The Russian Post-Emancipation Household
Two Villages in the Moscow Area
By Herdis Kolle
Master thesis in history
Department of History
University of Bergen
2. The Russian Village
6. The Peasant Family
7. Farmers and Craftsmen
Historical research on the Russian peasant family has yielded works that mainly concentrate on the period before the abolition of serfdom. In these studies the prevalence of large, multiple households in the Russian population is largely connected to serfdom as an economic and social system. Both landlords and the Russian state preferred the peasant households to be large, because such households were believed to be more economically viable. The multiple family household is further connected to a patriarchal and traditionalist social structure in the peasant village, in which the household formation rules aimed to preserve household authority within male kinship lines. Family historical research on Western Europe is based on the analysis of individual villages and parishes. In the research on the Russian household this approach on the microlevel is very rare. Even so, several scholars underline the variation in household structures within the Russian Empire. The largest difference is supposed to have been between the agricultural area in the black earth belt and the central industrial region.
The task of this study is to explore the household and family patterns among Russian peasants in the period following the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. I have chosen to do this by analysing population censuses from 1869 and 1886 for two villages located in the Moscow area, Drαkino and Spαs-Korkσdino.2
The post-emancipation period is a neglected field in the research of household structures among Russian peasants. The microlevel approach in this study can give more accurate and detailed knowledge on the development of household structures in this period. A study of the Moscow area may illuminate much of the supposed variety in household structures among Russian peasants. The particular socioeconomic features of post-emancipation Moskσvskaia gubιrniia show considerable duality. The peasant population was occupied with traditional farming in a three-field system but simultaneously they were very much involved in a rapidly growing industry. A study of this guberniia can illustrate the supposed difference in household structures between agricultural and industrial areas within the Russian Empire.
The main focus of this study is to examine the effects of the extensive changes in Russian post-emancipation society on the peasant household. The abolition of serfdom was the first of several political reforms in this period supposed to change the conditions among the peasants. The emancipation statutes of 1861 and the following decrees of 1863 and 1866, changed the economic and social status of the majority of the Russian population. From 1861 the serfs were no longer subject to the demands of landlords while crown and state peasants were freed in 1863 and 1866 respectively. The abolition of serfdom removed one main explanation for the specific household structures among Russian peasants. Maybe the household organization changed when the peasant population no longer was subject to the landlords will. The emancipation legislation created one peasant estate, but there are indications that the differences between the various peasant groups continued also in the last decades of the nineteenth century. In the period before emancipation the peasants of Drakino were state peasants while the peasants of Spas-Korkodino were serfs. The difference in social and economic status before emancipation could have influenced the household structures in the two villages, possibly continuing in the investigated period.
The multiple family household has also been connected to the social structure within the Russian peasant village, which was ruled by tradition and patriarchialism. The extensive changes in Russian post-emancipation society may have altered this social structure and by that the peasant household. These changes consisted of such factors as urbanization and industrialization. Nineteenth century Russia was marked by rapid population growth, especially in the central industrial region, and Moscows population nearly quadrupled in the period 1811 to 1914.p. 105. A special feature of this urbanization was the interaction of town and countryside. In the post-emancipation period the peasants living in the villages surrounding Moscow were increasingly moving to the city to find work as artisans, in trade, in domestic service, or in factories. Nineteenth century observers attached great significance to the movement of families into industrial centres. The narodniki saw in it the disintegration of a traditional way of life and the undermining of inherited values and authority. Advocates of capitalist development believed that a hereditary class of skilled workers would be a cornerstone of future industrial development. The revolutionary Marxists expected such workers to become the vanguard of future struggle. To what extent were the population of the two investigated villages involved in this urbanization process, and how did this seasonal migration affect the traditional family patterns and household structures among the peasants in the villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino?
During the post-emancipation period the Russian factory industry developed not only in the large cities but also in smaller towns and in villages. Further, in some industrial branches the production chiefly took place in the peasant homes. The peasants of the central industrial region increasingly depended on income from industry, which was often organized in a decentralized putting-out system. The industrial activity in the peasant izba changed the household economy and the way in which the members contributed to and received benefits from the household. This may have altered the family patterns and household organization among the peasants involved in this proto-industrial activity. In which ways were the peasant households of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino affected by the industrialization of late nineteenth century Russia?
To answer these questions, it will be important to focus on the diversity in household structures among the peasants in the investigated villages. In the literature on Russian peasants the archetype of the large, multiple family household overshadow questions on the development cycle of the Russian peasant household. However, the household was constantly changing as the individual members migrated, married, gave birth or died. This affected the composition of the household, which could display a variety of household structures from its appearance until it stopped existing. The analysis of the post-emancipation household structures in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino will therefore to a large extent focus on the typical development cycle of the households in the villages. It will also be important to define the cultural, demographic and economic rules and mechanisms underlaying this development cycle.
2. THE RUSSIAN VILLAGE
In the post-emancipation period the overwhelming majority of the Russian population still lived in the countryside. Despite regional differences the Russian villages displayed several common features and were subject to similar obligations in form of taxes and redemption payments. Also, they were subject to the administrative institutions that have produced the sources for this and other studies of Russian peasant society and culture. However, Drakino and Spas-Korkodino had also their special features that need attention before we can turn to the analysis of the family patterns and household structures in the two villages.
In the nineteenth century the villages of Russia were generally located at the edge of a lake or a river. The most common layout of a Russian village was of a linear type. The houses were set in one or more lines along the bank of a lake, a river, or along a road. As the population of the village increased, new structures were added on lines running parallel or perpendicular to the original line. The buildings were almost all built of weathered, unpainted logs, while the narrow unpaved streets were often rivers of mud in spring, summer, and autumn.
A Russian peasant family normally lived in its own dwelling on a farmstead. The farmstead was usually rectangular with the living quarters of the family near the street. Besides family living quarters, a farmstead would ordinarily include a barn, a hashed, a kitchen garden, and a bania (steam bathhouse). The Northern and Central Russian farmstead had also an ovin for drying sheaves before treshing, a riga (treshing barn) and a gumno (treshing floor). In Central Russia the peasant izba tended to be relatively large, as timber was plentiful. The allocation of space in the izba was strictly traditional. The pech' (oven) occupied one fourth to one fifth of the space in the room. It had several functions: Not only did it heat the house and cook the food, it was also used for washing, for drying clothes and agricultural products, and for sleeping in the winter. The placing of the pech' decided the allocation of the other elements in the room. The krasnyi ugol (icon corner) was always on a diagonal line from the pech'. The chulan was considered the women's side of the house and was sometimes separated from the rest of the house by a curtain or wooden partition. A long cupboard was built along the left side of the pech'. Under the cupboard a stairway led down to the cellar. Along the walls there were benches and in the rear of the house a sleeping loft, or polati, was allocated. Between the icon corner and the sleeping loft the Russian peasants usually placed a loom and a spinning wheel.
The Village in the Administrative System of Nineteenth Century Russia
In most of the Central Russian peasant villages there were three basic social institutions, the household, the Orthodoxy, and the peasant commune. The household was the immediate social environment of the peasants and it was the main productive and reproductive unit in the peasant society. Observers and authors in Russian educated society persistently referred to the peasants as essentially religious. Simultaneously their religion was influenced by popular and pagan believes, often with a very prominent magic inclination.
The peasant commune executed administrative tasks in the local community and it was an actor in the larger administrative system of nineteenth century Russia. Several peasant communes formed a volost'. The volost' was established as a part of the administrative system in the 1860s, and provided for a measure of self-government under which the elder (volostnoi starshina) was elected by male household heads. A court of elected peasant magistrates operated in each volost' with the right to hear, according to local custom, cases involving civil and petty criminal offences. It also held police and fiscal functions. The volost' and communal authorities were tightly controlled by the state administration. Above the volost' level in the administrative hierarchy were the uezd and the guberniia. Nineteenth century European Russia was divided into fifty main subdivisions of guberniias, each supervised by a governor. The powers of a governor were extensive. In every guberniia there was a separate office of the Ministry of Finance, of the Department of State Control and the Ministry of War. The governor's office had its own departments concerned with factory and industrial affairs, peasant affairs, municipal affairs, and so on. Each guberniia was in turn divided into uezds, run by a coalition of ranking officials taking orders from the governor's office. In 1864 the zemstvo was introduced on guberniia and uezd level. The zemstvo functioned as an organ of local self-government that was entrusted with the management of affairs relating to "the local economic welfare and needs of each guberniia and each uezd". The zemstvo stood above the volost' in the administrative hierarchy and was to serve as a crucial link between state and society. It executed a broad range of local administrative tasks, like taking measures for securing food supplies, management of philanthropic and other forms of public welfare, looking after the development of trade and industry, participation in the management of public education, public health, and prisons, and conducting local taxation.
The two Russian villages investigated here, Drakino and Spas-Korkodino, were both in Moskovskaia guberniia. In the far south, in Serpukhovskii uezd, Drakino was located at the bank of the river Oka, and Spas- Korkodino was situated in the northern Klinskii uezd.7
Moskovskaia guberniia was, like Kaluzhskaia, Tverskaia, Kostromskaia, Iaroslavskia, Nizhe- Novgorodskaia and Vladimirskaia guberniia, belonging to the so- called central industrial region. Already at the beginning of the nineteenth century, regional specialization evolved to a considerable extent in Russia. Because of population increase and acquisition of new territories internal trade grew and a territorial division of labour was developed between the central industrial region and the mainly agricultural areas in Southern Russia's black earth belt. These differences grew as the pace of the economic activity accelerated from the 1830s. This was marked by an increase in internal and external trade. The economic development resulted in increased differences between the food- deficient areas of the industrial centre and the Baltic regions in the north, and the food- surplus regions of the black earth and southern regions. The emancipation intensified the differences between north and south. Former serfowners wished to be compensated for the losses of peasant labour (barshchina) in the black earth belt and quitrent (obrok) in the central industrial region. Accordingly, peasant redemption payments were set over land values in both areas, but with greater consequences in the north due to the general unproductivity of the soil in this area.
The southern village Drakino was located relatively close to roads, the railway, and other travelling routes, and the uezd centre Serpukhov was only 13 verst away. The Russian villages varied in size from a few households in the far north to 400 or more households in the south. Drakino was a large village. In 1869 1153 people were living in Drakino, 555 men and 598 women, distributed on 154 households. By 1886 the population had increased to 1331, 644 men and 687 women, while the number of households was 194. Accordingly, in the period 1869 to 1886 the population growth was 15,4 percent.
There was no church in Drakino, but the parish church was only 0,5 verst away. Drakino did not have any school in 1869, and of the 227 children aged five to fourteen years, only four went to school. On the other hand, as much as 55 percent of these children were working, mainly in the textile industry. However, according to zemstvo data a school was established by 1883. Drakino had an extraordinary large population compared to other villages in Moskovskaia guberniia, and the village had a relatively complicated occupational structure with people working in agriculture, industry, trade and work connected to the local economy. There were for instance several inns or eating- houses. Agriculture was most likely the base of the economy in Drakino. The peasants of Drakino were former gosudarstvennie (state peasants). Like serfs, state peasants paid a soul tax to the state and were subject to military recruitment. They were not, however, under the authority of individual landowners. Instead they had independent economies and paid quitrent directly to the state. The state peasants were emancipated in 1866. The agriculture was based on the peasant commune (obchshina), with periodical redistribution of the land between the households. Even so, different forms of industry seem to have been extremely important in the economy of the village. In almost every household, one or several persons were occupied in some form of industry, mainly as weavers in the textile industry, at home or in migrant work.
Spas-Korkodino was located in the north of Moskovskaia guberniia, 15 verst from the uezd centre Klin. Spas- Korkodino was somewhat smaller than Drakino, but compared to the average village in Moskovskaia guberniia, also this village was large. In 1869 495 people were living in the village, 255 women, and 240 men. The number of households was 77. The population had by 1886 grown to 566 people, 286 women and 280 men, distributed on 65 households. Accordingly, the population growth was 14,3 percent in this period.
Spas- Korkodino was the church centre for the surrounding villages. In 1869 the village school was connected to the church, and the local sviashchennik (priest in the Orthodox church) was teaching. The clerical school was the oldest type of school in Russia. The pupils learned to read religious books and were expected to participate in the service. The clerical school was not compulsory. By the middle of the nineteenth century few of these schools still existed.Zemstvo in Russia; An Experiment in Local Self-Government. (Cambridge, 1982), p. 246. Later this school was replaced by a zemstvo school, a development representative for the general one in Russia's primary schooling. Agriculture was definitively the most important occupation in Spas- Korkodino. Of the working population aged fifteen to sixty years, 66,2 percent were said to have no other work than agriculture in 1869. Industry was evidently much less important in the economy of this village but the people who were working in industry almost all worked as weavers of calico. Other occupations employed only small numbers of people. The peasants of Spas- Korkodino were in 1883 said to be sobstvenniki. According to the emancipation statutes, peasants continued to owe their former owners feudal obligations for at least two years, after which time they remained vremennoobiazannie (temporarily obligated) until they and their landlord agreed to a date when the peasants would begin making redemption payments on their allotments. Those peasants who were still temporarily obligated by 1881 were automatically transferred to redemption status. The peasants of Spas- Korkodino were thus former serfs who paid redemption. By 1883 only six of the households had finished paying for their allotments. In this village as well, the peasant commune organized the agricultural activity.
Accordingly, in both villages the population cultivated their land according to the principles of the peasant commune with periodical redistribution of land. Even so, the importance of agriculture in the economy of these villages differed considerably. The former serfs of Spas-Korkodino were mostly occupied in agriculture. The former state peasants of Drakino, on the other hand, were very much involved in the Russian textile industry that was rapidly evolving in the last decades of the nineteenth century.
Figure 2.1. : Map showing the location of the villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino.
This study concentrates on three different aspects of Russian rural community in the post-emancipation period, demographic circumstances, the peasant household, and socioeconomic developments. During the last decades these aspects of Russian history have become the subject of study for an increasing number of Western as well as Soviet and Russian scholars. Their studies range from theories on peasant economic behaviour to women and children's conditions in the Russian peasant community.
When describing the demographic circumstances in rural Russia scholars have mostly concentrated on the marriage patterns of the Russian peasants. The Russian peasant's marriage pattern has been defined as opposed to the marriage pattern that prevailed in Western Europe in pre-industrial times. The "European marriage pattern" was characterized by high mean age at first marriage and an extensive proportion of the population never marrying. This marriage pattern is supposed to have been dominant in the area west of a line going from St.Petersburg in the north to Trieste in the south. Accordingly, east of this imaginative line another marriage pattern was prevailing, characterized by low mean age at first marriage both for men and women, and practically universal marriage. Studies on the microlevel discussing this aspect of Russian peasant behaviour seem to confirm the prevalence of this marriage pattern.
In connection to the marriage pattern scholars also have focused on fertility and illegitimate births. The Russian population in the post-emancipation period displayed high fertility rates compared to Western Europe, but the number of illegitimate births in this period was much lower. Several scholars also discuss the extremely high mortality rate in the Russian peasant population in this period, especially among infants. By combining the characteristics of the marriage pattern, the fertility and mortality pattern, one can analyse how these demographic circumstances influenced each other. Moreover, the demographic factors would probably contribute to an explanation of the specific household organization among the Russian peasants.
Household and Family
Household and family structures in Russia have mainly been analysed on the macrolevel, and mainly by Western scholars. There exists only a few studies of individual villages or estates, in which the scholar uses well-established methodological tools, like those developed by The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structures in England, and by the Annales school in France. Especially the English scholars have used the microperspective based on historical demographic methods in the study of household structures in pre-industrial times. By analysing population censuses Peter Laslett and his colleagues claimed that the conjugal or nuclear family predominated in pre-industrial Europe. While generally true for England, further research has showed that the patterns of household composition varied extensively according to the household development cycle, and according to geographical location.
The best-known studies of Russian household structures using the microlevel approach, are probably the various investigations of the Gagarin estates. Peter Czap's studies of household structures at Mishino in Riazanskaia guberniia, Steven Hoch's study of social relations in Petrovskoe in Tambovskaia guberniia, and Rodney Bohac's study of Manuilovskoe in Tverskaia guberniia, all derive their results from household listings conducted almost annually at the Gagarin estates. They further used tax revision lists (revizkie skazki) in the reconstruction and analysis of the household structures. The purpose of the tax revisions was naturally to get an overview of the taxable population. Thus, they only list the grown male population, leaving out women and children. The total population therefore has to be estimated according to the number of grown males. The last tax revision was conducted in 1858. Accordingly, these scholars have to a considerable extent concentrated on the pre-emancipation period, the serfs, and the influence of serfdom on the household structures in the Russian countryside. The prevalence of multiple family household structures found in these studies, were attributed to serfdom and to a traditionalist and patriarchal social structure among the Russian peasants.
For the post-emancipation period there exists a rather extensive literature on features characterizing the Russian peasant village, but scholars almost exclusively concentrate on the broad developments in the post-emancipation village, and not specifically on household structures. One of the first Western scholars who described the Russian peasant society was Geroid T. Robinson. Concentrating on the peasant society, and on the interaction of the peasants, landlords, and the state institutions, Robinson provides an overview of rural Russia's development from the establishment of serfdom to the revolution in 1917. More recently, developments in social and economic history have yielded works on the village itself and on institutions of cultural exchange between educated society and the peasants. Cathy A. Frierson's recent study of educated society's various images of the peasantry in the post-emancipation period, is an important demonstration of the ideas that influenced statisticians, ethnographers, and economists in their research on the Russian peasant village. Moreover, these ideas also influence the filters through which we examine the rural culture of late Imperial Russia a century later. Other scholars have concentrated on such topics as the zemstvo administration, the village community, the peasant commune, customary law, women's position in the household and village, changes in the patriarchal family relations and the traditionalist and patriarchal social structure. These scholars have generally stressed the continuity in household organization before and after emancipation among Russian peasants, but they claim that increased frequency of household divisions led to a reduction of mean household size in the post-emancipation period.
Many of these scholars have used the zemstvo statistical collections in the analysis and description of household structures among Russian peasants in the post-emancipation period. Because of the high aggregate level of these collections, they do not give any detailed information on household structure, development cycle, or life cycle. There appears to be a general opinion among scholars, that the zemstvo material is only suitable for studying the Russian village on the macrolevel:
"Zemstvo household censuses, because of their aggregate nature, offer little help for the study of the composition of post-emancipation Russian peasant households. They provide the family historian with only mean household sizes for thousands of peasant villages, which can then be used comparatively with the data provided by the 1897 first national census. Zemstvo statisticians were most interested in the economic rhythms of Russian peasant society and the reasons behind increasing peasant indebtedness, pauperization, and landlessness. Although they cited household divisions as a major cause of worsening economic conditions in the countryside, they did not focus their attention upon changes in household structures. Rather they emphasized the labour strength of households as a measure of their economic performance."
Even if this is generally true, it is only true as far as the zemstvo statistical collections are concerned. There are however, a rich primary zemstvo material in Russian state archives that is absolutely suitable for household studies on the microlevel, and the for use of historical demographic methods. These data are regular censuses listing all household members by name. The material gives information on age, occupation, marital status, position in the household, and relationship to the household head, besides some economic data. Because neither Western nor Russian historians have used this material for household studies, and because it might be rather differentiated, it is necessary to give an overview of these data. They seem, however, to be an extensive, unexploited source for the study of household structures among Russian peasants in the post-emancipation period. These data make it possible to investigate the household size, household structure, and household development cycle in detail, and it is also possible to define the decisive factors leading to change in the peasant households.
The socioeconomic conditions among Russian peasants in the post-emancipation period are one of the most investigated aspects of the Russian village community, both among Western and Russian scholars. Building largely on Marxist theory Soviet scholars first treated market relations as the key determinant of rural social structure. With the increasing penetration of the market economy, relatively homogeneous rural communities gradually broke down into antagonistic social classes. Accumulation of land and other means of production in the hands of new enterprising peasants supported the emergence of a village bourgeoisie, simultaneously, the rural masses underwent increasing pauperization, and had to sell their labour to survive. Since the early 1960s questions of rural social structure and economic development in the post-emancipation Russian village have been debated continuously by Soviet scholars, concentrating on the role of capitalism in the socioeconomic development of the village, and on improving the methodology and theoretical base. Recently, in the study of Russian rural socioeconomic development many Russian scholars have applied methods first developed by the narodniki at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.
Among Western scholars Teodor Shanin in particular, has concentrated on the Russian peasant as an economic actor in the post-emancipation period. In The Awkward Class Shanin's idea of "multidirectional mobility" draws heavily on the teachings of the agricultural economist Alexander V. Chayanov, who identified the peasant household as the fundamental unit of the national economy and was one of the first to elaborate the full model of subsistence agriculture and the peasant as a rational economic actor. Chayanov's conclusion was that the peasant was not a natural capitalist and that his household economy could serve as the basis for a national economy through the establishment of agricultural cooperatives. Besides arguing that the peasant was not motivated primarily by market considerations, Chayanov also questioned the Marxist criteria for rural stratification. Lenin had viewed differences in farm size as evidence of incipient social divisions, but for Chayanov, variations in farm size and sown acreage reflected merely the place of a given household in the household development cycle.A. V. Chayanov on the Theory of Peasant Economy. (Manchester, 1986). The sharply opposed ideological content of these theories, and their radically different visions of the fate of the peasantry, may have lead to an excessive focus on theory, often with little appeal to the evidence.
