Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
RUSSIA. This empire comprises three distinct states: Russia, Poland, and the grand duchy of Finland. Its area, according to the imperial almanac of 1872, is 19,152,725 square kilometres, divided as follows: Russia in Europe, 4,390,829 square kilometres; Poland, 123,738; Finland, 350,541; the lieutenancy of the Caucasus, 407,597; Siberia, 11,425,715; and Central Asia, 2,454,305.
—The population in 1867 amounted to 81,745,307, as follows: Russia in Europe and Poland, 69,364,541; Finland, 1,843,253; the lieutenancy of the Caucasus, 4,583,640; Siberia, 3,327,627; and Central Asia, 2,626,246. The increase in the population can only be estimated on absolute bases since 1835; the following are the figures given by M. Schnitzler (Empire des Tzars): 1835, 59,000,000; 1851, 69,000,000; 1860, 75,000,000. The 81,000,000 of 1867, distributed over the whole surface, gives only 4.2 inhabitants to the square kilometre. The most populous part is Poland, nineteen inhabitants to the square kilometre, while in Siberia there is only one inhabitant per 3.3 square kilometres.
—The empire embraces nine distinct races: 1, the Slaves, who are the most numerous and who inhabit the centre of Russia; 2, the Lettes or Lithuanians; 3, the Finns, who inhabit the north of Russia and Siberia; 4, the Germans of Livonia, Esthonia and Courland; 5, the Turks, who inhabit the southeast; 6, the Caucasians; 7, the Jews; 8, the Mongols, or Tartars; 9, the Mandchous of Siberia.
—I. Social and Political Condition. The sovereign, as his title of emperor and autocrat of all the Russias indicates, is invested with a power without limit or control; not only is he supreme chief and legislator, but it is even only under his authority and by virtue of his delegation that the synod, charged with governing the national church, acts. In a vast country composed, like Russia, of heterogeneous elements more or less behind the times, this autocracy serves to give them the necessary cohesion, and, when it falls to a sovereign who is animated by love of the public welfare, may accelerate the progress of civilization; thus it allowed the emperor Alexander II. to bring about reforms and to found new institutions which are destined to be the glory of his reign.
—The monarchy is hereditary in the males, in the order of primogeniture. When there is no male branch, the princess who is the nearest relation of the last sovereign, succeeds him; the others are called to the throne only in case she leaves no direct heir. (Family law of 1797.) The emperor has the power to provide for the case of his leaving, at his death, an heir who is a minor, and to appoint a regent and a guardian. If he dies without having taken this measure, the regency devolves on the empress dowager or on the nearest agnate, to the exclusion of the father-in-law or mother-in-law of the new sovereign, and the regent has to form a council of regency of six members. The sovereign attains his majority at sixteen years of age; the other princes of the family at eighteen. Their wives are not qualified to share their rank, and the children which they bear can not be called to the throne, unless they belong to a sovereign house and profess the orthodox Greek religion.
—The dotation of the crown is fixed by the emperor. It consists of imperial appanages and of a civil list.
—Nobility. There is a nobility of birth and a nobility of service. Peter the Great subordinated the first to the second, and classed by ranks the civil and military functions. There are fourteen classes, as follows: 1, chancellor of the empire, field marshal, admiral general, privy councilor of the first class; 2, general-in-chief, admiral, privy councilor of the second class; 3, lieutenant general, vice-admiral, privy councilor; 4, major general, rear admiral, councilor of state of the first class; 5, councilor of state. The next four classes include the colonels, lieutenant colonels, majors, staff captains, and some civil functionaries. In the last five are ranged the inferior officers, with certain functionaries. Nobility is hereditary in the first five classes, and personal only in the next four; the functionaries of the last five classes become personal nobles by advancement. Every noble owes a personal service to the state, under penalty of forfeiture of nobility, if three generations pass without this condition being fulfilled. The titles are those of prince, count and baron. There were, in 1867, 591,266 hereditary nobles and 327,764 personal nobles. By a manifesto of April 2, 1801, no noble can, without a regular trial and sentence, be deprived of nobility, honor, life or property. A noble can be tried only by a tribunal composed of nobles, and if the sentence is loss of nobility, honor or life, it must be confirmed by the senate and by the sovereign. The nobles are exempted from all corporal punishment, if only non-commissioned officers or soldiers. If they are deprived of their property, it goes to the nearest heir. Their houses are exempt from all quartering of soldiers. In each government the nobles possessing at least 300 déciatines of land (328 hectares) or a house worth 15,000 roubles (60,000 francs), or else who are included in the first five classes, have the right to assemble in the chief town every three years. Those who do not fulfill these conditions, meet in each district to elect delegates to the assembly of the government. This assembly elects a marshal and district marshals, charged with watching over the interests of the nobility and representing it at the central administration. The same assembly elects the judges and assessors of the tribunals, as well as the chief of police of each district; it attends to the distribution of the taxes and deliberates as to the interests of the province. It also exercises a disciplinary power over the members of the nobility; it examines the titles, judges the nobles who are accused of dissipating their fortune, and places them under guardianship if occasion requires. The nominations of functionaries are submitted to the approval of the emperor or of the governor according to the importance of the function.
—Bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie, established by a statute of April 24, 1785, is divided into six classes: 1, owners of immovable property; 2, members of guilds; 3, domiciled foreign merchants; 4, notable bourgeois (see below); 5, artisans, members of trade corporations; 6, small tradesmen, small manufacturers, lesser employés, etc. A manifesto of 1832 established a notable bourgeoisie, for life or hereditary. The first can be conferred upon former students of universities who have obtained a certificate of having made good progress in studies, and upon artisans furnished with a diploma from the academy of fine arts. The hereditary bourgeoisie may be obtained by merchants fulfilling certain conditions, doctors of a Russian university, pupils of the academy of fine arts furnished with a diploma, and foreign savants, artists, merchants or workers of industry after ten years' residence in the country. The sons of personal nobles are notable bourgeois by right of birth. The senate examines the titles and delivers the diplomas. It may confer notable bourgeoisie for life upon foreign savants, artists, merchants or manufacturers.
—Peasants. The inhabitants of the rural districts form nine-tenths of the total population; they are distributed through about 300,000 villages or hamlets, and are subject to a poll tax. In 1861, when serfdom was abolished, the peasants of the domains of the state and of the imperial appanages, to the number of 25,000,000, were already almost all freed, and there were 23,000,000 others attached to the soil. These latter owed their respective lords three days' labor a week; the other four days were at their disposal to cultivate a lot of land the products of which were given to them to supply the wants of themselves and their families. They could not change their residence without permission from their lord. The latter could sell them or mortgage them for so much per head, with the piece of land to which they were attached: he had over them the authority of a father; he could impose a profession upon them, permit or forbid them to marry, and inflict corporal punishments, death excepted, upon them. The serfs of a domain formed, under the guardianship of the lord, a rural commune, administered by an assembly composed of heads of families and by a chief called staroste, whom they elected from among their own number. It was to the commune that the land was granted by the lord, and it was charged with dividing it among the families according to the number of able-bodied workmen they contained, and, consequently, according to the amount of days' labor they could furnish. Where the land did not furnish enough to support the peasants, the lord rented it and gave up his right to enforced labor. Besides the serfs employed in the cultivation of the land, there were those who were attached, as domestics, to the service of the lord, and others whom he could authorize, in consideration of a sum paid, called obrok, to carry on some trade, either in the domain or elsewhere. In return for the revenue which the work of the serfs procured for him, the lord was bound to protect them and to help them in case of need; he was subject, therefore, to the expense and trouble of administration which this obligation involved, and he was responsible for the payment of the taxes.
—The number of owners of serfs was estimated at 103,195, of whom 3,700 possessed no land. (See the statistical work of M. Troïnizki.) The 103,195 owners were divided as follows: 42,978 possessing from 1 to 21 male serfs, in all, 339,586 serfs; 36,194, from 21 to 100 male serfs, 1,697,914; 20,165, from 101 to 500 male serfs, 3,974,629; 2,462, from 501 to 1,000 male serfs, 1,597,691; 1,396, possessing 1,001 male serfs and more; in all, 3,074,033. Thus, among the small proprietors, the one who possessed twenty serfs derived from them, at eight roubles per head, only 640 francs a year, to which were added the products of the land. A large proprietor received, for 1,000 serfs, 32,000 francs. The number of those who possessed from 20,000 to 50,000 was very small. In 1850, 44,166 estates, with 7,107,184 serfs, were mortgaged in the banks for 425,503,061 roubles, 1,500,000,000 francs. (See the work of M. Schnitzler.)
