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Title: A province in crisis : the Russian famine of 1891-92 in Tambov province
Author: Rock, B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 2302
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines what the response to the 1891-92 famine by the provincial authorities of Tambov province tells us about the role of the province and, more generally, about how the imperial Russian state functioned in the late nineteenth century. Contrary to the dominant historiography about Russian provinces, they were not chaotic and incapable of responding to a crisis. Under-resourced and with severe structural and strategic limitations, Tambov’s officials nevertheless performed to the best of their abilities, driven by a strong sense of moral and provincial responsibility. The tension between arbitrariness (proizvol) and legality (zakonnost’) that created a flawed and fragmented structure also provided for the flexibility that offered a partial solution. Tambov province repurposed the ad hoc structures, either created within the province or imposed by St. Petersburg, to meet its own needs as the crisis developed. Tambov province was not merely a passive actor in relation to the imperial ‘centre’, but instead innovated within certain boundaries while the relationship between provincial and uezd institutions often mirrored that of the centre and the provinces. Over five chapters this thesis explores the relationships between centre and province and province and uezds, via the two concepts of dialogue and ‘provincial identity’. A comparison between institutional decision making and the reality of the crisis on the ground shows that Tambov province was a far from passive place in which uezd and provincial officials used the relief effort to develop and articulate a strong sense of provincial identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available