Many scholars describing Russian peasant economy identifies peasants exclusively with agriculture. Such a rigid association obscures the diversity of peasant communities that frequently rely on non-agricultural pursuits like fishing and textile production. Also, despite the customary identification of trade and industry with towns, the rural sector has often played a major role in industrialization. Proto-industrialization is the name given to the expansion of domestic industries producing goods for non-local markets which took place in many parts of Europe between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Often, such industries arose in the countryside where they were practised alongside agriculture. This widespread industrial growth in early modern Europe has long been a subject of specialized study. Among economists, it received special attention from the German Historical School of Political Economy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was in some respects parallelled by the broad Russian discussion about kustarnye promysly. The Russian debate did not view rural domestic industry in pre-revolutionary Russia primarily as "historic" or as a problem of social policy. To a larger extent than in Germany and in Western Europe, it formed part of a larger controversy about the advantages of a capitalist vs. a non-capitalist road towards industrialization. In the 1970s this industry began to attract wider interest, when a series of articles and books named it "proto-industry", and argued that it was a major cause of the transition to capitalism and factory industrialization. Further, it transformed not only the economy, but also demographic behaviour. Despite the emphasis on rural industry by Russian educated society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, very few scholars have applied theories of proto-industrialization on Russian peasant society. One exception is Edgar Melton, who underlines the remarkable diversity characterizing the serf countryside in the late eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. Concentrating on proto-industrial activities as opposed to agriculture in Russian pre-emancipation peasant society, Melton shows that two important rural economic structures coexisted in Russia. Other Western scholars have concentrated on the role of the peasantry as the major work force in Russian industry. Robert E. Johnson has in several studies described the interaction between town and countryside in the central industrial regions of Russia, due to outmigration of peasants for factory work. Johnson and other scholars have also connected heavy male outmigration to altered family relations and women's roles in the village community.
By using the primary sources of the zemstvo household censuses it is possible to combine these aspects of historical research on the Russian peasant village, in an analysis on the microlevel of household structures and household development cycle in the villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino.
In the period from the abolition of serfdom to the First World War, the zemstvo, the new local assemblies set up to help carry out the reforms of 1861, conducted household censuses in 311 uezds of European Russia. In the 1870s the zemstvo launched a vast program of economic and statistical investigation into peasant economic problems. The Russian term for these censuses is zemskie podvornye perepisi. During a period of almost 35 years the censuses were conducted continuously but the number of investigated uezds varied from year to year. Most of the uezds were investigated at the following moments; in the middle of the 1880s, at the end of the 1890s, about 1900, and in the years 1910-12. The household censuses were elaborated and published by the zemstvo statisticians in collections which make up at least 3500 volumes.
The podvornye perepisi used here consist of both published and unpublished material. Most important are two nominal household censuses carried out in 1869/71 and 1886 in the villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino. The rich primary archive material of the zemskie podvornye perepisi has practically not been used in research, neither by Western nor by Russian scholars. The two censuses of 1869/71 and 1886 are maybe too close for illuminating the households in view of the many changes that took place in Russian society in the period from the emancipation to the First World War. They are also probably somewhat early, because the great developments in Russian industry for instance, did not happen until the 1890s. However, the podvornye perepisi of the later periods, say after 1900, are usually not suitable for the investigation of household structures, which is the main task here. These sources are nominal censuses, and should therefore give the necessary information on the composition of the households and demographic circumstances. Moreover, longitudinal data give more accurate information on the household development cycle and individual household members' life cycle than a single population census would have done. The censuses for the two villages should also preferably be from the same year. The podvornye perepisi from Moskovskaia guberniia are in this respect marked by rather great heterogeneity, only in a few of the uezds were the censuses carried out simultaneously. In addition, Klinskii and Serpukhovskii uezds were respectively located in the north and in the far south of Moskovskaia guberniia. These sources could therefore illuminate possible differences within the area. Data from 1883 containing information on agricultural conditions in the two villages, and the statistical collections of the zemstvo also form an important source material.
Because of the differences in collection methods, noticeable in the various podvornye perepisi, investigators will meet heterogeneity, and at times also obscurity in the materials published in the statistical collections. In the period from the first household censuses in the 1880s to the last at the eve of the First World War, they changed. The purpose of the investigations was changed and the object of investigation, the peasant farm, also changed during this period. Apart from this, socioeconomic philosophies as the narodnik movement and Marxism influenced the formation of the investigation programs. These difficulties in the census material, however, do not exclude the possibility to use them for scientific study. For most of the data in the censuses it is possible to diminish their diversity by clearly understanding the character of the data, and this is possible only if one knows how and under what conditions they were collected.
Before 1880, there existed only four zemstvo statistical bureaus that investigated local economic conditions. In contrast to the practice of older governmental agencies, which usually collected statistics by circulating questionnaires to local officials, the bureaus recruited their own staffs to conduct firsthand studies. At the very top were a few dozen individuals, chief statisticians and directors of local bureaus, who played the greatest role in organizing zemstvo research throughout the country. Below them were a hundred or so senior investigators, who supervised local studies and sometimes had special training in specific fields. These were assisted by a group of statistical clerks, and a mass of several hundred part-time interviewers who were hired for the duration of particular studies. Members of the latter group were recruited from the universities and from the lower ranks of zemstvo service, as for instance feldshers or schoolteachers. Besides all these categories of paid employees, thousands of volunteer correspondents, mainly priests and literate peasants, contributed to statistical publications on an irregular basis by providing reports on crops, weather, and other details of life in their own villages.in Emmons T. and Vucinich, W. S. (eds.): The Zemstvo in Russia; An experiment in local self-government. (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 351-352.
Although the statistical bureaus studied a wide range of topics, including fertility, mortality, factory industry, public health, and education, their main concern was the agricultural economy. In the first years the podvornye perepisi studied the economic position of the peasantry, and partly, the reasons for its impoverishment. In the 1890s most of the investigations were carried out to estimate the economy of the peasants. After the revolution in 1905, a main task of the censuses was to define the conditions for the economic policy of the zemstvos, and to develop economic assistance to the peasantry.
In each period, different socioeconomic philosophies predominated in Russian thought. The ideas of the narodnik movement, which were influential in the 1880s, were also reflected in the investigation programs for the household censuses of this period. Maybe, because of the widespread ideas in the literature of the 1870s and 1880s about the destruction of peasant farming, far too much attention in the podvornye perepisi of the 1880s, was paid to different categories of declining households. In the 1890s under influence from Marxism, a special interest was paid to the higher groups, the households engaged in trade and industrial activities were singled out, the peasant households were subdivided by the level of suppression, and more attention was paid to the study of the handicraft activities of the peasantry. The household censuses that were carried out after the revolution in 1905, were influenced by the new tendencies in agrarian-economic thought, the so-called "organization and production school". A special attention was paid to the study of the peasant family and the indicators characterizing the condition of peasant farming, equipment, and distribution of crops on different cultures.
Definition of the Peasant Household
The main problem when using these sources, is to decide what a household was, and by that have an opinion on who the members of the household were. The Russian term that is closest to the household understood as an economic and reproductive unit, is dvor. The head of the household was the domokhoziain, who represented the household in the village assembly. According to Chayanov the biological determinant of household membership was supplemented by several economic and other indications. The zemstvo statisticians established that for the peasant the idea of the household included several people constantly "eating at one table or having eaten from one pot". On the other hand, the peasants in France for instance, included in the household the group of persons locked up for the night behind one lock.A. V. Chayanov on the Theory of Peasant Economy. (Manchester, 1986), p. 54. The Russian dvor implied living together under the authority of a patriarchal head, social organization and division of labour on traditional family lines, and basic identification of the member with the household.
The differences in collection methods of the various zemstvo household censuses are evident in the sources used here. While the household censuses from 1869 and 1886 register all household members, the agricultural data of 1883 list only the household heads. In a combination of the 1886 census and the agricultural data, a dilemma of household definition appears. The two sources seem to define households in different ways. There are several examples of that in the 1886 census two relatives are given to be members of the same household, one of which is head of this household. In the agricultural data from 1883 these two persons are both registered as heads of households. This may be attributed to different criteria for registering the household heads in the census and in the agricultural data. The zemstvo statisticians were concerned with different elements of the peasant households two sources. I have chosen to define the households according the arrangement in the household censuses. The agricultural material illuminates the households mainly from an economic point of view. Here the households are investigated according to their relationship to the peasant commune, where the heads of households per definition were people with allotments. By tradition allotments was the privilege of the married males and several married couples in one household was, as we will see, a most characteristic feature of the Russian peasant households.
The census materials from Drakino and Spas-Korkodino contain information on first name, patronymic, age, sex, relationship to the household head, occupation, and outmigration for all household members. There is no explicit information on the marital status of the household members, but this can be derived from the individual's position in the household.
The main problem seems to concern the age distribution of the population. The ages given in the censuses are often very approximate. From 1869 to 1886 there should be about 17 years. If we compare the ages of the persons present at both points in time, the age span is sometimes more, sometimes less than 17 years. This is a problem that is quite common in censuses of this kind. Often the peasants did not know how old they actually were, and gave their ages in rough numbers of 50 years, 35 years and so on. The zemstvo statisticians were instructed to register the age the peasants would have at their next birthday. When children are registered with ages as for instance two weeks, three months, 1,5 years and so on, this should be an indication on that the instructions were not always followed. The first household census used here, was carried out sometime between the years 1869 and 1871, and there are no indications in the sources that can tell us the exact date. The time span from 1869 to 1871 is meant to cover the entire Moskovskaia guberniia. The census was probably conducted at different times in the various areas within the guberniia. In other data the year 1869 is mentioned as a year when a census was carried out in the areas investigated here. All this complicate the information on age structure.
The population in most of the podvornye perepisi and statistical collections of the zemstvo is divided in the following categories:
1) pripisnoe-nalichnoe (all the peasants attached to the peasant commune of a given village, who were present at the time of the investigation),
2) pripisnoe-otsutstvujushchee ( the households attached to the peasant commune, which were absent at the time of the investigation),3) postoronnee (the people not attached to the peasant commune, but who lived in the village, and was occupied with tasks connected to the village economy).
The population categories are important for several reasons. First, the number of households in each group will vary according to which category each individual household belongs. It is also important for the interpretation of the further information of the census. All the numeric data, characterizing peasant households, will essentially change aspect according to what category they belong. The population data refers to those households attached to the peasant commune and were present at the time of investigation in most of the censuses for the central and northern provinces. In many southern provinces the data refers to all the present households, including migrant households not connected to the peasant commune, and sometimes non-peasant population. In the first censuses the population data refers to all the population connected to the peasant commune, both present and absent households.
The qualitatively different composition of the present and the absent households, makes the combination of their data difficult, both in time and space. In chronological linkage this lack of correspondence is especially clear. Apparently all investigators trying to trace the changes that took place in peasant farming over some time, using the data of repeated podvornye perepisi, met these problems. The materials of the 1880s represent in this regard the greatest difficulties. The first statistical collections contain data on the number of households and the size of the population only for one category, and apart from this, the headings of the tables are often formulated vaguely, approximately like: "attached population", "peasant attached population", "indigenous population" and so on. Often it is not possible to understand whether this means all the population attached to the peasant commune, or only the present population. There are also few clear indications on this question in the texts of the first collections, and the terminology is vague and sometimes contradictory. Almost in all the censuses of the northern and central provinces in the first half of the 1880s, the elaborated materials consider all the population attached to the peasant commune. The first investigators were trying to study all the peasant population united in the peasant commune, both the households living in their home village, and those forced to break off from the peasant commune, families in which all the members were absent. Where agriculture was based on the peasant commune, the absent population preserved some economic bond to it, even if they did not have an allotment in the locality where they were registered. Therefore, they also preserved some rights and duties regarding the peasant commune. Thorough data on the absent households exists only on the sections of population, farming and leasing of allotted land, all other data were registered with great difficulties, or were not registered at all. The material on such sections like literacy, cattle-raising, hired workers and handicrafts, can in the first collections be seen as considering only the present households. In the following periods, the 1890s and after 1900, the household categories do not represent any difficulties. In most of the collections of the northern and central provinces, beginning from the end of the 1880s, the data concern the present population attached to the peasant commune.
The census data contain information on several aspects of the village population's economy, as occupation, land use, yield ratios, and other agricultural conditions. The information on occupational structure is probably the most illuminating. The censuses used here, contain information on the work each individual household member was doing in addition to farming. This implies that the characteristics of the population occupied in industrial activities can be identified, as opposed to those occupied in agriculture. This information can also be connected to demographic data and household composition, leading to a better understanding of the village economy. Thus, the primary archive materials give much more detailed information on the peasant economy than the aggregate data of the zemstvo statistical collections.
In the collections of the 1880s there are only general data on the number of households occupied with handicrafts, and the number of manufacturers. They are subdivided by sex and place of work, the number of local and otkhozhie manufacturers. In the later collections there are also data on the number of manufacturers at working and semi-working age, and on to what extent they have lost touch with farming activities. In some collections there are data on the distribution of the manufacturers by position in the handicrafts and by branch of production. Mostly the number of households occupied with handicrafts means those households including manufacturers at working and semi-working age. The differences in the data on the number of people occupied in handicrafts, can be explained by the fact that in some censuses there are data only on the adult manufacturers, in others on the manufacturers at working and semi-working age, and sometimes the data covers the number of all manufacturers, including children.
The technique of calculating local and otkhozhie manufacturers was not the same in all the investigations. In some guberniias the criteria of dividing manufacturers into local and otkhozhie were economic; the manufacturers' possibility to maintain a constant working bond to his household. In other guberniias the division of local and otkhozhie manufacturers was based on more formal, and simultaneously more definite territorial indicators, in which the division was based on the distance from the place of work to their village. Most often the manufacturers working within the borders of their uezd were considered local, but there exists investigations where only manufacturers working in their own volost or in their own village, were considered local. In most of the early podvornye perepisi the basis for the division of local and otkhozhie manufacturers was the possibility to maintain the bond to their household.
Achievements and Shortcomings of the Zemstvo Statisticians
The zemstvo statisticians' work is perhaps the most ample single source of data on peasant economy of any country in modern times. In household inventories alone the statisticians interviewed an estimated total of 4,5 million families in 34 guberniias, using highly complicated questionnaires.[14in Emmons, T. and Vucinich, W. S. (eds.): ]The Zemstvo in Russia: An experiment in local self-government. (Cambridge, 1982), p. 357. The work is even more impressive when one realizes that they had no precedent to follow but had to devise all their procedures themselves.
However, while the statisticians could collect an extensive amount of data, they were much less successful at pulling it together and explaining what it meant. Their critics have accused them for accumulating information without purpose or direction. According to Johnson this picture is not correct. In spite of the shortcomings of their publications, the zemstvo statisticians raised important questions about social and economic life, the viability of the commune, the causes of poverty and indebtedness, and the possibility of strengthening the peasant economy through cooperation and handicrafts. Much energy was also invested in seeking appropriate ways of combining and analysing data.[15in Emmons, T. and Vucinich, W. S. (eds.): ]The Zemstvo in Russia: An experiment in local self-government. (Cambridge, 1982), p. 358.
Although the statisticians did not consciously subordinate their research to preconceived goals and conclusions, unspoken assumptions can often be discerned in their work. The categories and terminology they used sometimes led them to overlook certain aspects of their data. A sympathy for traditional crafts and the peasant commune, for instance, caused many statisticians to underestimate the influence of capitalism in the countryside. Even so, their methods of collecting and summarizing the data were objective enough that other investigators going from different premises and asking different questions, can use the zemstvo statistics in their work.
This study of demographic circumstances, household structures, and socioeconomic development in the villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino in the post-emancipation period, builds largely on analysis of the zemstvo household censuses. By using the data of the primary archival material, it is possible to analyse the villages' marriage patterns, mean household size, and household structure. It is also possible to analyse the development cycle of the households in these villages by using the longitudinal data of the household censuses of 1869 and 1886. Further, the censuses provide information on the village population's occupation, which makes it possible to analyse the occupational structure and changes in the occupational structure over time. This is important for the study of the socioeconomic development in the two villages. The village's demographic circumstances, the household structures, and the socioeconomic development in this period, should further be combined to answer the questions raised in this study.
The severe demographic regime was to a certain extent deciding the behaviour of the Russian peasants. The mortality rates were extremely high, especially among infants but also in the adult population. Thus, to reproduce themselves, a husband and wife in the Russian village should preferably give birth to as many children as possible. Accordingly, the Russian peasant tended to marry early in life, and there were very few people not marrying. Early and universal marriages were the main characteristics of the marriage pattern prevailing in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century. In Russia there was no connection between the possibility to marry and available resources, as young newlywed couples usually moved in with the husband's parents. Because of this, the demographic regime was important also for the composition and size of the Russian peasant household.
The distinctive features of the demographic pattern in late nineteenth century Russia, mortality rates and marriage patterns, would contribute to an understanding of the household structures in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino.
At the end of the nineteenth century the mortality rate in Russia was the highest in Europe. This was especially true for infants. In 1900 275 of every 1000 newborn in Russia died in their first year of living, while this number for instance in Norway was only 80 per 1000. Numerous statistical studies carried out in the post-emancipation, showed the fragility of life during infancy and childhood in nineteenth century Russia.
In the eighteenth century all population data point to that about half of the population died in the first months and years of their life. The mortality of the newborn was often even higher. Also, among adults was the mortality high. Although it is difficult to measure the exact mortality rate in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there is little reason to believe that the mortality was lower at earlier points in time, as the most important causes for high mortality were constant facts of life. The factors affecting the mortality rate were many but can generally be divided into three different groups; war, famine, and epidemics. Eighteenth century Russia was marked by frequent and long wars. The military reforms of Peter I and his successors expanded the standing army from of about 200 000 to about 450 000 men in this period. To sustain this large army, extensive numbers of men had to be drafted. The death rate was high, both through direct losses on the battlefield and through illness. The treatment of soldiers and the extremely poor conditions within the army, besides frequent wars, contributed to a high mortality rate.
More important than wars for the population of Russia were the conditions affecting the agricultural cycle of plowing, planting, and harvesting. In the central industrial region the output-seed ratio for grains was only 3:1 during normal weather conditions. With grain reserves only for one year of consumption, a single year of bad weather put rural households in a very difficult situation. Severe winters, excessive rainfall, or droughts caused famine if they lasted for two consecutive years. During the first half of the eighteenth century, bad weather conditions had a serious impact on the agricultural sector. In 1709 severe winter and spring floods, plague and epidemic caused the death of large numbers of people in most of Russia. In 1721-24 and 1732-35 cold weather led to crop failures for successive years and this caused famines in Moskovskaia, Iaroslavskaia, Nizhe-Novgorodskaia, and Vladimirskaia guberniia.
The epidemics frequently and severely striking Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, also led to high mortality. The most common forms of epidemics were the plague, influenza, and smallpox. Plague was ordinarily centred in southern Russia. Outbreaks were sparked by newcomers, probably with low immunity to the disease, who acted as carriers to other areas of the country. The outbreaks of influenza epidemics in Russia came as an addition to the general high mortality caused by respiratory illnesses. Smallpox affected people of all strata of the population. Throughout the eighteenth century, outbreaks of these epidemics occurred with a frequency of about every fifth to tenth year, and at times even more often.
How did this affect the population of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino? A study of the population development in Moskovskaia guberniia in the years 1883-1897 show that the mortality varied between 35,9 per 1000 in 1888 as the lowest, and 43,3 per 1000 in 1883 as the highest. The mortality rate in this area was higher than in the whole country, and much higher than in Western Europe. Within Moskovskaia guberniia there were differences in the mortality rate between different areas. The western and central parts of the guberniia had the most dramatic demographic regime with very high mortality rates for the whole population and among children. The best demographic situation was in the southern region of the guberniia, where both general mortality and infant mortality was the lowest in the area. The northern region had a demographic pattern laying between these extremes. Thus, according to P. I. Kurkin, in Serpukhovskii uezd where Drakino was located, on average 35,9 per 1000 died in the period 1883 to 1897 while in Klinskii uezd where Spas-Korkodino was located, 39,5 per 1000 died. In the post-emancipation period most of the uezds in Moskovskaia guberniia were characterized by a gradual lowering of the mortality, but there were differences in the extent of it. The mortality in Serpukhovskii uezd was reduced by 7,54 percent, while in Klinskii uezd the reduction was only 1,80 percent.