—The law, in freeing the serfs, regulated: 1, their rights and those of the former proprietors; 2, the means of existence of the freedmen; 3, the conditions by which they could become proprietors of the lands which they cultivated. The lords were freed from their duties of guardianship. They preserved their rights of property in the lands which belonged to them, but on condition of allowing the peasants, by the payment of a sum fixed by the law, to enjoy the pieces of ground which they occupied and also a quantity of land which varied according to its productive quality. These lands were intended to furnish the peasants with a living, and to place them in a position to fulfill the obligations which were imposed upon them for their redemption from serfdom.
—It was not to the peasants but to the commune that these lands were granted. They belong to it in perpetuity, to be exploited in common according to immemorial custom or in separate lots. This second method is only the exception; it can be substituted for exploitation in common only with the consent of two-thirds of the inhabitants of the commune and of the proprietor.
—The commune is charged with indemnifying the proprietor either with labor or in money, as the parties choose; moreover, it is responsible to the treasury for the payment of the taxes. From this double responsibility proceeds the right of using force against peasants who do not fulfill their obligations. Besides the ordinary proceedings, the commune has the right to hire out a man in arrears or some one of his family for outside work, in the same district or in a neighboring district, and the wages paid for his work must be given to the commune. Those who do not fulfill their obligations, through obstinacy, idleness, or in consequence of intemperance, can be hired out in other governments, provided the decision of the communal assembly be confirmed by the justice of the peace. In case the land is enjoyed in lots, the responsibility is personal, and may lead to expulsion from the commune and the sale of the lots granted. When it is arranged that the indemnity due the proprietor is to be paid in forced labor, such labor is limited to two days a week for both men and women. The dues are eight to twelve roubles for each grantee. The peasants who were subjected to the corvée have the right to pay money instead, without the proprietor being able to constrain them thereto.
—The pieces of ground occupied by the peasants must be granted to them in full ownership as soon as they demand it; the price of sale is fixed by law. As for the lands the enjoyment of which had to be allowed them, the proprietors are at liberty to consent to the sale, or to refuse it and to hold to the stipulations fixing the corvée or the dues. When the sale has taken place, and the purchasers, whether peasants or the commune, can not pay the price, the government intervenes; it capitalizes the dues at 6 per cent., and gives the sum to the proprietor, half in special certificates, issued in the name of the latter at 5½ per cent., and not negotiable at the Bourse, and half in bonds payable to the bearer at 5 per cent., and negotiable like the Russian public stocks; 20 per cent. of the capital is retained to cover the expenses of collection, arrears and worthless debts. If the sale is made with the consent of the peasants, the 20 per cent. must be paid by them; in the contrary case, it is charged to the proprietor; and, if the state institutions of credit hold a mortgage upon the property, the sum is taken out of the price of sale. The purchasers discharge their indebtedness to the state by paying, for forty-nine years, an annuity of 6 per cent., of which 5 represents the interest and 1 the amortizement. As long as the peasants are indebted either to the proprietor, if they have treated directly with him, or to the state, if it has paid for them the price of redemption, they can not leave the commune without the consent of the proprietor and of the commune, and without justifying by depositing in the communal treasury a sum equal to the dues or fine capitalized at 6 per cent.
—According to the official returns, the acts and transactions of redemption amounted to 79,599 on Jan. 1, 1873; 21,201 were concluded privately. The peasants who had become proprietors of the lands they cultivated, numbered 6,858,334, the extent of these lands was 21,120,152 déciatines (23,088,550 hectares), and the sums lent by the state amounted to 630,467,115 roubles. Of the sum of 41,222,629 roubles, which the peasants had to pay in 1872, there remained in arrears only 316,604 roubles. As in certain districts the amount fixed for reimbursement evidently exceeded the resources of the debtors, the government reduced their annual payments. The serfs called dvorovyé, attached to the service of the lords, or authorized by them to practice a trade in consideration of the payment of the obrok, were freed at the expiration of two years.
—The government, wishing to be informed of the changes produced by the emancipation, charged a commission to institute an inquiry, the results of which were published in 1873. The condition of the peasants has sensibly improved, both materially and morally, in the northwest, with the exception of the marshy districts of Pinsk and the banks of the Pripet. In the south, well-being increased without any advance in morality. No improvement has been produced in Little Russia. In the rest of the empire, the increase of well-being is scarcely apparent, and the intellectual and moral faculties are as little developed as before. Finally, in Great Russia the consumption of brandy has considerably increased. Exploitation in common continues to prevail; the peasant is bound to the commune as long as he has not paid the price of redemption, and, in the meanwhile, he has scarcely effected anything but to exchange the guardianship of the lord for that of the commune. Now it would appear that there was little to boast of in the communal administration and in the administration of justice. Their burdens have increased; the communes expending much more than formerly, their taxes have reached (1874) a total of 30,000,000 roubles; the provincial taxes have increased in a similar manner; the state taxes have not diminished, and both weigh almost exclusively upon the peasants. Therefore the commission recommended new reforms to bring emancipation to a good result. (For the effects produced upon agriculture and upon the condition of the proprietors, see IX. Resources.)
