the “Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions”. The organization of the Zemstvo for representatives of all estates was not provided for, so no one thought to listen to the needs of the local population.

Besides, there was no common all-Russian institution controlling and coordinating the work of zemstvos. The government was afraid that the zemstvos, if they were connected with each other, would want even greater liberalization, which would already threaten to weaken the central, tsarist power in the Russian Empire. Thus, the Zemstvos supported the idea of ​​autocracy, but this made the new system vulnerable.

Under Alexander III, the “Regulations on provincial and district zemstvo institutions” was revised, but already in 1890 the rights of these local governments were significantly limited.


Results of Zemstvo reform implementation

Zemskaya reform organized a new institution of self-government in Russia, contributed to the development of improvement in settlements, introduced the previously completely powerless peasantry to public life. Zemstvo worker, described by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov in literary works, became the personification of the best features of the Russian intelligentsia.

But the zemstvo reform went down in history as one of the most unsuccessful of the entire reign of Alexander II. The actions of the central apparatus were extremely poorly thought out. The central government and local officials do notwanted to share power, so the zemstvos solved only a limited range of issues, which was not enough for full-fledged work. Local governments also could not discuss the decisions of the government, otherwise the situation could even lead to the dissolution of the Duma.


Despite many problems, the self-government reform gave impetus to further self-development, so its importance for the Russian Empire cannot be underestimated.

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