The brutal demographic regime most severely affected the children. Infant mortality in the Russian population stood at nearly 1/3 of all births and remained at this level from the late 1860s through the first decade of the twentieth century.p. 4. Among the peasants the infants' exposure to the disease agents in their surroundings was extraordinarily high. Notions of hygiene concentrated mainly on removing potentially harmful human and spiritual agents, but most deaths among infants probably happened because of feeding practices. During the summer months of field work many women left their infants at home when they went to the fields, and if they nursed them at all, they did so only in the early morning and late night. Typically, most infants died in the summer months July and August when the weather was warm, and besides the absence of the mother the danger of infectious diseases was very high. Infants were also often given solid food from their first days of life. The solid food introduced gastrointestinal pathogens and led to diarrhea and rapid dehydration frequently ending in death. According to Kurkin almost all children in Moskovskaia guberniia who died in their first year, died because of gastritis. In addition, the seasonality of births in rural Russia aggravated the effects of the link between the absence of the mother and the prevalence of disease in the summer.p. 9.
Figure 5.1. : Proportions of men and women distributed on different age groups in Drakino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
The composition of the population in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino according to age and sex, reflects this situation. Age pyramids for the two villages in 1869 show both the effects of the high mortality in the seventeenth and eighteenth century and the high contemporary mortality, especially among infants. Both in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino there were large differences in the number of people in various age groups. Extraordinarily small and extraordinarily large cohorts were repeated within periods of approximately twenty to twenty-five years. The tendency is clear in both villages and for both men and women. This is probably a reflection of the demographic regime in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, under which at certain times large numbers of people died, so that the number of children they could produce would be limited, and therefore cause "waves" of smaller cohorts into the next centuries. The age distribution of men and women in the two villages also shows that the child mortality was high. This is especially clear in Drakino, where there is a large reduction of children in the age group five to nine years compared to those in the first age group.
Figure 5.2. : Proportions of men and women distributed on different age groups in Spas-Korkodino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
The continuous high infant mortality and frequent population losses because of war, famine and epidemics, made the Russian household a very vulnerable social institution, which had few means to protect itself against destruction. With such a dramatic demographic regime, the Russian peasants would have to produce many children to maintain the existence of their society. To produce the necessary number of children people had to marry much earlier in Russia than in Western Europe, and the Russian peasants also found means to secure almost universal marriage. This utilitarian purpose of early and universal marriage found justification in the village community's norms and traditions.
Marriage was an important event in the lives of Russian peasants. It introduced young men and women to a world of responsibilities, changed social status, and respect within the peasant community closed to them in their childhood and adolescence. The married couple was the primary labour unit within the commune, and was therefore entitled to a land allotment. Besides their economic function, a husband and wife also had the social obligations of producing children and socialize the children in the values and norms of the society.
Apart from the common change in social status marriage introduced in the lives of the young couple, the meaning of marriage differed for men and women. A young man derived his full communal membership from marriage. In the repartitional commune only married men were "peasants", because only they were entitled to land allotments. With communal membership a married man could take his rightful place in the public society. Marriage was also a dramatic event for a young woman. The rewards that she received as wife and mother were tempered by the adjustment that she had to make in her husband's household. As it did for a man, marriage initiated a woman into the larger community. That was the community of married women, whose authority lay in the domestic household. Thus, marriage was not simply a personal union of two individuals, but a union of families, and the initiation of a bride and groom into community membership.
In the nineteenth century almost all Russian weddings took place between Christmas and Shrovetide in January and February, in the spring months following Lent, or during the late autumn in October and November. The timing of weddings depended on the agricultural and church calendars. Peasants generally avoided marrying during the busiest spring, summer, and early autumn months when hard field work left little time for marriage festivities. The Orthodox church forbade marriage during Advent, Lent and Assumption fast periods. Marriages occurring outside the traditional wedding months faced popular censure because of the disasters peasants believed would happen to a married couple who disturbed the natural rhythms of agricultural life.p. 152. In the years 1883 to 1887, most weddings in Moskovskia guberniia took place in the winter months and late autumn. In Serpukhovskii uezd 28,6 percent of all marriages took place in the winter months January and February, 17,2 percent in spring, 14,6 percent in summer, and 39,6 percent in autumn. In January almost 19 percent of all the weddings in this period occurred. The population of Klinskii uezd even to a greater extent followed the general pattern. Almost 38 percent of all marriages took place in winter, 18,2 percent in spring, 10 percent in summer, and 33,8 percent in autumn. Also here most people, 24,3 percent, married in January. Both in Serpukhovskii and Klinskii uezd, no weddings took place in December. This general timing of weddings was common in all of European Russia, and was a very stable feature of Russian peasant behaviour.
While greater freedom in choice of marriage partner in the decades following emancipation began to challenge the traditional practice of arranged marriages, the utilitarian criteria for selecting a spouse in a mainly subsistence economy remained the same. Sobriety, diligence, and strength were far more important characteristics of a future workmate than looks and personality. In the last decades of the nineteenth century economic changes and influence of urban ways generally failed to disrupt the ultimate control of family and community over courtship and marriage. As long as a household's productive functioning retained its importance in the maintenance of rural life, peasants only adopted those changes that did not threaten their traditions and, ultimately, their survival.p. 121.
In 1965 John Hajnal launched the theory of the "European marriage pattern". By comparing the number of unmarried people in different age groups, he pointed out that mean age at marriage was much higher in Europe than in other parts of the world. The percentage of the population that remained unmarried throughout their lives was also much higher in Europe. Of the women in the age group 20 to 24 years, about 3/4 were unmarried in 1900. According to Hajnal the mean age at marriage for women could sometimes be as low as 24,5 years in the area where the "European marriage pattern" existed, but generally it was much higher, about 30 years.
The "European marriage pattern" was a result of household formation rules, which said that marriage was only possible when the man's place as head of an independent household was reached, and this was only possible if there existed available resources. This system of founding families connected to the "European marriage pattern" was typical for the conditions prevailing in Western, Central and Northern Europe, and occurred also around the Mediterranean. It has not been definitely established how far back it goes, but it can certainly be traced in rural populations as far back as the Middle Ages. Eastern and South Eastern Europe, on the other hand, was characterized by a totally different way of founding households. Here marriage was not necessarily connected to the establishment of an independent household. The young married couple generally settled in the household of the husband's father. This produced complex household structures, and since there was no automatic link between marriage and the establishment of households, the average age at marriage was considerably lower than in the areas where the "European marriage pattern" prevailed.
Marriage patterns in Drakino
According to Hajnal, the mean age at marriage in areas dominated by a "non-European" marriage pattern, should always be under 23 years for women. The 1869 census data from Drakino show that the village had a marriage pattern in which people tended to marry early in life. It was rather unlikely for young people in Drakino to marry before they were eighteen, but after that age the marriage took place very soon. Accordingly, in 1869, of those aged eighteen as much as 45 percent were married and at twenty almost 80 percent had this marital status. These numbers demonstrate that Drakino's population conformed to the Eastern European pattern of early marriage.
Table 5.1. : Marital status among young men and women in Drakino 1869.
Age Married Not married Widowed Total
% No. % No. % No. % No.
15 0,0 0 100,0 28 0,0 0 100,0 28
16 0,0 0 100,0 33 0,0 0 100,0 33
17 3,7 1 96,3 26 0,0 0 100,0 27
18 45,0 9 55,0 11 0,0 0 100,0 20
19 60,7 17 32,1 9 7,1 2 100,0 28
Total 19,9 27 78,7 107 1,5 2 100,1 136
20 79,5 31 20,5 8 0,0 0 100,0 39
21 100,0 13 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 13
22 81,5 22 14,8 4 3,7 1 100,0 27
23 100,0 16 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 16
24 84,6 11 15,4 2 0,0 0 100,0 13
Total 86,1 93 13,0 14 0,9 1 100,0 108
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
Accordingly, most people in this village married sometime before their twentieth birthday. The singulate mean age at first marriage (SMAM) among those who ever married, was 18,3 years in 1869. The data also reveal that the difference between men and women in mean age at marriage was very small. For women in Drakino the mean age at marriage was 18 years in 1869, while men married slightly later, with a mean age of 18,6 years. The young men and women in Drakino seem by that to have conformed to the normative rules of the peasant society. The Russian peasant community generally expected a husband and wife to be close in age. Peasants advised their children that "to live with an old one is to spoil your life; to live with your equal is to enjoy life". They particularly did not accept young men marrying significantly older women. This disdain for older women may be explained by the fact that these women were normally widows with claims to a share of their first husband's property. Their marriages to young men would threaten the patriarchal power structure of peasant society since they were more likely to reverse the traditional patterns of virilocal residence and subordination of the wife to her husband. For a young woman to marry an old man, on the other hand, was perfectly acceptable if the alternative was for her to remain a spinster.
The general pattern of early marriage continued in 1886 though fewer people in these age groups were married compared to 1869. It was still unlikely for the young men and women in Drakino to marry earlier than their eighteenth birthday. In the age group fifteen to nineteen years 9,8 percent were married while 90,2 percent were unmarried. Compared to the marriage pattern in 1869, at eighteen and nineteen there were few married persons by 1886. Accordingly, only 9,1 percent of the population aged eighteen was married, while 47,8 percent of those aged nineteen had this marital status. Of the twenty-year-old, 64 percent were married.
Table 5.2. : Marital status for young men and women in Drakino in 1886.
Age Married Not married Widowed Total
% No. % No. % No. % No.
15 0,0 0 100,0 33 0,0 0 100,0 33
16 0,0 0 100,0 26 0,0 0 100,0 26
17 0,0 0 100,0 28 0,0 0 100,0 28
18 9,1 2 90,9 20 0,0 0 100,0 22
19 47,8 11 52,2 12 0,0 0 100,0 23
Total 15-19 9,8 13 90,2 120 0,0 0 100,0 133
20 64,0 16 36,0 9 0,0 0 100,0 25
21 71,4 10 28,6 4 0,0 0 100,0 14
22 80,0 16 15,0 3 5,0 1 100,0 20
23 83,3 15 11,1 2 5,6 1 100,0 18
24 87,5 14 12,5 2 0,0 0 100,0 16
Total 20-24 76,3 71 21,5 20 2,2 2 100,0 93
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
The 1886 singulate mean age at first marriage confirms that Drakino's population by then tended to marry later than in 1869. According to the 1886 census data the mean age at first marriage was 20,7 years for women and 21,2 years for men. The mean age at marriage was by that 2,7 years higher for women, and 2,6 years higher for men. The small age difference between husbands and wives was still present. Even so, the married part of the population aged fifteen to twenty-four, was still so large that the marriage pattern of Drakino must definitely be regarded to be of the Eastern European type.
Another feature of the data on marriage in Drakino is the differences between men and women's marriage patterns. Figure 5.3 shows the 1869 distribution of married, unmarried and widowed men and women in the age group fifteen to nineteen years. The numbers clearly prove that women married earlier than men in the village. The married aged eighteen were mostly women, forming 70 percent of all the women at this age in 1869. Simultaneously, only 20 percent of the eighteen-year old men were married. At nineteen the differences were to a certain extent levelled out, but still there were more married women. Thus, in the age group fifteen to nineteen years 31 percent of the women and only 11,5 percent of the men were married, while the unmarried women made up 69 percent and the unmarried men 85,9 percent.
Figure 5.3. : Marital status in the age group 15-19 years, distributed by sex. Drakino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
In 1886 the difference in marital status between young men and women in Drakino continued, reflecting the difference between the sexes in timing of marriage. At eighteen 25 percent of the women were married while all the men still were single. Only at nineteen young men in Drakino started to marry, married males composing 40 percent of the men at this age. As much as 53,8 percent of the women aged nineteen were married. Accordingly, in the age group fifteen to nineteen years, 13,6 percent of the women and 6,1 percent of the men in Drakino were married in 1886, while 86,4 percent of the women and 93,9 percent of the men were unmarried. This means that men in Drakino still tended to marry later than the women, and that both men and women waited longer before they married than was the case in 1869.
Figure 5.4. : Marital status in the age group 15-19 years, distributed on sex. Drakino 1886.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
The data from Drakino in 1869 show a marriage pattern in which people tended to marry when they were between eighteen and nineteen years old, while the 1886 data show a pattern in which most people married in their early twenties. Drakino should therefore be part of a marriage pattern typical for the eastern parts of Europe, but with a somewhat higher mean age at marriage than in other areas of the Russian Empire, shown for instance in Peter Czap's study of Mishino in Riazanskaia guberniia, where mean age at marriage was never higher than 20 years, neither for men nor for women. There was further a tendency for women in Drakino to marry slightly earlier than men.
The number of unmarried in the age group forty-five to forty-nine years John Hajnal saw as an indication of how many who never married. In 1900 in for instance Sweden, unmarried women made up 19 percent, and unmarried men 13 percent of the total population in this age group. The numbers from the first Russian census in 1897, show that in this age group only 5 percent of the women and 4 percent of the men were unmarried. This suggests that very few people remained unmarried throughout their lives in Russia.
Table 5.3. : Marital status of men and women in the age group 45-49 years, Drakino 1869-1886.
Age Year Married Not married Widowed Total
% No. % No. % No. % No.
45 1869 93,1 27 3,4 1 3,4 1 100,0 29
1886 77,8 7 0,0 0 22,2 2 100,0 9
46 1869 85,7 6 0,0 0 14,3 1 100,0 7
1886 85,7 6 0,0 0 14,3 1 100,0 7
47 1869 75,0 6 12,5 1 12,5 1 100,0 8
1886 83,3 5 0,0 0 16,7 1 100,0 6
48 1869 91,7 11 0,0 0 8,3 1 100,0 12
1886 37,5 3 12,5 1 50,0 4 100,0 8
49 1869 83,3 5 16,7 1 0,0 0 100,0 6
1886 40 2 0,0 0 60,0 3 100,0 5
Total 1869 88,7 55 4,8 3 6,5 4 100,0 62
1886 65,7 23 2,9 1 31,4 11 100,0 35
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277 and fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
The population of Drakino followed this pattern of universal marriage. In 1869 as well as in 1886, very few people in the village were unmarried in this age group. This could mean that only the physically or mentally disabled were left out of the marriage market.
The most obvious difference between men and women's marital behaviour in Drakino seems to have been that the risk of widowhood early in life was very high for the women. Of the forty-five to forty-nine-year old women in Drakino 11,8 percent were widows in 1869, while there were no widowers in this age group. In 1886 7,1 percent of the men were widowers and as much as 47,6 percent of the women were widows. The reason for this large difference between men and women in the proportion of widowed, is that men were more likely to remarry than women. Mitterauer and Kagan have investigated households in Iaroslavskia guberniia, and they claim that in the Russian peasant society widows were principally not allowed to remarry. A female household head could not remarry if her husband died, because this would break the patriarchal line in the household. Men could not become members of other household, and widows and children could not leave their dead husband or father's household. This was also true for widows who were not household heads. A second marriage was only possible if the first marriage was childless, or if the children had died, but widows without children were also very common in these households.
Marriage patterns in Spas-Korkodino
The population of Spas-Korkodino does not seem to have followed a very different marriage pattern. Young men and women married in their late teens or early twenties. In 1869, half of those aged eighteen were married and so were all the men and women aged nineteen. Even so, in the age group fifteen to nineteen only 5,7 percent were married in 1869, while 94,3 percent were unmarried. This means that young men and women in Spas-Korkodino were unlikely to marry before their eighteenth birthday, but after that marriage would take place when possible. In the age group twenty to twenty-four 89,7 percent of the population was married, 3,4 percent were widowed, and 6,9 percent were not married. Thus, in 1869 the number of single men and women in this age group was even lower in Spas-Korkodino than in Drakino. Even so, half of Spas-Korkodino's twenty-year-old population was married and in 1869, while this was the case for 80 percent in Drakino. Accordingly, the Spas-Korkodian people seem to have married somewhat later than the people of Drakino. In the age group fifteen to nineteen also, there were more married people in Drakino than in Spas-Korkodino in 1869. This suggests that the mean age at marriage was slightly higher in Spas-Korkodino compared to Drakino.
Table 5.4. : Marital status for young men and women Spas-Korkodino 1869.
Age Married Not married Widowed Total
% No. % No. % No. % No.
15 0,0 0 100,0 9 0,0 0 100,0 9
16 0,0 0 100,0 13 0,0 0 100,0 13
17 0,0 0 100,0 10 0,0 0 100,0 10
18 50,0 1 50,0 1 0,0 0 100,0 2
19 100,0 1 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 1
Total 5,7 2 94,3 33 0,0 0 100,0 35
20 50,0 3 50,0 3 0,0 0 100,0 6
21 95,5 21 0,0 0 4,5 1 100,0 22
22 100,0 8 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 8
23 75,0 6 12,5 1 12,5 1 100,0 8
24 100,0 14 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 14
Total 89,7 52 6,9 4 3,4 2 100,0 58
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
According to calculations based on the 1869 census data from Spas-Korkodino, the singulate mean age at marriage was 19,8 years for women and 20,1 years for men. Also in Spas-Korkodino the difference between the sexes in mean age at first marriage was very small. The young husbands were on average only three months older than their wives, meaning that also in this village community one probably preferred a small age difference between spouses.
By 1886 the situation seems to a certain extent to have changed in Spas-Korkodino. Of those aged eighteen that year only very few people were married, composing 8,3 percent of the population, and more than 90 percent were single. Of the twenty years old 30 percent were married, while 70 percent were unmarried in 1886. Even so, in the age group fifteen to nineteen 12,7 percent were married and 87,3 percent were unmarried. Thus, a larger proportion of the population in this age group was married in 1886. Spas-Korkodino's young men and women married slightly later in 1886 than in 1869, but the marriage age was still early compared to Western Europe. In 1886 the singulate mean age at marriage was 20,2 years for women and 21,9 for men. Women married on average four months later than they did in 1869, while the mean age at first marriage was 1,8 years higher for men. The marriage age increased for both sexes, but much more so for the young men in Spas-Korkodino. Accordingly, the mean age difference between spouses also increased, but it was still relatively small.
Table 5.5. : Marital status of young men and women in Spas-Korkodino 1886.
Age Married Not married Widowed Total
% No. % No. % No. % No.
15 0,0 0 100,0 9 0,0 0 100,0 9
16 0,0 0 100,0 11 0,0 0 100,0 11
17 0,0 0 100,0 9 0,0 0 100,0 9
18 8,3 1 91,7 11 0,0 0 100,0 12
19 42,9 6 87,3 8 0,0 0 100,0 14
Total 12,7 7 87,3 48 0,0 0 100,0 55
20 30,0 3 70,0 7 0,0 0 100,0 10
21 75,0 6 25,0 2 0,0 0 100,0 8
22 66,7 10 33,3 5 0,0 0 100,0 15
23 100,0 8 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 8
24 86,7 13 13,3 2 0,0 0 100,0 15
Total 71,4 40 28,6 16 0,0 0 100,0 56
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429.
The difference in marital status between men and women in the age group fifteen to nineteen years was apparently not as large in Spas-Korkodino as in Drakino. In 1869 93,3 percent of the men in the age group were unmarried, while only 6,7 percent were unmarried. Among the women only 5 percent were married while the rest were unmarried. Accordingly, very few of the young men and women in Spas-Korkodino married before their twentieth birthday. They also seem to have started marrying at approximately the same age, maybe with a slightly earlier start among the men. In 1886, 16 percent of the women in Spas-Korkodino aged fifteen to nineteen were married, while this was the case for 10 percent of the men. Thus, 84 percent of the women in this age group were unmarried in 1886 while 90 percent of the men had this marital status. The difference between men and women's marital status in the age group fifteen to nineteen was increased, probably connected to the fact that the mean age at marriage during the seventeen years was increased by almost two years for men, while it was practically constant for the women in the village.
Figure 5.5. : Marital status in the age group 15-19 years, distributed by sex. Spas-Korkodino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
It is difficult to conclude from these data, because they seem to contain contradictory information. On the one hand, from 1869 to 1886 there was an increase in the singulate mean age at first marriage, especially for the men but also for the women in the village, and the difference between the sexes in mean age at marriage, also increased. On the other hand, a larger proportion of the population in the village aged fifteen to nineteen was married in 1886 than was the case in 1869. In the part of the population that was in their twenties in 1886, though, a much lower proportion was married than in 1869. It is possible that there had been a period when people in the village tended to marry at a later point in their lives but that this was about to change when the census was carried out in 1886.
It is also important to stress that the cohort is very small, probably leading to inconsistent results. What is clear, however, is that young men and women in Spas-Korkodino both in 1869 and 1886, conformed to the marriage pattern typical for Eastern Europe. Most people in the village married before their twentieth birthday, and this was true for men as well as for women.
Figure 5.6. : Marital status in the age group 15-19 years, distributed by sex. Spas-Korkodino 1886.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429.
As for how many people who remained unmarried throughout their lives, we can generally say that this was the case for slightly more people in Spas-Korkodino than in Drakino, but also in this village, people conformed to a pattern of almost universal marriage. In 1869 as well as in 1886 7,4 percent of the population in Spas-Korkodino aged forty-five to forty-nine years were unmarried. Even so, these percentages concern very few people, and the population of Spas-Korkodino generally followed the marriage pattern of Eastern Europe, shown for instance in the numbers from the Russian census in 1897.