—In Poland the serfs numbered about 3,700,000. By virtue of four ukases of 1864, they acquired the ownership of the lands and buildings of which they had the usufruct, in consideration of corvées, prestations and dues of all kinds. All these charges, those which were arbitrary or exceptional being deducted, were converted into a land tax, and they served as a basis for the indemnity which was paid to the proprietors in bonds bearing 4 per cent. interest, and redeemable by an annual drawing by lot.
—II. Administration. Below the emperor, to whom belongs the plenitude of executive power, the highest administrative authority is the council of the empire. The matters within its jurisdiction are the discussion and drawing up of legislative acts, the interpretation of the laws in case the tribunals do not catch the true sense of them, the establishment of the budget, new measures in the administration of the finances, the examination of the annual accounts rendered by the ministers, the solution of litigious questions relative to the administration or expropriation for public utility, finally, the political affairs upon which the council is consulted by the emperor. The ministers have a seat in the council, by right; the other members are unlimited as to number; the emperor chooses them as he pleases, and gives the presidency to one of the first personages of the state. The president is assisted by a secretary of the empire, an intermediary between the emperor and the council, and charged with the preparatory labors and the recording of the deliberations, copying the records of them, etc.
—Another great body of state is the directing senate, which was established in 1718, and reorganized in 1802. It is at once a supreme court of appeal, judging in the last resort, with the exception of appeals to the emperor, in all civil and criminal matters, a supreme administrative tribunal, and a high political court in special cases. It is charged, besides, with seeing to the execution of the laws; it has the right to demand account of their management of all the functionaries, including the ministers; it watches over the collection of the taxes and the employment of public funds; it has the care of the archives; it appoints to a great number of offices; it orders all measures necessary to the maintenance of order, subject to the right, which belongs to the emperor, of annulling these decisions; finally, it is charged with promulgating the acts emanating from the emperor.
—The senate is divided into ten departments, of which five sit at St. Petersburg, three at Moscow, and two at Warsaw. In connection with each department there is a high imperial procurator, who has the right of control over the deliberations, and whose signature is necessary for a judgment to be executory. The senators are appointed by the emperor.
—The ministries date only from 1802. They are twelve in number, namely: 1, the ministry of the imperial court, which includes the imperial orders, the appanages, the revenues of the emperor, the ceremonial, the imperial theatres and other establishments dependent on the crown; 2, the minister of war; 3, of foreign affairs; 4, of the navy; 5, of the interior; 6, of public instruction; 7, of postoffices and telegraphs; 8, of the finances, comprising the mines and salt works, the metallurgic factories, manufactures and domestic commerce; 9, of the domains of the state, comprising the inspection of farming, the direction of the agricultural schools and of the model farms, and the forests; 10, of justice, including the corps of surveyors, the schools of surveying, and the law school; 11, of the means of communication and public edifices; 12, of the control charged with the examination of civil and military accounts. The emperor has his own chancellery, which is charged, among other duties, with the publication of the laws, with political police, and the establishments of charity and instruction placed under the direction of the empress. To the same chancellery is attached the commission of requests or petitions.
—Territorial Administration. Poland and the grand duchy of Finland each form a separate government. In the first, affairs are directed by a lieutenant of the emperor, assisted by a council of government. Under his presidency sits a deliberative assembly, called a council of state, and composed of fifteen permanent members and seven temporary members, appointed by the emperor. Finland is administered by a governor general, assisted by a senate, the members of which are appointed by the emperor. The legislative power belongs to the diet, composed of deputies of the nobility, of the Lutheran clergy, of the inhabitants of cities, and of peasants. The presidency belongs to the president of the nobility, who is appointed by the emperor. The decisions have the force of law only with the imperial approval. The rest of the empire is divided into fifty-eight governments, three city territories (Odessa, Taganrog and Kertch-Jénikalé), two countries (of the Cossacks of the Don and of the Tchernomorie), eleven oblasthes (provinces not as yet regularly organized), and three districts in the country of the Kirghises.