As in Drakino, the main difference between men and women's opportunities on the marriage market was that men had the possibility to remarry if their wife died. Widows, on the contrary, did not have this opportunity. This is reflected in the fact that 15,8 percent of the women in the age group forty-five to forty-nine were widows in 1869 and 20 percent in 1886, but there were no widowers in this age group, neither in 1869 nor in 1886. Even so, again it must be stressed that the cohort includes very few people, perhaps leading to uncertain conclusions concerning the marriage opportunities of men and women in Spas-Korkodino.
Table 5.6. : Marital status for men and women in the age group 45-49 years, Spas-Korkodino 1869-1886.
Age Year Married Not married Widowed Total
% No. % No. % No. % No.
45 1869 66,7 6 11,1 1 22,2 2 100,0 9
1886 80,0 4 20,0 1 0,0 0 100,0 5
46 1869 100,0 3 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 3
1886 70,0 7 10,0 1 20,0 2 100,0 10
47 1869 83,3 5 0,0 0 16,7 1 100,0 6
1886 100,0 4 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 4
48 1869 100,0 2 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 2
1886 100,0 4 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 4
49 1869 71,4 5 14,3 1 0,0 0 100,0 7
1886 100,0 4 0,0 0 0,0 0 100,0 4
Total 1869 81,5 21 7,4 2 11,1 3 100,0 27
1886 85,2 23 7,4 2 7,4 2 100,0 27
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203 and 2429.
Marriage was a personal union of two individuals and a union of two families, and the initiation of a bride and groom into community membership. Accordingly, in the traditional peasant society it was a tightly controlled family and community affair, beginning with the courtship stage and ending with the marriage's consummation. The brutal demographic regime of nineteenth century Russia meant that marriage mainly had economic and reproductive functions. The individual feelings of the bride and groom were of little consequence in the total scheme of things. A matchmaker initiated the betrothal discussions, and the parents sealed the marriage contract and arranged the wedding festivities. These took in most cases place in January and February or in late autumn, according to the agricultural and church calendars. Male and female peer groups performed rituals, often acting as intercessors for the bride and groom.
The peasant community preferred that young men and women married, and that they did it early in life. Low mean age at first marriage and a very high incidence of marriage reflected community norms. The Russian peasants perceived the unmarried not only as exceptions to the rule, but as potential idlers and parasites. A popular proverb noted; "A man who is not clever at twenty, not married at thirty, and not rich at forty, is useless". In a variety of pejorative names and proverbs Russian peasants blamed single women for their own circumstances, accusing them of failing to accept their social and economic responsibilities as wives and mothers.
In the period after emancipation, the peasants of the villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino conformed to this pattern of early and universal marriage. In both villages mean age at first marriage was never more than 22 years, neither for men nor for women, and only very few people remained unmarried throughout their lives. Further, the difference between the sexes in mean age at first marriage was strikingly small, meaning that husbands and wives generally were close to each other in age. The large number of widows and widowers suggests that the mortality rate in the villages might have been high. Widowhood concerned more women than men, probably reflecting the restrictions on remarriage for women.
Both Drakino and Spas-Korkodino experienced an increase in mean age at first marriage in the period from 1869 to 1886. The largest increase happened in Drakino, where the marriage age increased by 2,7 years for men and 2,6 years for women. In Spas-Korkodino the increase in the marriage age mainly concerned the men, who on average married 1,8 years later in 1886 than they had done in 1869. Also in this respect the people of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino conformed to the general development in Russian society.
The increase in mean age at marriage could possibly be attributed to ongoing changes in the Russian post-emancipation society. In the period after emancipation the central industrial region was marked by higher average ages at marriage than in the agricultural areas, reflecting a higher degree of urbanization and industrialization. Demographic statistics reveal that there were sharp differences between the marriage patterns of native Muscovites and those of the rest of Russia. City-born Muscovites married much later than the rest of the population, and a greater proportion never married at all.p. 85. At one extreme, Moscow city could be taken to symbolize modernity and technological progress. The factors that discouraged or prevented marriage in this setting included increased labour mobility, more years devoted to education, and a work situation in which a spouse and children were more a liability than an asset. At the opposite extreme, peasants who spent their whole lives in entirely agricultural villages could be expected to follow traditional patterns, marrying early and producing large families. Industrial occupation supplemented agricultural production with income in cash. This could mean that economic motives for early marriage would be less important in areas where the peasants had opportunities for work in factories or were engaged in proto-industrial activity. Industrialization modified patriarchal authority and adapted it to new economic circumstances while it also altered the character of the family economy and the manner by which men and women contributed to it and received benefits from it. Even so, economic development did not entirely remove patriarchal authority, and household members were still responsible for the household economy. Most of the migrant workers in Moskovskaia guberiia were married, but their wives and children would be left behind in the villages, therefore composing an emotional and economic bond to the rural community. Thus, the general pattern of early and universal marriage continued, also in the last decades of the nineteenth century.
Maintenance of the labour capacity in the peasant household depended on early and universal marriage combined with high fertility rates. Similarly, protection of the peasant community in a very difficult demographic regime depended on that the village population married early and gave birth to many children. The difficult demographic regime, early and universal marriage, and the prevalence of virilocal residence in Russian peasant society, contributed to that the Russian household traditionally was larger and more complex than the Western European household.
6. THE PEASANT FAMILY
"The Russian peasant family in the in the nineteenth century might be a "small family," which included parents, children, and possibly grandparents, or a "large extended family," which included two or more married brothers with their offspring and possibly their parents."(New York, 1992.), p. 22.
The Russian peasant household has both been described as a large, extended family and as a nuclear family. The common view has been that the typical Russian household apart from parents and children also included many relatives. Large, complex households have further been linked to the economic circumstances under serfdom, in which such households should have more opportunities to survive. Studies on the micro-level seem to confirm this. Some scholars, though, claim that the Russian household was a nuclear family consisting of husband, wife and children. Ethel Dunn refers to a study in Vladimirskaia guberniia, which showed that the nuclear family was dominating there, but she also claims that there were large regional differences within the Russian Empire.
Most of the recent Western studies of the Russian household concern the period before the abolition of serfdom in 1861, and the peasant household is studied in close connection to the institution of serfdom and the peasant commune. Little is known about the period after 1861, but one believes that the peasant household became smaller and less complex due to an increase in the frequency of partitions or razdely. This development was by contemporary observers connected to raising individualism among the peasants because of the development of capitalism and industry in the Russian society. Despite these changes, scholars studying the Russian village in the post-emancipation period claim that the normative extended family remained predominant, because various institutions of Russian peasant society combined to sustain the complex family household and the patriarchal system.p. 12.
According to the census data from Drakino mean household size in the village was 7,5 in 1869. The household size ranged from one to thirty-one members, but most households, 74 percent, had between one and nine members. By 1886 the household size was reduced to 6,7. The households with more than thirty members had disappeared, while more households had from one to nine members. This is very close to the mean household size given for the area where Drakino was located, Serpukhovskii uezd, which according to Svavitskii had 6,7 members per household in 1900. The mean household size of Drakino was by that reduced during the period, and this was in course with what is believed to have been the general tendency in the Russian post-emancipation society.p. 103. The same source tells that the mean household size in the other area of interest here, Klinskii uezd, was slightly lower with 6,5 members per household in 1899. The mean household size of Spas-Korkodino was 6,4 in 1869. As much as 85,7 percent had between one and nine members, while there were no households with more than twenty members. The 1886 census data suggest a quite remarkable change in the household size of Spas-Korkodino. The households became larger, and the mean household size was 8,7. This is also illustrated by the fact that 40 percent of the households had ten members or more in 1886, while this was the case for only 14,3 percent of the households in 1869. This increase in mean household size is especially interesting because it happened in a time when the general economic development in the Russian countryside was believed to cause a different pattern.
Table 6.1. : Mean household size (MHS) in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino, 1869-1886.
VILLAGE MHS 1869 MHS 1886
Drakino 7,5 6,7
Spas-Korkodino 6,4 8,7
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203, delo 2277, delo 2429 and fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
The differences in development between the two villages implicate that the size of the Russian household was not necessarily reduced after emancipation. Even so, mean household size can only represent a beginning and an indicator in the description of the Russian peasant household. To understand how these changes in mean household size were expressed in the households of the two villages, one should study the composition and structure of the households.
The most widely used scheme of household classification was proposed by Louis Henry in 1967 and later refined by Peter Laslett and The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure in 1972. Laslett divides the members of the household into three subgroups, consisting of:
1) The household head, his wife, and children.
2) Relatives residing in the household.
The major divisions of the scheme are further based upon the number of kin-related conjugal family units. A conjugal family unit consists of a married couple with or without offspring and single parents with children. According to these groups different household categories are formed. For many reasons, the emphasis is on less complex households. As a result, four of the five major classificatory divisions and thirteen of the eighteen subdivisions are devoted to households with one or less conjugal unit. 'Solitaries' (category 1) and 'no family' (category 2) households are the two categories with no conjugal unit, while the remaining three categories are based upon one or more conjugal units. According to these conjugal units, possible subdivisions of household structures are defined. 'Simple' households (category 3) are defined by variations of household structures which include kin contained within only one conjugal unit. 'Extended' (category 4) and 'multiple' (category 5) households, on the other hand, include domestic groups with additional kin that were not a part of the central conjugal unit.
In general, this method of household classification is head-neutral. Although the scheme differentiates the primary from the secondary units in multiple family households, it ignores headship in simple and extended households. The result is a method of classification where similar forms define households with different functions and dissimilar forms define households with largely the same functions. For instance, if the wife dies in a multiple household with secondary units disposed downwards, the household type changes from a downward extension (5b) to an upward one (4a), although the headship remains unchanged. Similarly, an unmarried son who heads a household containing his widowed mother is considered identical (3d) to a widow and her children.
The reason for this division of households in the Laslett scheme is probably that when constructing the scheme, it was implicated that marriage of the heir and transmission of headship always are connected. Yet when and how transmission of headship occurred, are supposed to be defining characteristics of different household systems. In the Russian household system a son's marriage did not make him household head, nor did the death of his mother. Widowed household heads were therefore very common in the households investigated here. Because of this emphasis on simple household structures, the Laslett scheme does not allow us to differentiate between many of the complex households. Besides classification of the households by this scheme, the development cycle of the households and the factors contributing to this cycle, will therefore be important objects of study.
Household Structures in Drakino
For the people who lived in Drakino in the period after the abolition of serfdom, the multiple household obviously was the most common experience. In 1869 65,5 percent of the population lived in some form of multiple family household, while this was the case for about 60 percent of the population in 1886. The multiple family household was the daily environment in which most of the peasants of Drakino lived.
Also compared to other household categories, the multiple household was dominant. Table 6.3. shows how the households in Drakino were distributed according to Peter Laslett's classification scheme for differentiation of households by structural type and kinship composition. In 1869, only three years after the emancipation of the state peasants in the village, the multiple family households made up 42,2 percent of all households in the village. Even so, the numbers also show that the simple family household was quite common among the people of Drakino, 32,5 percent of the households in 1869 were of this type. The extended family households were less common with 20,8 percent, while the "no family" households and the solitaries were practically nonexistent.
The multiple family household's position had not changed much by 1886. Still, this was the main household type and made up 42,3 percent of all households, while the simple family households were reduced to about 30 percent. The proportion of extended family households were increased, and 24 percent of the households in 1886 belonged to this group. It was still very uncommon for the people in Drakino to live alone or in the so-called "no-family" households.
The census data from 1869 and 1886 confirm that Drakino had a household structure in which the multiple family household was dominating, but the simple family household was also very widespread. It seems therefore as if simple and multiple households formed a double system, possibly with differences in occupational structure or age composition.
Table 6.3. : Distribution of household structures in Drakino, 1869-1886, based on Laslett's classification of households by type and kinship composition.
Household Category Numbers Proportion (%) Numbers Proportion (%)
1; Solitaries 4 2,6 3 1,5
2; "No family" 3 1,9 4 2,1
3; Simple family 50 32,5 58 29,9
4; Extended family 32 20,8 47 24,2
5; Multiple family 65 42,2 82 42,3
Total households 154 100,0 194 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277 and fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
So far, the households of Drakino have only been classified according to the main categories of Laslett's scheme. A more detailed subdivision will probably give more information on how these households were organized. In table 6.4. the households are distributed by the different subdivisions in the Laslett scheme. This give several interesting results. First, even if the multiple family households were the largest group in 1869, 23,4 percent of the households consisted of married couples with children (3b). This household type by that composed the largest single group of households in the village. Second, the households with secondary conjugal units disposed downwards from head (5b) was also an important household type in Drakino, and made up 14,9 percent of the households in the village.
Table 6.4. : Distribution of household structures in Drakino, 1869-1886, based on Laslett's subdivisions of households by type and kinship composition.
Household Category Numbers Proportion (%) Numbers Proportion (%)
1a; Solitaries - widowed 2 1,3 3 1,5
1b; Solitaries - 2 1,3
2a; Co-resident siblings 3 1,5
2b; Other co-resident 1 0,6 1 0,5
2c; Other co-residents 2 1,3
3a; Married couples 6 3,9 2 1
3b; Married couples with 36 23,4 42 21,6
3c; Widowers with 1 0,6 2 1
3d; Widows with offspring 7 4,5 12 6,2
4a; Extension upward 16 10,4 22 11,3
4b; Extension downward 1 0,6 3 1,5
4c; Extension sideways 3 1,9 4 2,1
4d; Combinations of 4a-c 12 7,8 18 9,3
5a; Secondary units up 1 0,6
5b; Secondary units down 23 14,9 49 25,3
5c; Secondary units 11 7,1 15 7,7
5d; Frιrθches 6 3,9 6 3,1
5e; Combinations of 5a-d 24 15,6 12 6,2
Total households 154 99,7 194 99,8
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277 and fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
The most complex household type (5e), that is, households consisting of any combination of conjugal units not included in the other multiple household types, constituted 15,6 percent of the households in 1869. Also the number of households extended upwards (4a) were rather high, 10,4 percent were of this type. This should confirm the earlier assumption that the multiple household was not the only possible way of co-residence even if this was the case for most people in Drakino. The nuclear family was in fact an important feature of the household structures in the village.
The main groups identified in 1869 still existed in 1886. The proportion of households consisting of married couples with offspring had not changed much. They still made up about 1/5 (21,6 percent) of the households in the village. There was an increase both in the number of households extended upwards (4a) and in the number of "combined" extended household (4d). This contributed to an increase in the proportion of extended households from 20,8 percent in 1869 to 24,2 percent in 1886. These were mostly households made up of a married couple with or without children, and the mother and/or siblings of the household head. The maybe most important element of change, was the fact that the number of multiple family households of the most complex type was dramatically reduced. From being a very important category in 1869, the 5e households composed only 6,2 percent of the households in 1886. The multiple households with secondary units disposed downwards, on the contrary, experienced a considerable growth and formed the largest group in 1886 with 25,3 percent of all the households in the village.
During the seventeen years there occurred a change in household structures in Drakino in direction of less complex forms. The most complex households, often consisting of several married brothers with children who also could be married, were remarkably reduced both in number and proportion. Simultaneously the proportion of extended and less complex multiple households increased. This could point in the direction of partitions of households. Partitions could have happened either because many households in this period reached a point in their development cycle on which it was favourable to divide, or possibly because of changes in the restrictions regulating household partitions so that this could happen more frequently.
The conclusion so far must be that in the post-emancipation period, most people in Drakino lived in different forms of extended and multiple family households. Even so, the nuclear family was definitely present in the village. Actually, a large minority of the village population composed simple family households consisting of married couples with children. It is also possible to identify certain changes in the household structure of the village from 1869 to 1886. The largest households disappeared, and there was an extensive reduction in the number and proportion of the most complex households. If one could find out how this happened, it would also be possible to decide whether it happened because of natural fluctuations in household composition due to the development cycle of the family, or as a reaction to the changes going on in society. How the different household types were created, how they were reproduced, and under what kind of economic conditions they lived, will be discussed later.
Household Structures in Spas-Korkodino
In Spas-Korkodino there was an extensive increase in mean household size from 6,4 members per household in 1869 to 8,7 in 1886. This was connected to the fact that, even if there was a population growth in the period, the number of households was reduced. The change is reflected in the way the population was distributed on the different household types in the Laslett scheme. In 1869 67,3 percent of the village's population lived in some form of multiple household, while 20,8 percent lived in simple family households and 11,9 percent in extended households. There were nobody living alone and only one "no-family" household. By 1886 as much as 86 percent of the Spas-Korkodian people lived in multiple family households.
Table 6.5. shows the household composition of Spas-Korkodino in 1869 and 1886. In 1869 more than half of the households (53,2 percent) were multiple family households, while about 35 percent were simple family households, and 10,4 percent extended households. This means that also in Spas-Korkodino there were two main household categories, simple and multiple family households, but the multiple family households were more important, even in 1869, when the mean household size was relatively low.
The dominant position of the multiple household had further manifested itself in 1886. Even if the number of multiple family households was constant, the proportion of such households were much higher and made up 62,5 percent of all the households. The simple family households, on the contrary, experienced a considerable reduction both in number and proportion. Only 15,6 percent of the households in Spas-Korkodino belonged to the simple type in 1886. Also the number of extended family households was reduced, composing 9,4 percent of the village's households in 1886. It is further interesting to notice that from being nonexistent in 1869, solitaries made up 9,4 percent of the households seventeen years later. This means that the reduced number of households in the village, from 77 households in 1869 to 64 households in 1886, mainly concerned simple family households. These changes in household structure in Spas-Korkodino show how quickly the family may change over some period. As the family goes through its natural life cycle, the household undergoes dramatic internal change. Births, marriages, migration and death constantly reshape household structures.
Table 6.5. : Distribution of household structures in Spas-Korkodino, 1869-1886, based on Laslett's classification of households by type and kinship composition.
Household Category Numbers Proportion (%) Numbers Proportion (%)
1; Solitaries 6 9,4
2; "No-family" 1 1,3 2 3,1
3; Simple family 27 35,1 10 15,6
4; Extended family 8 10,4 6 9,4
5; Multiple family 41 53,2 40 62,5
Total households 77 100,0 64 100
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203 and fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429.
How were the households in Spas-Korkodino distributed on the different subdivisions of the Laslett scheme? The multiple family household consisting of a married household head living in the same household as his married sons, made up 35,1 percent of the households in Spas-Korkodino in 1869. That made the 5b households the largest single type of household, while the next largest group, the married couples with offspring constituted 19,5 percent of all households in the village. The household containing several generations of married males was therefore more important in Spas-Korkodino than in Drakino, making the multiple family household the "typical" household of the village. Further, 6,5 percent of the households were extended upwards (4a), while married couples without offspring made up 9,1 percent of the village's households. The other categories were not present or were insignificant in Spas-Korkodino in 1869.
In 1886 the main striking element of the household composition in Spas-Korkodino, is the dramatic increase in the number of "combined" multiple family household (5e). As much as 20,3 percent of the households in 1886 were of this type. Simultaneously there was a parallel reduction of all the main categories from 1869. The households with secondary units disposed downwards composed 25 percent of the households in 1886, and married couples with offspring only 10,9 percent. There was similarly a reduction in the number of all kinds of extended households, making this category rather insignificant.
Table 6.6. : Distribution of household structures in Spas-Korkodino, 1869-1886, based on Laslett's subdivisions of households by type and kinship composition.
Household Category Numbers Proportion (%) Numbers Proportion (%)
1a; Solitaries - widowed 6 9,4
1b; Solitaries -
2a; Co-resident siblings 1 1,6
2b; Other co-resident 1 1,3 1 1,6
2c; Other co-residents
3a; Married couples 7 9,1 2 3,1
3b; Married couples with 15 19,5 7 10,9
3c; Widowers with
3d; Widows with offspring 5 6,5 1 1,6
4a; Extension upwards 5 6,5 2 3,1
4b; Extension downwards 2 2,6 1 1,6
4c; Extension sideways
4d; Combinations of 4a-c 4 5,2 3 4,7
5a; Secondary units up 2 2,6 1 1,6
5b; Secondary units down 27 35,1 16 25,0
5c; Secondary units 3 3,9 5 7,8
5d; Frιrθches 4 5,2 5 7,8
5e; Combinations of 5a-d 2 2,6 13 20,3
Total households 77 100,1 64 100,1
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203 and fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2427.
These numbers suggest that the village's multiple household structure was consolidating itself in the period from 1869 to 1886. This could have been because the households went through their development cycle as the members of the households gave birth, married or died, or because of a reaction to for instance economic or demographic events. The changes in Spas-Korkodino seem far too considerable being the result only of households going through a natural development cycle. The family and individual's reactions to a changing life situation apparently also decided how the households were structured.
The household structure was in both villages dominated by the multiple family household. Both in 1869 and 1886 the households composed of several conjugal family units were in majority in the villages. In Drakino the simple family household consisting of a married couple with children was also quite widespread. These households existed in Spas-Korkodino as well, but the position of the multiple family household was even more overwhelming here than in Drakino. The differences in household structures between the two villages increased in the period 1869 to 1886. Drakino and Spas-Korkodino experienced contradictory developments during the period. In Drakino the most complex household forms virtually disappeared, while in Spas-Korkodino there was a rapid increase in the number and proportion of very complex household types. If one could decide why this different development took place, one could also answer questions concerning the development cycle of the Russian household.
Residence of Married Couples
A main difference between Russian and Western European household structure in the nineteenth century was that while married sons were a very common feature of the Russian household, this was not so in Western Europe. The reason for this was that the Russian peasants lacked the rules for establishment of new households present in many parts of Western Europe, which were saying that married children should not live with their parents. These rules, called neo-local principles, contributed to the prevalence of the simple family household in Western society. In Western Europe establishment of independent households were connected to marriage, while in Russia sons usually stayed in the household of their father also after marriage, so-called virilocal residence.
In this household the social roles and the authority of each member were ascribed by sex, age, and position in the family. The influence, authority and prestige of the women and young male household members were in no proportion to their contribution to the household. Authority over and representation of the household was given to the household head, at least as far as general peasant custom was concerned. The household head in the traditional Russian multiple family household was generally the oldest male household member. Transmission of authority from one generation to the next usually happened when the patriarch died, while in Western society sons achieved this authority when they married. Accordingly, sons would have to wait longer for headship in the Russian household than what was the case in Western society, and the mean age of household heads was rather high among Russian peasants.
Figure 6.1. : Proportion (%) in multiple family households of married household heads and married sons, according to age. Drakino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
This was also the case in the two villages investigated here. Mean age for household heads in Drakino was 54,8 years in 1869, and 46,9 years in 1886. In Spas-Korkodino was the mean age for household heads 48,6 years in 1869, and this age was increased to 53,3 years by 1886. Figure 6.1. and 6.2. show how the married household heads and married sons in multiple family households were distributed on different age groups in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino in 1869. The figures clearly display how unusual it was for young married males to be heads of multiple family households in the two villages. Among the married males aged fifteen to nineteen there were no household heads, and until approximately forty years it seems rather unlikely that a married male could be head of such households. A newlywed son or grandson in a multiple family household faced a long period as a junior household member under the authority of the patriarch. Further, the figures also show that as a man in Drakino or Spas-Korkodino grew older his chance of headship increased considerably. From about fifty years the position as household head prevailed over the position as son in the multiple family households of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino.
Figure 6.2. : Proportion (%) in multiple family households of married household heads and married sons, according to age. Spas-Korkodino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
Even so, these figures do not say anything about how usual it was for young married couples to live in the household of the husband's father in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino. To answer this question one could look at how the married couples in different age groups in the two villages were distributed on the various household categories. Table 6.7. clearly illustrates the prevalence of virilocal residence in Drakino. Of all the married villagers 71,6 percent lived in some form of multiple family household in 1869. Meanwhile, only 16,5 percent lived in simple family households, and 12 percent in extended family households.
Table 6.7. : The proportion married distributed on different age groups and household categories. Drakino 1869.
Age group Simple Extended Multiple Total
households households households
No. No. No. No.
% % % %
15-19 2 1 24 27
7,4 3,7 88,9 100,0
20-24 1 23 69 93
1,1 24,7 74,2 100,0
25-29 7 6 33 46
15,2 13,0 71,7 99,9
30-34 9 3 45 57
15,8 5,3 78,9 100,0
35-39 19 7 39 65
29,2 10,8 60,0 100,0
40-44 19 15 50 84
22,6 17,9 59,5 100,0
45-49 15 4 36 55
27,3 7,3 65,5 100,0
50-54 4 0 22 26
15,4 0,0 84,6 100,0
55-59 4 0 15 19
21,1 0,0 78,9 100,0
60-64 2 0 10 12
16,7 0,0 83,3 100,0
65-69 0 1 12 13
0,0 7,7 92,3 100,0
70-74 2 1 8 11
18,2 9,1 72,7 100,0
75-79 0 0 1 1
0,0 0,0 100,0 100,0
80-84 0 0 1 1
0,0 0,0 100,0 100,0
Total 84 61 365 510
16,5 12,0 71,6 100,1
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
The proportion of married couples in multiple family households were especially high in the youngest and oldest age groups. With most people marrying before their twentieth birthday, the people of Drakino definitely conformed to the East-European pattern of early marriage, but almost 90 percent of the married aged fifteen to nineteen in 1869, lived in multiple family households. This means that when young men and women in Drakino married, they rarely established their own household. On the contrary, most of the men continued to live in their father's household also after marriage, while young women moved in with their husbands. The few married persons who were older than seventy-five years, all lived in multiple family households. The "empty nest" was apparently not a household form many old people in Drakino experienced.
Among those aged thirty-five to about fifty years, there were many who lived in simple family households. These were mostly households composed of married couples with offspring. In the age group thirty-five to thirty-nine years 29,2 percent of the married lived in simple family households, while 60 percent lived in multiple family households.
Table 6.9. : The proportion married distributed on different age groups and household categories. Spas-Korkodino 1869.
Age group Simple households Extended Multiple Total
No. No. No. No.
% % % %
15-19 0 0 2 2
0,0 0,0 100,0 100,0
20-24 0 5 47 52
0,0 9,6 90,4 100,0
25-29 2 5 28 35
5,7 14,3 80,0 100,0
30-34 6 1 21 28
21,4 3,6 75,0 100,0
35-39 9 1 13 23
39,1 4,3 56,5 100,0
40-44 7 1 10 18
38,9 5,6 55,6 100,0
45-49 6 3 12 21
28,6 14,3 57,1 100,0
50-54 4 5 18 27
14,8 18,5 66,7 100,0
55-59 3 1 8 12
25,0 8,3 66,7 100,0
60-64 2 0 7 9
22,2 0,0 77,8 100,0
65-69 3 0 4 7
42,9 0,0 57,1 100,0
70-74 0 0 4 4
0,0 0,0 100,0 100,0
75-79 0 0 2 2
0,0 0,0 100,0 100,0
Total 42 22 176 240
17,5 9,2 73,3 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
The prevalence of virilocal residence was even more evident in Spas-Korkodino in 1869. Of all those who were married in Spas-Korkodino 73,3 percent lived in multiple family households, 9,2 percent in extended households, and 17,5 percent in simple family households. In all the age groups ranging from fifteen to seventy-nine years, more than 50 percent of the married lived in multiple family households. The development tendencies in this village were similar to those in Drakino. The young married couple typically lived in a multiple family household. From about thirty years more people tended to live in simple family households, making up 30 to 40 percent of those married in the age group thirty to fifty years. When the married couple reached approximately fifty years more of them again tended to live in multiple family households. Among those over seventy years, nobody lived in simple or extended households. Due to the prevalence of virilocal residence, the typical Russian peasant household was composed of several generations of married men, their wives and children. When a young man and woman in Drakino or Spas-Korkodino married, they usually lived in the husband's parental household until it was possible for them to establish their own independent household. Often, establishment of new households was obviously not possible or not requested, leading to many married couples in multiple family households. Even so, from about thirty years more of the married in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino lived in simple family households. The distribution of household structures showed that these mainly were households consisting of married couples with children. It seems as if establishment of independent households was possible at a later stage in the development cycle of the household. Further, as the couple became older, their own household would probably develop into a multiple family household, until their children or grandchildren also established new households. The distribution of married couples on different household categories seems to have depended on the changing life cycle of the married individual.
The Russian and Western European rules for establishment of households were different, and the two cultures' households had also their specific development cycle. In 1925 the Russian agricultural economist Alexander Chayanov described the various stages in the development cycle of the contemporary peasant family:
"Among families of small size, we have a number of young ones, often consisting of the newlyweds alone - the husband and wife who have only just become separate from the paternal home. We have a number of families consisting of the married couple and young children, and we have mature families in which the second generation is already working. Many families consist of several related married couples living together. Finally, we always have several decaying old families that consist of two old people living out their days, their descendants having gone off or been lost. In other words, we have before us all the phases of development through which the family passes."A. V. Chayanov on the theory of peasant economy. (Manchester, 1986), p. 56.
The household system is not only the proportion of households in each category, but also the idealized system of cultural values, the theoretical changes which the household therefore undergo, and the frequency with which they actually occur. Perhaps much of the consensus among scholars concerning the size and composition of the Russian peasant household, have been caused by the fact that one has paid little attention to the development cycle of these households. Because most people lived in multiple family households, that would be the most visible type of household in the local society. Maybe was the multiple family household not only more visible in its own society but also in historians' description of that society, simply because its members left behind more sources? Russian peasant society was marked by a traditionalist culture, and it is probably true that the heads of the multiple family households were the most powerful people of the village. Powerful people will produce the beliefs and myths of a society, and such beliefs will be reflected in for instance customary law and proverbs. However, the "typical" Russian peasant household consisting of several generations of married males, should be seen as a stage in the household's development cycle rather than a permanent situation.
The households of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino apparently conformed to an ideal development cycle composed of six different stages:
1) The simple family household consisting of a married couple with offspring (3b).
2) A married couple with at least one married son living in the household (5b).
3) A household consisting of several married brothers living together (5d).
4) A household consisting of uncles and nephews (5e).
5) A household consisting of co-resident cousins (5e).
6) At this stage the household usually divided into two or more households, but division did not mean a universal return to simple household forms, many people remained in multiple or extended households after division, too.
Because the multiple household is regarded as the traditional Russian peasant household, it is especially interesting to study the households that apparently did not conform to this pattern. Due to the differences in the development of the households in Spas-Korkodino and Drakino from 1869 to 1886, the households in Drakino would be the most suitable in the description of the simple family households. The census data from Drakino in 1869 showed that the simple family household (3b) made up the largest single group of households in the village. Also, in 1886 was the nuclear family an important household category in Drakino. Table 6.8. and 6.9. showed that the stage in the development cycle of the household when it consisted of a married couple with children, most frequently occurred when the adult members of the household were about thirty to forty years old. The simple family household concerned approximately 30 to 40 percent of the married people in these age groups, but how common was it for young married men to head such households compared to other household forms? According to answer this question one could look at what household type that was most widespread among the household heads at different ages.
Figure 6.3. : Proportion (%) of households in the categories "Simple family households composed of married couples with offspring" and "Multiple family households", according to the age of the household head. Drakino, 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
In Drakino the heads of these simple family households were young people compared to other household heads. Most of the heads of the nuclear family households were from twenty-five to about fifty years old, while there were very few heads of multiple households who were younger than fifty years. In 1869 as much as 75 percent of the household heads in the age group thirty-five to thirty-nine years lived in simple family households consisting of a married couple with offspring. By 1886 the proportion of heads in simple family households in these age groups was not so high, but from thirty to thirty-four years there were still 43,8 percent household heads in simple family households, making this household category the largest in the age group. Further, in 1886 more simple family households also occurred when the household head was relatively old.
Figure 6.4. : Proportion (%) of households in the categories "Simple family households composed of married couples with offspring" and "Multiple family households", according to the age of the head. Drakino 1886.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
This confirms that when a man was young, it was most common that he headed households consisting of himself, his wife and children. As he grew older though, it was more likely that he headed a multiple or extended household. The different stages in the idealized development cycle of Russian peasant households described above, by that corresponded to certain stages in the life cycle of the individual household members. In Western Europe new households were usually established in connection to marriage, but the simple households studied here could not possibly be the result of neo-local establishment of households. One should therefore look for other explanations on how the simple family households in Drakino were created.
According to scholars who have described the Russian peasant household, the traditional way of establishing new households in the Russian peasant society was to divide the already existing households. Partition of households was the measure taken to set up junior males with independent households.
The partition (razdel) of a household could either occur before or after the death of the household head, according to the growth of nuclear families within the multiple household, and their requests for independence. The breakup of the household upon the patriarch's death was seen as a natural occurrence in the development cycle of the Russian peasant household. These razdely worked as a levelling mechanism. Large households that had achieved economic stability were ready to divide into smaller units, each provided with the movable and real property necessary for economic survival. Many scholars underline the conflict inherent in the partition. Divisions of households before the patriarch's death, the so-called vydely and otdely, were not considered by contemporary observers of the nineteenth-century Russian peasantry as a part of the household development cycle. A vydel happened when a son departed his father's household with the father's permission and his share of the property. The ceremonial breaking of bread and transporting of fire to the new household, symbolized ongoing family unity. The otdel, on the other hand, occurred because of irreconcilable tension between the household members. From the point of view of the commune, the otdely were the least desirable type of household partition because they led to households with unstable economy.
Russian peasants undertook partitions of households both before and after the abolition of serfdom. According to contemporary observers and modern scholars, these partitions happened more frequently after the abolition of serfdom. The increase is attributed to growing individualism, influences of a developing money economy, and a general struggle that resulted in the weakening of patriarchal power in the post-emancipation Russian peasant village.
According to the census data from Drakino twenty-five partitions of households took place in the village in the period from 1869 to 1886, which resulted in thirty-four new households. The divided household were all multiple family households in 1869, and as much as 60 percent was of the most complex type, 5e. The method for partitioning of households in Drakino seems to have been corresponding to the one described in the literature. Only people living in complex households had the opportunity or wish to divide into separate households. The reason for this was probably strictly economical. Only multiple households contained several conjugal family units, and being a married couple was just the criterion necessary to obtain an allotment in the peasant commune.
Table 6.11. : Households divided in Drakino 1869-1886, distributed on different household categories in 1869 and 1886.
Household Number Proportion Household Number Proportion (%)
category 1869 (%) category 1886
5b 2 8,0 3b 3 12,0
5c 4 16,0 3d 1 4,0
5d 4 16,0 4a 1 4,0
5e 15 60,0 4c 1 4,0
4d 3 12,0
5b 11 44,0
5c 2 8,0
5e 3 12,0
Total 25 100,0 Total 25 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277 and fond 184, opis' 12, delo1970.
Further, 64 percent of the divided households stayed multiple also after the razdel, while 20 percent were extended family households and 16 percent had turned into simple family households. The division of households most frequently occurred when they were at their most complex stage, due to the internal demographic development in the household. For instance, households containing several married brothers only divided when their respective sons also were married and started to produce children. The growth of the different nuclear family units within the multiple family household therefore seems to have been a decisive factor in the timing of household partitions among the peasants in Drakino.
The new households created by partition in this period also displayed several household types. Even so, as much as 32,4 percent of the new households were married couples with children. This probably means that partition of households was a main reason why the simple family households made up of married couples with offspring, composed a rather extensive part of the households in the village.
In 1886 there were 42 simple family households of this type (3b) in Drakino. As many as 25 of the heads in these households lived in multiple family households in 1869, and 12 in the most complex household type, 5e. This means that almost 60 percent of the household heads in households composed of married couples with children, had a past as members of multiple family households. They were mainly sons of the household heads in 1869. The multiple family households probably reached a point when economical and practical circumstances made it impossible to extend the household any further, and thus the partition of the household took place.
Table 6.12. : Category of households created by partition in Drakino 1869-1886.
Household Number Proportion (%)
3a 2 5,9
3b 11 32,4
3d 1 2,9
4a 4 11,8
4c 1 2,9
4d 2 5,9
5b 7 20,6
5c 3 8,8
5e 3 8,8
Total 34 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277 and fond 184, opis'12, delo 1970.
The largest and most complex households were also the wealthiest households in the village, and could therefore provide new households with the necessary equipment and property. This would probably be very difficult for smaller households. Even so, also the less complex and extended households could develop into simple family households simply because the parental generation died. By that it is possible to distinguish two different ways for nuclear families to be created, either because of partition of multiple family households, or because of death in the oldest generation in less complex and extended households. This means that there were both socioeconomic and demographic circumstances that led to the fact that nuclear families were a part of the households' development cycle in Drakino.
Table 6.6 showed that from composing only 2,6 percent of the households in 1869, the most complex households (5e) in Spas-Korkodino made up as much as 20,3 percent of the households in 1886. Simultaneously there was a decrease in the number and proportion of the most important household types from 1869. How could this have happened?
Table 6.13. : Household structures in 1869 in the households classified as 5e households in Spas-Korkodino 1886.
Household type Number Proportion (%)
3b 3 20,0
4a 1 6,7
4d 1 6,7
5b 8 53,3
5c 1 6,7
5d 1 6,7
Total 15 100,1
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203
The census data from Spas-Korkodino do not reveal any household partitions in the village between 1869 and 1886. Most households developed into more complex forms, a rather large part of the households disappeared, and some households merged. By comparing the most complex households from 1886 with their household structure 1869, it is possible to trace their development cycle during the seventeen-year period. Most of these households were multiple family households with secondary units disposed downwards (5b) in 1869, composing 53,3 percent of the households. Only three of the households were simple family households, two households consisted of married brothers, while two households were extended.
This means that most of these households in 1869 were at a point in their development cycle from which they developed into households where the older generation died, and the authority was transferred to the oldest of the married brothers. Simultaneously did the children of these brothers grow up and started to marry. This development did not lead to partition of the households in Spas-Korkodino.
There was a difference between the development of the already multiple family households into this complex form, and those households that were simple or extended in 1869. These households quickly transformed to multiple family households by combining into larger units. The merger of households in Russian peasant society combined two or more different households into one unit of larger size and with a larger amount of available labour, land, and equipment. Marriage or already existing blood-ties were usually involved but some merges involved no past, present or future family ties. Most of the households that merged were forced to do so by economic inadequacy or a breakdown in family structure; A father could die, there could be a fire, or another dramatic event. However, there were also many rich households for which merger with a weaker unit brought economic advantages.
According to the census data from Spas-Korkodino, four mergers took place in the village in the period from 1869 to 1886. Two of the simple family households in the sample had merged into one household by 1886, consisting of two married brothers with married children, and by that constituting a household in the category 5e. The second merger occurred between two households in which the first was a married couple with children (3b) in 1869, and the second was a household extended upwards (4a). This household consisted of a married uncle and a married nephew after the merger, by that being a "combined" multiple family household in 1886. The third merger involved a household that was present in 1869, and the family of a young married man who did not have any relatives in the village, because he was a fosterchild from Moscow Foundling Home. In addition, a household that in 1869 had secondary units disposed downwards from head (5b) had merged with a household consisting of two married brothers (5d). This household's development clearly illustrates the processes that seem to have caused the large increase in very complex household forms in Spas-Korkodino.
Dmitrii Maksimov was household head in 1886. He was eighty-one years old and occupied with arable farming. He lived with his three sons, Danila, Nikifor and Nikita. They were all in their forties. The sons were married and had also adult married children. The household also contained a widow, Marina Alekseeva. In 1869 the people living in Dmitrii's household made up two different households. In the first household Dmitrii Maksimov was household head, and he lived with the married sons Nikifor and Nikita. The son Danila Dmitriev was head in the other household. He was married and lived with another brother, Afanasii, and his wife, Matrena Alekseeva. What happened during the seventeen years from 1869 to 1886 was probably this: Afanasii Dmitriev died and so did the wife of his brother Danila. After the death of their spouses the widower and widow in this household probably moved into their relative's household. Simultaneously, the grandchildren of Dmitrii Maksimov grew up and started to marry. All this did not lead to partition of the household.
There were three decisive features in the development of these households. First, in all households some members of the older generation or spouses had died during the period. Second, the households went through a development cycle in which sons and grandsons grew up, married and became fathers, and by that contributed to the growth of the household, while daughters and granddaughters moved out when they married. Third, opposite from Drakino, these developments took place without following partition of the households. This means that households not necessarily were divided when the head died. On the contrary, in Spas-Korkodino death in the oldest generation seems more often to have initiated larger and more complex households.
The people of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino therefore seem to have responded very differently on very much the same internal situation in their households. The demographic development in the households led to partition of multiple family households in Drakino and consolidation of large multiple family households or even sometimes a merger in Spas-Korkodino. Because the households in both villages passed through much the same development cycle, that is, conformed to the idealized development cycle described above, this was probably caused by external factors. Maybe did dissimilar mortality rates, or differences in occupational possibilities, influence the household strategies of the people in the two villages.
In the post-emancipation period, the people living in the two villages Drakino and Spas-Korkodino were in their daily life surrounded by many relatives. The multiple family household predominated in both villages and at both points in time. It may be true that the multiple family household was the normative household form in these villages. Even so, a striking feature of the household composition is the diversity in household structures present in the villages. The number of household members could range from one person living alone to over thirty family members composing a large multiple family household. Because of this diversity there also existed many simple family households in the villages, made up of married couples with offspring. The household structures in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino developed in opposite directions during the seventeen-year period from 1869 and 1886. In Drakino mean household size was reduced, and the households became less complex. Simultaneously the mean household size in Spas-Korkodino increased dramatically, and there was also a large increase in very complex household forms.
The multiple family household involved the co-residence of several married couples. The young men and women in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino conformed to the Eastern European pattern of early marriage, but it was very uncommon to attain headship at such an early age. The young couples in the villages faced a period of about ten to fifteen years as junior household members in multiple family households, before establishment of independent homes could be possible. From about age thirty, the possibility of becoming head of a household increased. This could either happen because the patriarch in the multiple or extended household died, or because new simple family households were established. The rather large proportion of simple family households in the villages, especially in Drakino, must be seen as a stage in the development cycle of the Russian peasant household. The different stages in the development cycle corresponded to the age of the household head, in the way that relatively young household heads were found in simple family households while older heads were found multiple family households.
In Russian peasant society the establishment of new households happened in connection to partition of large and complex households. Household divisions could ideally only take place if the economic viability was secured for all the households also after division. The fact that there occurred several household divisions in Drakino in the period from 1869 to 1886, while not one Spas-Korkodian household divided, seem to have to do with different reactions to the social or economic environment.
The two villages were marked by quite different occupational structures. In Spas-Korkodino most people worked in agriculture, while only few people were involved in industrial activity. Due to the organization of the property in the peasant commune, large households would be the most economically favourable household form, in the way that large households were entitled to a larger part of the land. The complex structure of the households could possibly be attributed to the prevalence of agricultural activity among the peasants in Spas-Korkodino. The opposite was the case in Drakino. Even if almost all peasants would be involved in agriculture, in practically every household somebody worked in the textile industry, mostly occupied in a putting-out system. In Western Europe proto-industrial activity is believed to have caused changes in the internal structure of the family and in the distribution of roles in the household. Maybe did the work in the textile industry contribute to similar mechanisms in Drakino, making it possible to create a livelihood outside the traditional multiple family household, and by that causing less complex households in the village.
7. FARMERS AND CRAFTSMEN
"In many agricultural districts of Slavonic countries, you may frequently encounter living together several married couples of two or even three generations, united in a single complex patriarchal family. On the other hand, in many industrialized districts we see every young member of the family striving before manhood to branch off from the paternal home and win economic independence and a life for himself."A. V. Chayanov on the theory of peasant economy. (Manchester, 1986), p. 54.
Various environmental, economical, social, and political factors influenced the Russian peasant household in the post-emancipation period, and the peasant society responded to these factors in different ways. Both in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino the multiple family household prevailed in the post-emancipation period, and the agricultural activity was based on the repartitional commune. Even so, these villages were rather heterogeneous in the organization of their households, the most striking feature being the diversity in household structures. The census data suggest that at the end of the nineteenth century the population of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino were influenced by different factors leading to dissimilar strategies in the organization of their households. Evidence suggests that the economic environment of late nineteenth century Russia might be a decisive factor for the household composition.
In this period Russia still was a mainly agricultural society. Agriculture was the main branch of Russia's production and employment. Grain production by traditional means, mostly within a variety of three-field repartitional systems, formed the base of this agriculture. The main fertilizer was manure and most of the primitive agricultural equipment was made locally. Other branches of production were subsidiary in scale and economic significance. Grain was the essential diet of the Russian rural population, and thus the main product of the country's agriculture, and the main item of its export.(London, 1985), p. 134. In agricultural societies the household is the most important economic unit. Each household constituted a work and a consumption unit, and most of the production took place in the household. Because of the collective character of the peasant commune the composition of the Russian peasant household was especially important for the economy, and the economy was similarly important for the household structure. It is therefore necessary to study the organization of the agricultural economy within the peasant commune, and how this influenced the structuring of households.
However, in the post-emancipation period industrialization and market relations increasingly influenced Russia's central industrial areas. To survive the peasant family had to produce a minimum of food for its own use, seed for the next year's crop, livestock feed, and a replacement fund for equipment necessary for production and consumption. The surplus production of the family had to cover ceremonial expenses, its obligations to a landlord or the state, and taxes. To meet all these demands the peasant family might resort to several supplementary activities. This could be animal husbandry and beekeeping, handicrafts for direct sale, cottage industry in a "putting-out" system, or seasonal labour outside the village.(New York, 1992), p. 17. The widespread industrial activity among the peasants in the central industrial region might have altered the character of the family economy and by that the peasant household. The characteristic features of those households mainly occupied in industry as opposed to those households mainly occupied in agriculture, will be important objects of study. In most villages where industrial activity provided for a large amount of the population's income, agriculture was still an important factor in their economy. The discussion of the economy in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino will therefore start with a study of Russian agriculture in the post-emancipation period. For this purpose Spas-Korkodino serves as a better example than Drakino.
The Economy of Spas-Korkodino
The peasants of Spas-Korkodino were in the post-emancipation period former serfs who paid redemption, and the peasant commune organized their agricultural activity. The zemstvo statistician V. I. Orlov described the village like this in 1879:
"The peasants of...[Spas-Korkodino]...which is located close to the cotton weaving factory "Kaulena", are working at the factory but simultaneously they are occupied with arable farming, which is in good order. [The village]...can be numbered among the fully economical and in every respect prosperous villages."
Information on the economy of Spas-Korkodino is scarce, but in the censuses there is data on the occupations of the village population. The occupational structure reflects the economical activity in the village, as it shows which were the main income resources of the villagers. According to the zemstvo statisticians, working age was eighteen to sixty years for men, and sixteen to fifty-five years for women. The census of 1869 tells us about a village where most people worked in agriculture. As much as 79,6 percent of the women and 54,3 percent of the men at working age were given to have no other occupation than farming. This means that in 1869, arable farming formed the main economic activity of the village population. Further, the fact that a relatively large part of the land belonging to the village was arable, implies that farming was the main economic activity of the Spas-Korkodian people. The village owned 655 desiatin of land in 1869 of which 42,4 percent was used for arable farming. The main agricultural products were oats and rye, and the yield ratio for rye in the 1870s was on average 4:1, which was higher than the average for the central industrial region as a whole.
Work in industry was less important in the village's economy. Even so, weaving of calico was the main non-agricultural activity, occupying 34,5 percent of the men and 15,5 percent of the women at working age in 1869. Other occupations employed only small numbers of people, mainly carrying out different tasks in the local economy.
Table 7.1. : Occupational structure for men aged 18-60 years and for women aged 16-55 years in
Occupation No. % No. %
Farmer 113 79,6 63 54,3
Calico weaver 22 15,5 40 34,5
Foreman in a textile 1 0,9
Apprentice in a textile 2 1,7
Church guard 1 0,9
Cabman 1 0,9
Lamp maker 1 0,9
Blacksmith 1 0,9
Butcher 1 0,9
Vegetable grower 1 0,9
Inn-keeper 1 0,7 1 0,9
Cook 1 0,7
Servant 4 2,8 1 0,9
Unknown occupation 1 0,7 2 1,7
Total workers 142 100,0 116 100,3
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
By 1886 the picture was somewhat changed. Spas-Korkodino's occupational structure shows that agriculture still was important in the village economy but more people worked in the textile industry. This was especially true for the men at working age. By 1886 49 percent of the men aged eighteen to sixty were working as weavers while 32 percent had no other occupation than farming. Among the women were the changes less extensive. Only 21,7 of the women aged sixteen to fifty-five years were weavers in 1886, while 70,2 percent were farmers. According to Orlov, the weavers in Spas-Korkodino were working at a cotton weaving factory nearby. As the general industrialization of the Russian society accelerated at the end of the nineteenth century, the importance of factory work as opposed to domestic work increased, especially in the cotton industry. The increased number of weavers in Spas-Korkodino's population compared to 1869, could possibly be attributed to expanded opportunities for work in mechanized textile factories.
Table 7.2. : Occupational structure for men aged 18-60 years and for women aged 16-55 years in
Women No. Men No. %
Farmer 113 70,2 47 32,0
Weaver 35 21,7 72 49,0
Servant 10 6,2 12 8,2
Tradesman 2 1,2 5 3,4
Blacksmith 3 2,0
Locksmith 3 2,0
Cabman 1 0,7
In military service 2 1,4
Unknown occupation 1 0,6 2 1,4
Total workers 161 99,9 147 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429.
The censuses do not tell anything about the amount of the income from agriculture as opposed to income from textile industry in Spas-Korkodino's individual households. Even so, most of the households where one or several members were weavers seem simultaneously to have had income from agriculture. Of the 43 households in Spas-Korkodino that contained one or more weavers in 1886, were 79,1 percent of the households given to be cultivating their allotments. Only 2,3 percent of these households were lacking allotments in 1886. This probably means that employment in the textile industry worked as a supplementary income source for the households in Spas-Korkodino, while agriculture remained the main economic activity.
To understand the relative importance of the textile industry in Spas-Korkodino's economy, it is necessary to study the characteristics of the weaving population in the village. The weavers' position in the household is in this respect especially illuminating. The occupation of the household head is here taken to reflect the economical status of a household. If the head in a household was working in industry, the household's relationship to the agricultural economy would be weaker than in households were the head worked in agriculture. If other members of the household worked in industrial activities they would probably contribute with supplementary income to the household, but the household economy would still have a largely agricultural character. The heads in such households still maintained the interests of a farmer, while household heads working in industry seems more often to have abandoned their allotments, or never taking on an allotment. This can be illustrated by looking at the use of land in households where some members were working as weavers.
Table 7.3. : Land use in households where one or several members were occupied in cotton weaving industry, distributed according to the occupation of the household head. Spas-Korkodino 1886.
"Agricultural Number Proportion (%) Number Proportion (%)
Cultivating their 30 88,2 2 28,6
Without land 1 14,3
No information 4 11,8 4 57,1
Total households 34 100,0 7 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429.
In most of these households the household head was working in agriculture, while only seven of the household heads were working as weavers. This means that the weavers mostly were household members who had a subordinate position in the household. There were further large differences between the households in which the head was a farmer and those in which the head was a weaver. As much as 88,2 percent of the "agricultural" households were cultivating their allotments, while this was the case for only 28,6 percent of the "industrial" households. While none of the households with farming household heads were without land, this was the case for 14,3 percent of the households with weaving heads. The fact that we lack information on this issue for most of the weaving households, suggests that their relationship to agriculture might have been weak.
So, who were the weavers? Of all the male household heads at working age in 1869 only 9,3 percent were weavers, while as much as 83,3 percent were farmers. Among the sons on the other hand, 62,8 percent were weavers, and 27,9 percent farmers. Thus, there were clear differences in occupational status between heads and sons in a household, probably reflecting a labour division within the household. This was even more so in the female population at working age. In 1869 only 2 percent of the wives of heads worked as calico weavers, while 98 percent were farmers. In the younger generation of women, 40 percent of the daughters and 25 percent of the daughters-in-law were weavers. Where both the head and other household members worked as weavers would the household to a greater extent depend on income from industry. The numbers suggest that such households were very uncommon in Spas-Korkodino. Instead it was typical that the sons in multiple family households with secondary units disposed downwards, worked in the textile industry while the other household members worked in agriculture. Accordingly, the role of the textile industry in this village was to provide the households with supplementary income besides agriculture.
Figure 7.1. : Occupation according to position in the household. Farmers and weavers in Spas-Korkodino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203.
The increased importance of the textile industry in Spas-Korkodino is shown in the distribution of weavers and farmers on different household positions in 1886. Of the household heads at working age 17,9 percent were weavers in 1886, while 69,2 percent were farmers. The proportion of household heads working in the textile industry was by that almost doubled. Further, also the proportion of sons occupied in this industry increased, composing 69,2 percent of the sons aged eighteen to sixty, while only 17,3 percent of them were farmers. Among the women as well, more people were occupied in the textile industry in 1886. Of the wives of heads aged sixteen to fifty-five years, 13,5 percent were working as weavers while 75,7 percent were farmers. In the younger generation of women 53,3 percent of the daughters and 17,1 percent of the daughters-in-law were weavers. The numbers show that both in the parental and the younger generation the importance of the textile industry increased by 1886. Even so, the main differences between household heads and wives on the one hand, and sons and daughters on the other hand, continued.
Figure 7.2. : Occupation according to position in the household. Farmers and weavers in Spas-Korkodino 1886.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429.
These differences suggest that work in the textile industry mainly used to be an occupation for the younger members of a household, especially for young men. Accordingly, the households in Spas-Korkodino seem to have had a dual economy in the post-emancipation period, in which the population was working partly in the textile industry and partly in agriculture. Agriculture was most important in the economy of Spas-Korkodino but work in the textile industry was important for surplus income to the households. Within the individual households there seems to have been a labour division between men and women, and between older and younger household members. Older household members and married women tended to work in agriculture, while younger household members, usually sons, and unmarried women typically worked in the textile industry. Due to the importance of agriculture in Spas-Korkodino's economy, it is especially important to study the organization of the agricultural activity in the village. Usually the peasant commune organized the agricultural activity in Russian villages.
The Peasant Commune
Besides the household, the peasant commune (obshchina or mir) was the most important social institution in the Russian village. The primary unit in local rule was the village assembly (sel'skii skhod), which was a gathering of all male household heads.
The village assembly elected an elder (starshina), a tax collector, a scribe, and other officials necessary for the village's welfare. Through the village assembly the peasant commune executed a broad range of economic, administrative, legal, and social functions. First, it was the commune's responsibility to regulate land distribution and use, and to organize the production on communal lands. The commune apportioned and collected monetary dues for the state and the zemstvo. In addition, they levied taxes for the common purposes of the village. It organized peasant labour for obligatory tasks, and was responsible for the collection and punctual delivery of payments from each household. Second, the commune was to maintain public order and the generally accepted norms of life and discipline within the commune. It should take measures in case of fire, flood, or other emergencies. Exposure and arrest of criminals, punishment of those who did not pay their taxes, were also the commune's responsibility. Another important task for the peasant commune was to manage the village's relations with the state and church authorities on volost', uezd, and guberniia level. Third, the commune investigated matters of civil law, and compensated for losses and damages to peasant property. It investigated and tried criminal cases according to local custom. At last, the commune was responsible for the mutual assistance in the village, food provisioning in times of famine, poor relief, assistance to orphans, the ill, and old people without kin, support of hospitals, public grain reserves, and other social institutions. Management of public holidays, arrangement of religious holidays and agricultural rites was also the responsibility of the peasant commune, besides the general social control and socialization of the village population.
The village community had moreover an informal structure of social control, in which the leaders derived their influence from personal authority rather than official status. The "real" leaders in the commune were the older peasants, the stariki. The stariki enjoyed a reputation of "right thinking" and together they formed an informal council of elders (sovet starikov). The elders embodied the community's traditions, norms, and values in a society where life was based on an oral tradition passed from father to son. Older men's authority ensured the enormous influence of tradition in the daily life of the village community. The most important part of the commune's activity for the organization of households was the repartition of land. Through a complex division of land into multiple strips, the repartitional commune guaranteed peasants equal access to both good and poor soils. Further, it periodically redistributed these strips among households, apportioning a larger part to some and diminishing the holdings of others, to reflect changes in household composition, labour strength, and tax burdens.
The lands of central Russian repartitional communes were divided into four sections over which the commune had differing degrees of control. The first was arable land. The emancipation statutes gave all peasant communes the right of landownership upon redemption. The commune apportioned allotments of arable land among individual households in strips scattered among three fields. These lands were periodically redistributed upon the agreement of at least a two-third majority of all household heads in the village assembly. Each time a repartition took place, the number of allotments in a household's possession was readjusted to reflect changes in the number of tiagla. A tiaglo usually consisted of a married couple at working age. Sometimes communes chose instead to provide households with land based on a count of the adult male household members.
A general repartition of land involving all the households in the village, occurred at periodic intervals of three to twenty-five or more years, depending on regional variations in land quality, extent of manuring, and land values. Repartitions were more frequent in the northern forested areas of central Russia where soils were relatively poor. The mean interval between general repartitions of land in Moskovskaia guberniia was 12 years in the second part of the nineteenth century. The peasant commune also used a series of partial repartitional systems in the intervals between general repartitions. These svalki i navalki implied that the commune took a land allotment away from one household and apportioned it to another. Such repartitions happened according to households' ability to work the land and by that their ability to fulfill the economic obligations to the commune. It was believed that large households including several tiagla were the households that best could fulfill these obligations. Frequent repartitions of this type fragmented land allotments into narrow strips dispersed haphazardly across the arable (cherezpolositsa), and a new general repartition would be necessary.
The second type of land was the land surrounding the farmstead (usad'ba). On this land the peasants built their homes, barns, and storage sheds, cultivated their gardens and possibly small orchards. According to law, this land was exempt from repartition. Even so, in the post-emancipation period the peasants of Moskovskaia guberniia often practised some form of repartition of this land as well. The commune treated this land in the same way as they treated arable land. The quantity of farmstead land should correspond to the composition of each household. This was especially true if the farmstead land consisted of hay fields. When it consisted of garden parcels, it was more likely that the peasants held the farmstead land in hereditary tenure. This was the case in Spas-Korkodino where all the farmstead land in the village was divided equally on the households independent of household composition. According to Orlov, the peasants used more fertilizers and worked harder in their gardens than on the arable land. Thus, a peasant was unwilling to hand over his farmstead land to another member of the commune.
The third type of communal land included natural pasture lands, hay fields, woodland, and scrub. In Moskovskaia guberniia hay fields were usually repartitioned on an annual basis in connection to the hay mowing. Pasture lands, woodland, and scrub remained undivided and available to all communal members. Land leased by the commune as a whole, by individuals, or by groups of peasants was the final type of land within a commune's boundaries. Only land that the entire commune leased was subject to direct communal management and repartition.
Household Structures in the Agricultural Economy
The commune's mutual responsibility for taxes and dues levied on all its land, was at the root of the way in which peasants apportioned land. The emancipation statutes had left the commune with the collective duty of ensuring the payment of taxes and redemption fees. Even after the general debt delay and the legal abolition of the commune's collective responsibility for taxes in 1906, the state still used the commune authorities to ensure the payments of taxes by their members. When distributing the communal land, peasant communes were guided above all by a proportional principle, in which they correlated tax dues with the income of each household. Usually the tax dues levied on an individual household were associated with a certain amount of land. To ensure that the community could meet their public obligations, the commune assigned more land to the big households with the largest economic potential, while small households were given a smaller amount of land or no land at all.
As the composition of the households in a village constantly changed due to demographic circumstances or migration, a certain distribution of land would soon be outdated. In such situations the households could not meet their tax obligations. The practice of redistribution of land can therefore be attributed to the heavy tax burden on Russian peasants, and it acted as an economic levelling mechanism between the households in a village community.
Under such conditions large and complex households were definitely an asset. Not only the collective village community preferred large households, but also individual households and individual household members would benefit from this kind of household structures. Large households could survive even if the demographic regime was difficult, and they were economically more stable. Small households on the other hand, could be destroyed by a famine or an epidemic outbreak. In the Russian agricultural society there was practically no room for small households, especially if they were lacking work power. The members of these households would have to depend on income in the outskirts of the agricultural economy.
The discussion of household structures in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino showed that mean household size in Spas-Korkodino increased from 6,7 members per household in 1869 to 8,7 in 1886. This was an average increase of 2,3 members per household. Further, in this period also the number and proportion of very complex household structures in the village extensively increased. This development was attributed to the fact that none of the household in the village were divided in the period, which means that the villagers did not establish new households. Moreover, some households were combined into larger units. The economic and demographic situation in post-emancipation Russian society illuminates these changes in Spas-Korkodino's household structure.
Ironically, the peasants' obligations to landlords and the state did not decrease in the post-emancipation period. After 1861 many Russian villages were increasingly marked by the heavy yoke of redemption payments and taxes, a continuous rise in arrears, agrarian overpopulation, and an ever more acute shortage of land. Data from Tverskaia guberniia, located directly northwest of Moscow, showed that as early as in 1784, peasants' cash income from agriculture covered only 40 to 50 percent of the money they needed to meet their expenses. In the post-emancipation period many villages suffered under the constant economic pressure from taxes and redemption payments. Under the terms of the reforms of the 1860s, the peasants payed more redemption per desiatina than they had payed in quitrent before the reforms. The peasants' tax burdens and obligations exceeded their economic returns and this lead to mounting arrears. In the 1870s investigations showed that even in the rich black-soil regions it was entirely impossible for the peasant to meet his obligations if he had no income other than that he derived from the cultivation of his allotment. By 1882 peasant arrears amounted to 24,2 million roubles, which represented almost half of the total debt. Zemstvo data from Spas-Korkodino in 1883 suggest that the village population had to make large redemption and tax payments. In January that year the total amount of arrears in the village was 1010 roubles. This means that on each desiatina of land belonging to the village, there was a debt of 1,5 roubles. In the period from the abolition of serfdom to 1883, the village had annually accumulated a debt of almost 46 roubles. There is unfortunately no information neither on the amount of redemption payments the village had to make every year, nor on under which terms they lived before emancipation. There is further no information on the annual income of the village. Even so, Orlov claims that villages with large arrears were forced to repartition their land more often than villages with a more favourable economic situation. In the twenty-year period from emancipation until Orlov wrote about agriculture in Moskovskaia guberniia in 1879, there were at least two general repartitions in Spas-Korkodino. The Spas-Korkodian people thus repartitioned their land rather frequently in the post-emancipation period. The general repartitions probably came because of frequent partial repartitions, which were more likely to take place if a community suffered under heavy economic obligations. The heavy tax burden and the increasing arrears were most substantial in the central industrial region. Here the tax burden was intensified by the extensive population growth in the nineteenth century. The peasant population in Russia doubled in the second half of the nineteenth century. Moreover, the population increase in Moskovskaia guberniia was substantially above the growth rates of other industrial provinces. Over the course of the nineteenth century (1811-1914) Moscow's population nearly quadrupled (3,79 times). Moskovskaia guberniia also had the highest population density of 83,1 persons per square verst in all of European Russia.p. 105. A study from 1893 of Klinskii uezd shows a significant increase of 12,2 percent in mean household size from 5,5 in 1878 to 6,1 persons per household in 1893. This was in step with the population increase of 11,8 percent. The increase in mean household size observed in Spas-Korkodino seems therefore to have been common for the whole area in which the village was located. The increase in mean household size was even more significant in Spas-Korkodino, and so was the population growth. In the seventeen-year period from 1869 to 1886 the population in Spas-Korkodino increased by 14,3 percent, while the increase in mean household size was as much as 35,9 percent. The population growth led to a surplus population in the agricultural sector, and increasing "land hunger" in the central industrial region diminished agricultural revenues.
The emancipation legislation had reduced former serf allotments by just over 4 percent. More than a quarter of all peasants in European Russia after that had insufficient land to meet their daily needs and fulfill communal and state tax obligations. Moskovskaia guberniia was located in the forest zone of the Russian Empire, which has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. In the forest zone the soil varies in character from place to place, but is predominantly coarse in grain and either clayish or sandy in composition. This soil has no great capacity for absorbing moisture, and in most areas the organic deposit is comparatively small. Because of the severity of the climate, the comparative infertility of the soil, the inadequate drainage, and the difficulty of clearing the land, the natural environment of the forest zone is not very suitable for agriculture. Communes often combatted insufficient land resources by leasing and purchasing more lands. The expansion of arable, though, without universal adoption of intensive, as opposed to extensive agricultural methods, did not offset the population growth. Land resources and labour strength remained acutely imbalanced in the poor soil areas of the central industrial region. In the central industrial region, the solution to the problem of agricultural overpopulation was to find work in domestic or factory industries. The increased importance of the weaving industry in Spas-Korkodino can be seen as a reaction to a heavy tax burden, population growth, and "land hunger". Even so, employment in industry obviously could not counterbalance agriculture in the village economy.
Accordingly, several factors connected to the agricultural economy and the demographic development in the area, did not allow establishment of new households in Spas-Korkodino in this period. Due to the importance of agriculture in Spas-Korkodino's economy, it was only possible to establish new households if there existed available land resources, but there are several indicators saying that these resources were decreasing in the post-emancipation period. On the contrary, the multiple family household seems to have been consolidated as a protection against population growth, pressure on land, and heavy tax and redemption obligations. The zemstvo data suggest that the stimulus to household divisions would be strongest where the pressure on the land was weakest either because land was abundant or because a substantial portion of the population derived its income from non-agricultural pursuits. Families tended by that to be smaller in the areas where almost every household was engaged in domestic industries.
The Economy of Drakino
The people in Drakino were former state peasants, and also in this village agriculture was organized by the peasant commune. Thus, the agricultural activity was governed by the same principles as in Spas-Korkodino, and the village most certainly displayed many economic features described earlier in this chapter. In 1869 1268,4 desiatin of land belonged to the village, of which 39 percent was arable. Oats and rye were the main agricultural products, and in 1899 the yield ratio for rye was 3,4:1. Even so, a study of the occupational structure in Drakino, shows that in the post-emancipation period most of the households were engaged in different forms of industrial activity. In this way Drakino's economy was very different from the economy of Spas-Korkodino.
The occupational structure of Drakino's population in 1869 illustrates how extremely important the textile industry was in the village economy. A large part of the female population and most of the men, were working as calico weavers. There were further several occupations connected to the calico production process. Many women were working as linen spinners, and the tradesmen were mainly selling cotton cloth. Strikingly small numbers of people were occupied only in agriculture in Drakino. Only 7,5 percent of the men and 37,2 percent of the women at working age were said to have no other occupation than farming in 1869. Due to the size of the village there were many different occupations connected to the local economy, such as wheelwrights, innkeepers and shepherds. The fishermen were probably fishing in Oka, as Drakino was located on the bank of that river. The main industrial activity was weaving of calico, employing as much as 72,4 percent of the men aged eighteen to sixty, and 36,9 percent of the women aged sixteen to fifty-five. Besides weavers there were another five occupational categories directly connected to the calico production process. First, there were people who warped the loom, and people unwinding cotton from big spools into smaller spools, both preparatory steps in the production process. Second, there were so-called "spool-girls" and "spool-boys", who were unwinding the thread from spools while the weavers were working. The "spool-girls" and "spool-boys" were often children. In Drakino 36,4 percent of the children aged five to fifteen years were working as "spool-girls" or "spool-boys" in 1869. At last there were people dying or printing patterns on the finished product. This means that for all population categories in Drakino, men, women and children, the textile industry was a very important income source, either alone or in combination with agriculture.
Table 7.4. : Occupational structure for men aged 18-60 years and for women aged 16-55 years in Drakino 1869.
Occupation Women Men
Number Proportion (%) Number Proportion (%)
Farmer 125 37,2 20 7,5
Calico-weaver 124 36,9 194 72,4
Cotton-weaver 1 0,3 3 1,1
Linen-spinner 53 15,8
Unwinding cotton 19 5,7
Warper 1 0,3 2 0,7
Calico-printer 2 0,7
Dyer 2 0,7
Spool-girl 1 0,3
Make cotton cloth in a 1 0,4
Unskilled worker 15 5,6
Entrepreneur in dispatching 1 0,4
Tradesman 5 1,9
Fisherman 9 3,4
Wheelwright 2 0,7
Innkeeper 2 0,7
Yardman 1 0,4
Shepherd 2 0,7
Make lapti (bast-shoes) 1 0,4
Make baskets 1 0,4
Servant 2 0,7
Church guard 2 0,7
Guarding the flax 1 0,4
Beggar 1 0,3
Nurse 1 0,3
Given away to get married 8 2,4
Unknown occupation 2 0,6 1 0,4
Total workers 336 100,1 268 100,0
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.By 1886 the relative importance of agriculture was increased, but the textile industry was still very important in the economy of Drakino. Among both men and women a smaller proportion of the working population was occupied as weavers. Of the women at working age only 17,5 percent were working as weavers in 1886. Simultaneously 78,9 percent of the women worked in agriculture. The most important female occupations in 1869, apart from agriculture and weaving were linen spinning and unwinding of cotton. These occupations disappeared by 1886, and new female occupations had not come in their place.
Table 7.5. : Occupational structure for men aged 18-60 years and for women aged 16-55 years in Drakino 1886.
Occupation Women Number Men Number Proportion
Proportion (%) (%)
Farmer 285 78,9 68 21,5
Calico-weaver 63 17,5 178 56,3
Calico-printer 2 0,6
Dyer 1 0,3
Drawer 4 1,3
Skilled worker 2 0,6
Unskilled worker 3 0,8 40 12,7
Foreman 5 1,6
Tradesman 3 0,9
Fisherman 5 1,6
Locksmith 2 0,6
Clerk 1 0,3
Worker at the 1 0,3
Singer 1 0,3
Maid 8 2,2
Ill 1 0,3
Without work 1 0,3 2 0,6
Unknown occupation 1 0,3
Total workers 361 100,0 316 99,8
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
The change in occupational structure was less extensive for the men at working age. Still as much as 56,3 percent of them worked as calico weavers, while only 21,5 percent had no other occupation than farming. Except from weaving three different occupations were connected to the cotton weaving industry. The printers, dyers and drawers were all working in the last steps in the cotton production process. Further, as much as 12,7 percent of the men aged eighteen to sixty were unskilled workers in 1886. There is no information on what these people actually did, but because the cotton industry was very important in Moskovskaia guberniia, could also these people have worked in that industry.
Among the children the occupational situation was dramatically changed. By 1886, nobody younger than fourteen years were working in the cotton industry. This could be attributed to a law of 1882 forbidding children's work, but could also have to do with a change in work opportunities. The distribution of the villagers on different occupations according to position in the household, further confirms the important position of the textile industry in Drakino's economy. In Drakino not only the sons, but also the household heads worked to a very large extent as weavers. As much as 61,1 percent of the household heads in 1869 were working as weavers while 15,6 percent were only working in agriculture. Among the sons in Drakino's households 80,8 percent were working as weavers in 1869 while 1 percent were farmers. This means that there was no sharp contrast between household heads and sons' occupational structure in Drakino.
Also, many women were working as weavers in Drakino. Marriage seems to have been the decisive moment in women's lives, also for the work they were doing. Most of the wives worked in agriculture, composing 61,7 percent of the wives at working age in 1869, while 18,5 percent worked as weavers. Of the daughters-in-law 30,3 percent were working only in farming, while 40,4 percent were calico weavers. The unmarried women to a much larger extent worked in the textile industry. The unmarried women in Drakino's households were mainly daughters, of which 8,1 percent worked only in agriculture, while 67,6 percent were calico weavers.
Among the women there were other important textile producing occupations as well. These were linen spinning and unwinding of cotton. Linen spinning employed 12,3 percent of the wives, 9,5 percent of the daughters-in-law, and 18,2 percent of the daughters in Drakino's households in 1869. This female occupation was widespread throughout central Russia, and often the peasant household raised its own flax and spun the yarn, selling the finished linen cloth on a local market. There also existed, however, more advanced sectors of linen production, where peasant women no longer cultivated their own flax, but depended on imports from other regions.
Figure 7.3. : Occupation according to position in the household. Farmers and weavers in Drakino 1869.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
The preparatory task of unwinding cotton for the calico weaving was a female occupation that in 1869 employed 18,2 percent of the daughters-in-law in Drakino. This work was put out to peasant women by factories, and was a widespread female occupation in Moskovskaia guberniia in the post-emancipation period. The work of unwinding cotton thread had several convenient features for the peasant woman. The work was easy and did not require the cleanliness, good vision, or concentration of the more skilled crafts. Yet unwinding cotton was not a desirable occupation, for the work was dirty and poorly paid. Women were driven to it either by the decline of better-paying crafts or by their lack of skill.
The decrease in work opportunities in the textile industry was reflected by the way different occupations were distributed according to household position in 1886. The household heads at working age by 1886 were to a larger extent working as farmers. Even so, still there were 44,4 percent weavers, and only 35,3 percent farmers among the household heads in Drakino. Further, 15 percent of the household heads were unskilled workers in 1886, while other occupations employed only small numbers of people. Thus, the textile industry remained a significant income source in Drakino's households, employing most of the household heads in 1886.
Figure 7.4. : Occupation according to position in the household. Farmers and weavers in Drakino 1886.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 12, delo 1970.
Among the sons the change in occupational structure was minor. As much as 67,3 percent of the sons in households were working as weavers in 1886, while only 7,1 percent were given to have no other occupation than farming. Also among the sons there was a rather large minority who were unskilled workers, composing 10,6 percent of the sons at working age in 1886.
The most extensive change happened in wives' of heads occupation structures. Only 2,4 percent of the wives in 1886 were working as weavers while 97,6 percent were said to be in domestic work, meaning that they worked in their homes and in the fields. Also among the daughters-in-law more people were working in agriculture, making up 72 percent of the daughters-in-law, while only 23 percent were working as weavers. Even among the unmarried daughters the proportion occupied in agriculture increased, composing 44,7 percent of the daughters at working age in 1886, while 48,9 percent were working as weavers in the textile industry. The census data suggest that work in the textile industry was very important in the economy of Drakino. Employing most of the village population, the textile industry probably contributed considerably to the household economy. Further, the village population's occupational structure shows that the labour division between the older and younger generation not existed to such an extent as in Spas-Korkodino. Instead there was a labour division between men and women, which grew in importance as the organization of the cotton industry changed in the last decades of the nineteenth century.
The Cotton Industry
Scholars have been studying the agricultural activity of the Russian peasants much more in detail than their industrial activity. Even so, Russia in the post-emancipation period was marked by rapid industrialization, and the peasants were very much taking part in this process, forming the main labour force in Russian industry at the time. Compared to Western Europe, Russian towns in the nineteenth century were poorly developed. The urban population was small, and many towns, even in Moskovskaia guberniia, lived primarily from agriculture. Thus, both the urban and rural population worked simultaneously in agriculture, trades and crafts. Instead of the duality of industrial towns and an agricultural countryside, we see in nineteenth century Russia the duality between agricultural and industrial villages, with the latter producing most of Russia's manufactured goods.
Drakino's textile industry in 1869 must have been organized in a way that allowed both men, women, and children to take part in the calico production process. This probably means that at least part of the production was located in the village, most likely in the peasant homes or in small workshops. The weavers in the village were by that part of a proto-industrial system spreading across the central industrial region in the nineteenth century. The Moscow textile region included the silk weaving villages of the Kliazma basin east of Moscow (Bogorodskii uezd), and the linen and cotton weaving networks throughout the southern and eastern regions of Moskovskaia guberniia.38 In Moskovskaia guberniia home based production was especially common in the cotton weaving industry.
Cotton weaving in Russia started in the 1750-60s, but grew in this period slowly by comparison to other branches of the textile industry, due to high costs of the imported raw material. The Baltic and Central regions (Moskovskaia and Vladimirskaia guberniia) worked exclusively on cotton yarn imported from Britain, which was more expensive than silk imported from Asia. In the 1790s a crisis in the cotton industry severely affected the large-scale manufactures located around St. Petersburg. The enterprises in the central regions exhibited a larger flexibility and adaptability to the changing market conditions. They introduced new organizational forms of production by combining manufactures with cottage-type industries and thus could weather the crisis better than the older, larger enterprises in the industry. From the 1820s the cotton enterprises in Moskovskaia guberniia started to put out work to the local peasants. There were several such enterprises in Serpukhov, the uezd centre located about 13 verst from Drakino. This proto-industrial system implied that the peasant who already had the necessary skills, started to take on orders from the entrepreneurs, which due to a quickly developing factory system, needed to put out a part of the production to the peasants. The zemstvo statisticians calculated that 80 percent of the production took place in the peasant homes and only 20 percent in the so-called fabriky, which were larger enterprises producing hand made cloth.
The putting-out system was organized in a hierarchy that included several actors. On the top was the entrepreneur who gave out or sold the raw material to a mediator, who in his turn put it out to the weavers in their cottages or to a workshop owner. The mediator received the finished cloth and payed the weavers, and was responsible for delivering the finished product to the entrepreneur. In the post-emancipation period weavers of calico in Moskovskaia guberniia were payed 1 kopek per arshin, and a weaver could normally produce about 20 arshin of calico per day. The weavers usually did not work during the summer months, and many religious holidays were spread throughout the year. The low wages and the relatively short working season meant that the calico weavers' income was very modest.
The production of calico took place either in the peasant izba or in a workshop (svetelka) especially set up for this purpose. The weavers were usually members of the household, and hired workers were rare. According to the zemstvo data, the weavers preferred to work in their own villages rather than in factories because of the freedom it gave them. They did not have to leave their families and had also a more flexible work situation.
The work day for the male weavers often started at four in the morning and lasted until nine or ten in the evening, only interrupted by the meals. This means that the weavers worked for fourteen or fifteen hours every day in the winter season. Female weavers worked for about twelve hours per day, but this was in addition to all their domestic tasks. The children who worked as "spool-girls" and "spool-boys" also worked twelve hours per day, starting their work at five in the morning and ending it at eight in the evening. In all regions of Moskovskaia guberniia, even in the highly specialized silk weaving Bogorodskii uezd, the weavers only worked in the winter season when there was little work in agriculture. In the springtime when the field work started, the number of weavers significantly decreased. In the western and northern areas of Moskovskaia guberniia, where agriculture was relatively more important in the peasant economy than in other areas of the guberniia, the whole population was occupied in the spring field work. In the eastern and southern areas only the population at working age started to work in the fields, while young and old people still were weaving. From the end of June practically the whole population stopped weaving to participate in the field work. This was true even for those who were without land or who had no possibilities to get work as hired agricultural workers. The production of cotton in the villages of Moskovskaia guberniia was thus marked by extensive seasonal fluctuations, depending on the rhythms of the seasons and the agricultural calendar.
The change in occupational structure in Drakino from 1869 to 1886 could be attributed to a decrease in work opportunities in the textile industry. Within the period under consideration there was a rapid decrease in the production of hand made calico in Serpukhovskii uezd. This happened because the cotton industry shifted from hand made production to mechanized production of calico, and by 1883, calico weaving almost exclusively took place in mechanized factories. The decrease particularly influenced women and children's occupational possibilities. A centralized and mechanized production of calico recruited men, rather than women and children. The mechanization of the calico production generally favoured men who could leave their homes and families, as opposed to women, who also had to fulfill domestic tasks and would need to take care of children. Further, men left the land because they could earn more money than women.
In the post-emancipation period peasant migrants composed the main industrial work force in the central industrial region. These otkhodniki were bound to their native villages through taxation, redemption obligations, and the passport system. The migrants were often younger household members who needed permission from the household head to leave the village. According to the zemstvo statisticians, the peasants were often reluctant to let their sons leave for factory work as "the lad only gets spoiled, and his work will be of no use". The solution was to marry. It was typical that the migrant had to marry before he could leave his village, for in this way to supply his household with a worker in his place. Marriage thus functioned as the crucial link for the migrant worker in his attachment to the village. The bond was reinforced by a continuing pattern of two-way migration and short-term visiting. Men in migrant work usually returned to their villages in the harvest season, and factory owners in Moskovskaia guberniia were reported to take special measures to keep the migrant workers at the factory during the summer.
Drakino's population increasingly migrated to find work outside the village. Already in 1869 53,6 percent of the men working in industry, were given to be in migrant work. Among the women the overwhelming majority worked at home. Only 1,9 percent of the women occupied in industry were working outside the village. There is unfortunately no information on migrant work in the census from 1886, but zemstvo data from 1899 suggests that migrant work was increasingly important in the village. As much as 93,3 percent of the men occupied in industry in 1899, were reported to be working outside the village. Even so, the location of Drakino suggests that some of these people might be working nearby, and thus lived at home. This was probably true for the women working outside the village, too, who in 1899 made up 70,3 percent of all the women working in industry. The numbers show, however, that the industrial production was largely moved out of the village by the turn of the century.
If large and complex households were connected to the agricultural economy among Russian peasants, the widespread industrial activity in the post-emancipation period could somehow have altered the peasant household. The discussion of household structures in Drakino showed that there was a reduction in the number of the most complex households in the period, and the mean household size was reduced from 7,5 members per household in 1869 to 6,7 members per household in 1886. Further, this reduction in mean household size and the change in household composition, should probably be attributed to the division of several village households in this period. By contemporary observers divisions were associated with such developments in the Russian countryside as migrant work, the rise of individualism and the decline of patriarchy.
It seems to have been a connection between household structures and the household members' work in Drakino. The household heads' age structure showed that young household heads were more likely to live in simple family households consisting of married couples with children, while older household heads were living in multiple family households. This was due to the development cycle of the Russian peasant households. In 1869 42,4 percent of the household heads who were working as weavers, were living in nuclear families, while this was the case for only 2,8 percent of the farming household heads. Simultaneously, 45,8 percent of the farming households were of the multiple type. Most of the weavers were relatively young people while those occupied in farming were much older. The large percentage of weavers living in simple family households is therefore attributed to the fact that weaving was an occupation for young people. By 1886, however, the connection between young household heads and weaving was modified. The age distribution between farming and weaving household heads seems to have been levelled out. A relatively larger proportion of the young household heads were occupied in farming, and a larger part of the older household heads were occupied as weavers. This can be attributed to the change in the occupational structure of Drakino's population. Decreased work opportunities in the textile industry would probably mean that more of the young men establishing new households, would have to depend on income from agriculture alone.
Thus, the connection between industry and simple household structures is for several reasons quite obscure. Almost as many weaving household heads in 1869 were living in multiple family households, making up 39,1 percent of the total households with heads involved in weaving. Further, by 1886 the proportion of simple family households consisting of married couples with children were considerably lower among the weavers, composing only 20,6 percent while 33,9 percent lived in multiple family households. Among the farmers 22,1 percent were living in nuclear families, while 51,2 percent were living in multiple families. It seems, however, to have been more typical for farming household heads to live in multiple family households than was the case for weaving household heads. The multiple family household was an insurance in the Russian agricultural economy, and especially so for people with agriculture as their only income resource. Those who found employment in industry on the other hand, were not to such extent dependants on the agricultural economy. Their insurance was the calico weaving which gave them new economic prospects, and possibly more freedom to choose the organization of their households. Evidence suggests that migrant work might have been a decisive factor leading to a decrease in household size in post-emancipation Russia. Drakino displayed many features regarded as typical for the post-emancipation industrial village in Russia. The general tendency for Russian households to become smaller and less complex was intensely discussed by all segments of Russia's educated society in the post-emancipation period.
The breakup of households upon the patriarch's death was regarded as a natural occurrence in the development cycle of the Russian peasant households in both pre- and post-emancipation periods. It was mainly the premortem household divisions that caused concern among the contemporary observers. Under serfdom, landlords and the Ministry of State Domains tried to prevent household divisions among the serfs and the state peasants, because they believed that it would have negative effects on the economic viability of the households and jeopardize the patriarchal relations within the peasant families. The Ministry of State Domains attempted to hinder division of state peasant households by requiring peasants to petition for official permission. However, state peasants were not closely supervised, and tended to divide households without first seeking official sanction already before 1861.
During the post-emancipation period, and increasingly during the 1880s and 1890s, extensive evidence appeared indicating that division of peasant households were happening more frequently than earlier. This evidence alarmed state officials and members of educated society; the natural and desirable shape of the Russian rural family seemed threatened. Observers from every position in the social and political spectrum viewed the household partitions as a signal of change, as a new development in the structure of rural Russia. Populists viewed the phenomenon with alarm because it implied a rise in individualism and the decline of the spirit of collectivism. Marxists found in it a confirmation of the breakdown of traditional structures as capitalism penetrated into the Russian village. To conservative bureaucrats, divisions represented the weakening of patriarchy, and zemstvo liberals feared the economic consequences of smaller households as the foundation of the Russian economy.
By the mid-1880s, the public debate on the peasant question in Russia had generated an image of the peasant as essentially an economic actor. Many bureaucrats, statisticians, and scholars approached every element of village life with the conviction that the answer would lie somehow in the relation of the man to the soil and his effort to produce and provide for himself. The household division however, could not be ascribed only to economic conditions. Rather, the motivations of those who wished to set up new households were often emotional. Tensions of personal relations headed the list of reported causes for the breakup of the household, of which "arguments between women" and "women's quarrels" served as the most popular explanation. The conflicts within the household seem to have focused on the amount of work each member gave to the household. The relative size of each conjugal unit was in this respect important. A brother resented having to work twice as hard, or so he believed, because one of his brothers had twice as many children. The constant interaction between women within the confined space of the peasant izba also promoted conflict. Daughters-in-law were subordinate in the household, they would have to take orders, complaints, sometimes beatings, and at times even sexual advances from their father-in-law. Women in the multiple family household could gain greater influence and freedom in a smaller household where they would be emotionally and personally central, and would therefore often try to find a way to divide households.
Still, the timing of household divisions was closely related to economic circumstances. Ideally the family's abilities to farm the land productively and meet state and communal obligations, the amount of land at the household's disposal, and the capacity of preexisting living space, decided if division was possible. The opportunity to work in domestic industries or migrant work provided young household members with means to enforce a household division even if agricultural conditions discouraged it. A frequent cause for household divisions in the post-emancipation period was the son's departure for migrant work. A son who worked in migrant labour was obliged to contribute all or a part of his salary to his paternal household. Often the son refused to send his money back to the village, and used them instead for alcohol and generally loose living. The household head's response was to drive the son out of the household. A son in migrant work was often not willing to submit to the patriarch's authority anymore, as his money gave him more independence, and he would therefore ask for his share of the property to establish his own household. The desire for division could also come from the wife of the migrant worker. In her husband's absence, she might be defenceless within the household.
Male outmigration could, however, also increase the women's power in the village community. In areas of extensive male outmigration, women would have to take more responsibility for the agricultural work. The changing economy increased the women's share of field labour. They would execute such male agricultural tasks as ploughing and haymaking, and sometimes even take on administrative responsibilities in the peasant commune, as tax collection and other social obligations. Marriage to a migrant offered women greater control of their own lives, and a measure of dignity that distinguished them sharply from women in more sedentary areas. The women's contribution was essential for maintaining the family economy. Under such conditions could women's desire to become mistresses of their own households, have a greater chance in causing household divisions.
In Drakino the age and sex distribution was clearly affected in the 84 households that in 1869 were involved in outmigration. The age pyramid in figure 7.5 shows that practically all able-bodied men in these households seem to have migrated, while only older men, young boys, and women stayed in the village. Outmigration might have had significant effect not only on the migrant, but also on the household members who stayed behind in the village. It removed adult men from some households for months and even years. It left other households without a male household head altogether. In such cases outmigration could have altered the traditional patriarchal household and provided some women with an unusual opportunity to be their own mistresses, even if it added to their labours.
Figure 7.5. : Age distribution among the present men and women in households involved in migrant work.
Source: GARF, g. Moskvy, fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277.
The change in household size and composition in Drakino in the post-emancipation period seems largely to have been the result of household divisions. In this period household division was reported to lead to decreasing mean household size in many Russian villages in the central industrial region. The multiple family household fostered tensions between the household members leading to household partitions if the economic circumstances allowed it. The widespread industrial activity among the peasants in Drakino, in domestic industries and increasingly in migrant work, seems to have provided the villagers with economic means that made establishment of new households possible. The industrial activity, especially outmigration, might have changed the power balance in the patriarchal household. This could also lead to increased frequency in the partition of households and by that a reduction in mean household size, and to a certain extent changed household structures in Drakino.
Drakino's and Spas-Korkodino's dissimilar economies appear decisive in explaining why the household structures in the two villages developed in different ways in the period 1869 to 1886. The most important factor in this different development seems to be that household division happened in Drakino but not in Spas-Korkodino. The Spas-Korkodian population largely depended on agriculture alone, while industrial employment was relatively insignificant in the village economy. At the end of the nineteenth century various demographic and economic factors as population growth, land hunger, and heavy tax and redemption obligations, were combining to make conditions in agriculture very difficult in the central industrial region. The organization of Russian agriculture within the peasant commune, and largely outdated agricultural methods further intensified this situation. Spas-Korkodino's people seem to have defended their community against these developments by not allowing establishment of new households. The lack of household divisions in the village can be seen as a restriction of the household's development cycle. These household strategies were long familiar to Russian peasants. Under serfdom the development cycle of the peasant household seems to have been severely restricted by government and serfowner demands. Both authorities were opposing household divisions among the serfs and state peasants. The study of Spas-Korkodino shows that also after emancipation the household development cycle was restricted if the economic resources were scarce.
The development of household structures in Drakino should be attributed to the importance of non-agricultural wage work in the village's economy. Industrialization in the Russian countryside, increasingly important during the nineteenth century, seems to have provided the peasants in Drakino with the economic means that made household division possible. However, the contemporary observers from Russian educated society were probably wrong when they attributed household divisions to entirely new developments in Russian society. The household divisions should rather be seen as a stage in the development cycle of the Russian peasant household, comparable to inheritance in Western Europe. Household divisions would therefore probably take place according to custom if external economic and other factors allowed it.
Scholars have defined the large, multiple family household to be the typical household organization among Russian peasants. This household was primarily governed by the patriarchal interests of the household head, the peasant commune, and before emancipation, the landlord. Living in a patriarchal and traditionalist culture, the Russian peasant was working to meet his primary needs within the agricultural economy. The peasant woman in this context was suppressed and physically abused. Rather than describing archetypes, this study concentrates on the diversity in household structures displayed in post-emancipation Russian society. The historical research of household structures in Western Europe has showed that there were large differences in household structures according to the household development cycle and geographical location. This study shows that also in the Russian household pattern there existed an extensive diversity that seems to have been largely overlooked in previous research of household structures in Russia. A village community could display a variety of household structures, ranging from solitaries over nuclear families to large, multiple family households containing several conjugal units. The study of the households in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino in the period 1869 to 1886, also shows that this diversity should be attributed to the peasant family's conscious strategy according to the particular circumstances within the household or in the environment. Accordingly, changes in the life cycle of the individual household members led to changes in the household development cycle, and differences in the demographic regime or in economic possibilities contributed to differences in the household organization.
The new occupational opportunities in industry seem to have intensified the diversity in household composition among Russian peasants in the post-emancipation period. In regions and villages heavily involved in industrial activity, the occurrence of relatively small and not very complex households seem to have been quite common in the peasant population. Those peasants who depended entirely or largely on agricultural income, on the other hand, seem to have been more likely to live in large, multiple family households. The peasant household was characterized by both tradition and flexibility in its adaption to the rapid changes going on in Russian society in the post-emancipation period.
Peasant societies depend to a considerable extent on the physical environment in which they live. Geographical differentiation marked the central regions of the Russian Empire in the post-emancipation period. On the one hand the black earth belt was the richest agricultural area in Europe. On the other hand the central industrial region of the forest zone was dominated by poor soils and decreasing agricultural revenues, simultaneously as the region was characterized by increasing industrialization. The peasants living in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino in the post-emancipation period, had to survive in a rather hostile environment. The soil in Moskovskaia guberniia was poor, the weather was shifting, agricultural techniques outdated, the state was demanding ever more taxes and redemption payments, and the mortality rate was high. However, the peasants found ways to manage this situation.
The Russian population was characterized by an extremely high mortality rate, particularly among small children but also in the adult population. The reasons for the high mortality were frequent wars, famine, and repeated epidemic outbreaks, while the deaths of infants were often caused by lack of care and incorrect feeding practices. There always existed a considerable danger for that a child would die in its first year of living. Accordingly, the Russian peasant couple would need to produce many children to maintain the existence of the community, and this had consequences for the marriage pattern among Russian peasants. Young people were encouraged to marry early and marriage was practically universal. Although the mean age at first marriage somewhat increased in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino in the period 1869 to 1886, the marriage pattern of the two villages seems to have totally conformed to the pattern of early and universal marriage regarded as typical for Russia. In the post-emancipation period, the mean age at first marriage was always under 22 years for both men and women in these villages, and very few people remained unmarried throughout their lives.
Marriage seems primarily to have had a utilitarian purpose, and when choosing a marriage partner such factors as looks and personality were probably less important than labour capacity and sobriety. With such criteria in the choice of a marriage partner, it would be easier to achieve a nearly universal marriage, leaving out only those who were physically or mentally disabled. The community seems also to have been very successful in the control of young people's behaviour. This is particularly shown in the low incidence of illegitimate births in the Russian peasant population. There were accordingly also very few moral restrictions on marriage.
Most marriages in European Russia took place according to the church and agricultural calendars in the winter months January and February, or in the late autumn, in October and November. This was also the case in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino, and in these villages most people married when they were eighteen or nineteen years old. In adolescence young girls and boys were prepared for marriage through different rituals, and they probably knew almost exactly the year and month when they would marry, even if they did not know to whom. Even so, they could assume that their spouse would be approximately at the same age as themselves, as the Russian peasants generally preferred spouses to be close to each other in age.
Thus, marriage in the Russian peasant society seems largely to have been controlled by community interests. The choice of a marriage partner and timing of the marriage consummation, were ruled indirectly by community norms and more directly by agreements between parents, or by the activities of the matchmaker.
After marriage the young couple usually moved into the husband's parental household. In other words, they did not establish their own household in connection to marriage, but lived in the household of the husband's father, so-called virilocal residence. The lack of neo-local rules for establishment of new households in Russian society allowed young men and women to marry early, and it also contributed to the prevalence of large and complex households among Russian peasants. In Drakino and Spas-Korkodino as well, the multiple family household prevailed in the post-emancipation period. Most people in these villages were living in multiple households consisting of several conjugal family units. However, the study of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino also shows that their population displayed a variety of household structures. The nuclear family was for instance an important single household categories in these villages.
This should be attributed to the development cycle of the Russian peasant household. As the Western household, also the Russian household went through different stages as the household members married, gave birth and died. The Russian household's development cycle was governed by such factors as virilocal residence, patriarchal principles saying that the household could develop only according to the male kinship line, seniority in the attainment of headship, and partial inheritance of property in connection to household divisions. Accordingly, young couples in Drakino and Spas-Korkodino moved in with the husband's parents and lived in this household until they could establish their own household. Young married couples in these villages faced a period of about ten to fifteen years as junior household members, before they possibly could establish their own household. Even so, establishment of new households was obviously not always possible or not requested, as most married couples lived in extended or multiple family households. As the married couple in the nuclear family became older, their household would most likely develop into a household consisting of several conjugal units when their children and grandchildren started to marry. Eventually the parents in this multiple family household would die, but the household would often continue to exist with the oldest son as household head. The household could also develop into a household consisting of uncles and nephews, or a household consisting of co-resident cousins.
However, in the post-emancipation period most households seem to have divided into separate households before these last stages in the household development cycle occurred. The household division formed the last stage in the Russian peasant household's development cycle. It can be compared to inheritance because it was through household division the younger generation received their part of the household property, either before or after the patriarch's death. Before 1861 the state and landlord authorities tried to prevent divisions of serf and state peasant households. It is not surprising that landlords in the pre-emancipation period regarded household divisions among their serfs as harmful. Apart from the potential economic risk inherent in household divisions, the idea of inheritance among the serfs might also undermine the authority of the landlord. The peasants in Drakino were state peasants and were accordingly not so closely supervised as serfs. Thus, Drakino's population probably divided their households according to local custom already before emancipation.
In the period 1869 to 1886 the mean household size in Drakino was reduced and the proportion of very complex households were also reduced. This can be attributed to household divisions. During the post-emancipation period indications appeared of more frequent household divisions among Russian peasants, and this alarmed state officials and members of educated society, who attributed the divisions to increasing individualism and the weakening of patriarchy in the countryside. The zemstvo statisticians also believed that divisions resulting in small households would ruin the agricultural and by that the national economy.
Household division (razdel) was the way to establish new households in Russian peasant society. Sometimes the household division involved all the conjugal units of the household. Large, complex households were by such razdely divided into two or more separate households, each provided with the movable and real property it needed for survival. Partial divisions were also quite common in Russian peasant villages. According to these divisions, a junior member with his wife and children would leave the household to establish his own household. This division could happen with or without the consent of the household head. In the period 1869 to 1886 there were several household divisions in Drakino, often leading to the establishment of households containing only one married couple with children. The divided households were all multiple family households, suggesting that division preferably should take place when the household was at its most complex stage.
The motivation for household divisions was often emotional stress within the multiple family household. Conflicts between the household members are reported to be the main reason why Russian peasant households divided. However, household division should probably also be attributed to practical circumstances. Households could not grow eternally because the space of the peasant izba did not allow it, but also because the Russian peasants seem to have preferred the household members to be relatively closely related to each other. The timing of division was decided by the household's economic viability. Ideally should both the divided household and the new households be economically balanced after division. The largest and most complex households were the wealthiest households in the village, and could therefore provide new households with the necessary equipment and property. The multiple household containing several conjugal family units ensured the labour capacity of the new households. Thus, the growth of the different nuclear family units within the multiple household was a decisive factor in the timing of household division.
In the period 1869 to 1886 the last stage of the development cycle differed considerably between Drakino and Spas-Korkodino. The study of the households in Spas-Korkodino show that they went through very much the same development cycle as the households of Drakino, but even so they were not divided, and some households were even merged into larger units. Most of the household mergers in Russian peasant society happened because of economic inadequacy or a breakdown in family structure. The merger combined two or more households into a unit of larger size and with a larger amount of available labour, land, and equipment. In Spas-Korkodino the mean household size increased considerably, and the proportion of very complex households were also increased. Thus, the acceleration in the frequency of household divisions in the post-emancipation period, cannot be attributed to all villages.
The different economy of Drakino and Spas-Korkodino is probably the decisive factor in explaining why the household structures developed in different directions in these villages. Income from agriculture was most important in the economy of Spas-Korkodino's households. Work in the textile industry provided the households only with supplementary income, and it was mainly adult, married sons who were working in this industry as calico weavers. Other household members, including the household head, were almost exclusively working in agriculture. In Russia the peasant commune (obshchina) organized the agricultural activities of a village. The peasant commune officially owned the arable land and allotted it to the households according to the size and composition of each household, the determining criteria being a household's labour capacity. The communal land was further regularly repartitioned to reflect changes in the household composition. Within this agricultural system large, complex households were an asset, while small households were more likely to find themselves in a difficult economic situation, depending on non-agricultural income or communal welfare. In the post-emancipation period this situation was intensified in the central industrial region. Heavy economic obligations, agrarian overpopulation due to an extensive population growth during the nineteenth century, and increasing shortage of land combined to make the agricultural conditions in the central industrial region very difficult. Increasing numbers of peasants in this area were forced to find work in domestic or factory industries, but in Spas-Korkodino industrial work was not very important in the village economy. The multiple family household was instead consolidated, while establishment of new households through division does not seem to have been possible.
The peasants of Drakino were also cultivating communal land, but in the post-emancipation period, industrial activity was very important in the village economy. Industrial work supplied the peasants with extra income, although their wages were meagre. Those who found employment in industry were thus not so dependent on the agricultural economy. The surplus income from industrial work could have provided the peasants of Drakino with the economic means that made household division possible. All population groups, men, women, and children were employed in the rapidly expanding cotton weaving industry. Most men in the village were working as calico weavers, and so were many unmarried women, while married women were more likely to be working in agriculture. This labour division was intensified by the late nineteen-century change in the organization of the cotton industry, in which calico production was moved out of the peasant homes and workshops into mechanized factories.
Increasing numbers of peasants were leaving their village to find work in the factories. Migrant peasant workers composed the main industrial work force in the central industrial region, but were connected to the village through marriage and a continuing pattern of two-way migration. Even so, in areas of heavy outmigration, women were left with the main responsibility for the agricultural production and the family economy for large parts of the year. Some scholars claim that this could have altered the power distribution in the patriarchal multiple family household. Women's wish to become mistresses of their own households could under such conditions contribute to household divisions. Migrant workers also earned more money than domestic industrial workers. The industrial work provided young household members with the economic means and a sense of independence necessary to enforce a household division. Thus, the widespread industrial activity of the peasants in Drakino provided them with economic means that could counterbalance the negative effects of the agricultural development in the post-emancipation period. They were not forced to restrict their household's development cycle by not establishing new households through division. Industrial work could also somehow have changed the cultural contents of the patriarchal household system, maybe leading to an acceleration of household divisions in the last decades of the nineteenth century.
• arshin; - Russian measure equivalent to 71 cm.
• bania; - steam bathhouse.
• barshchina; - serf labour duties.
• cherespolositsa; - strip farming.
• chetvert'; - Russian measure equivalent to ca. 3 litres.
• chulan; - larder.
• desiatina; - Russian land measure equivalent to 2,7 acres.
• domokhoziain; - household head.
• dvor; - household.
• gosudarstvennyi; - state peasant.
• guberniia; - province; administrative unit above the uezd level, now oblast'.
• gumno; - treshing floor.
• izba; - peasant's hut or cottage.
• krasnyi ugol; - icon corner.
• kustarnyi promysel; - non-agricultural work among Russian peasants.
• mir; - the peasant commune as an administrative unit.
• narodnik, - populist, member of the narodnik movement.
• obrok; - quitrent.
• obshchina; - the peasant commune as an economic unit.
• otdel; - partial household division, in which a member left the household without the consent of the household head.
• otkhodniki; - peasant migrants in seasonal work.
• otkhozhii promysel; - seasonal work in handicrafts or trade conducted away from home.
• ovin; - barn for drying crops.
• pech' - oven.
• podvornyi perepis'; - household census.
• polati; - sleeping loft.
• pud; - Russian measure of weight equivalent to 16,38 kg.
• razdel; - household division involving all household members.
• riga; - treshing barn.
• sel'skii skhod; - village assembly.
• sobstvennik; - landowner.
• soslovie; - social estate.
• sovet starikov; - informal council of elders.
• stariki; - older men in the village.
• starshina; - village elder.
• svalki i navalki; - partial repartitional practice in which the commune removed an allotment from one household and apportioned it to another household.
• sviashchennik; - priest in the Orthodox church.
• svetelka; - work shop.
• tiaglo; - labour unit of a married couple.
• uezd; - district; smallest administrative unit in tsarist Russia, now raion.
• usad'ba; - land where the peasants built their houses and cultivated gardens.
• versta; - Russian measure, equivalent to 1,6 km.
• volost'; - organs of peasant self-government in the post-emancipation period.
• volostnoi starshina; - elder in the volost'.
• vremennoobiazannii; - temporarily obligated peasant.
• vydel; - partial household division, in which a member left the household with the consent of the household head, and with his share of the property.
• zemstvo; - elected rural assemblies at the guberniia and uezd level.
GARF, g. Moskvy - Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Rossiskoi Federatsii, goroda Moskvy:
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2068: Poselennye vedomosti po krest'ianskomu khoziaistvu i bytu, Sogolevskaia volost', Klinskii uezd, Moskovskaia guberniia.
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2139: Poselennye vedomosti po krest'ianskomu khoziaiztvu i bytu, Vysotskaia volost', Serpukhovskii uezd, Moskovskaia guberniia.
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2203: Zemskaia podvornaia perepis' po Sogolevskoi volosti, Klinskii uezd, Moskovskaia guberniia za 1869/71 gg.
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2277: Zemskaia podvornaia perepis' po Vysotskoi volosti, Serpukhovskii uezd, Moskovskaia guberniia za 1869/71 gg.
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2346: Podvornaia perepis' selenii Sogolevskoi volosti Klinskogo uezda. 1883 g.
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2415: Podvornaia perepis' selenii Vysotskoi volosti Serpukhovskogo uezda. 1883 g.
Fond 184, opis' 10, delo 2429: Zemskaia podvornaia perepis' po Sogolevskoi volosti, Klinskii uezd, Moskovskaia guberniia za 1886 g.
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