—The six governments of the region of the Caucasus are placed under the direction of a lieutenant of the emperor.
—Ten governors general, established at St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Kief, Riga, Wilna, Orenburg, Tobolsk and Irkoutsk, have under their orders the civil and military heads of the governments comprised in their circumscription. Each civil governor is assisted by a council composed of three titular members and of one or more assessors. With this council, which is purely consultative, sit a government attorney and two deputies, charged with defending the interests of the crown and watching over the execution of the laws. At St. Petersburg the city and the suburbs are separated, since 1873, from the provincial government, and fall within the jurisdiction of a prefecture.
—The governments are subdivided into districts, which are administered by a court composed of a president and two assessors elected by the nobility, of two other assessors elected by the inhabitants of the country, and of a substitute of the procurator of the government. This court serves, besides, as a tribunal of the first resort for the district.
—Each government has, as a deliberating body, the assembly of the nobility, of which mention was made above, and provincial, government and district assemblies, created by a law of Jan. 13, 1864. Each government assembly is composed of delegates of the district assemblies. Moreover, in the governments which embrace imperial appanages, or domains of the state, the chiefs of the councils of administration of these appanages and domains are members by right of the provincial assemblies. The members of each district assembly are elected by three categories of electors, which assemble and act separately: these are, 1, the proprietors (nobles or not); 2, the inhabitants of cities; and 3, the inhabitants of rural communes. They must all be fully twenty-five years of age. To be an elector as proprietor, it is necessary to possess, outside of the cities, from 200 to 800 déciatines of land, or of immovable property, having at least a value of 1,500 roubles, or to carry on an industrial establishment doing a business of at least 6,000 roubles yearly, or to be a permanent holder of determinate church property. The electors may be represented by mandatories of their choice, but the holders of church property are always obliged to be represented Small proprietors, who have not the required number of déciatines, can join together, so as to reach (two or more uniting) the electoral property qualification, and appoint a mandatory to represent them. The inhabitants of cities must, to be electors, produce a merchant's license, or possess an industrial establishment doing an annual business of at least 6,000 roubles, or immovable property worth from 500 to 3,000 roubles, according to the amount of the city's population. As for the rural communes, their representatives are appointed by electors, which the district assembly itself chooses. Minors, absentees and women can delegate their right to vote to a mandatory. The members of the assemblies are elected for three years, and receive no remuneration. The government assemblies come together once a year for twenty days, and the district assemblies for ten days. Each of these assemblies is presided over by the marshal of the nobility. Their duties comprise: 1, the administration of the property, capital and revenues of the province; 2, the construction and maintenance of buildings belonging to the province, and of roads which are in its charge, 3, measures useful for the welfare of the population; 4, measures of public assistance, the administration of charitable institutions and the construction of churches; 5, the administration of mutual insurance companies established in the province; 6, measures proper to develop commerce and industry therein; 7, measures concerning popular instruction, public health and prisons; 8, measures to be taken against epidemics and the ravages of noxious animals; 9, the distribution of certain state taxes, the voting and distribution of local taxes, and the application of the product of these taxes to the expenses of the government and the district; 10, the choice of members of the permanent executive commission, which sits in the absence of the assembly. The government commission is composed of a president, and of two to six members, elected for three years, who receive a salary fixed by the assembly. The district commissions are composed of two or three members. The presidents must be confirmed by the minister of the interior. This organization is not yet applied to all the governments; in some of them the anterior system is retained for various reasons.
—Municipal Administration. Each city has its municipal body, composed of the golova (mayor), deputies, and a deliberative assembly. All the members of the municipal body are elected by an assembly, composed. 1, of owners of immovable property paying a tax to the city; 2, of proprietors and directors of commercial and industrial establishments; 3, of all persons domiciled in the city for at least two years, and able to prove that they pay a tax to the city. The duties of the municipal body include, besides the management of municipal affairs, the maintenance of order, the taking of measures of public safety and health, making regulations concerning the ports, markets, exchanges and institutions of credit; the organization of charitable establishments and hospitals, the foundation of libraries, museums and theatres, and measures suited to develop public instruction, commerce and local industry. A council of six members, elected in the municipal body, performs the functions of a police court, of a chamber of commerce and a tribunal of commerce, taking cognizance of litigation among the inhabitants.
—Rural Communes. The rural commune is, as before the emancipation of the serfs, an association of peasants exploiting a fixed territory. The great seignioral and private estates are outside of the communes and within the jurisdiction of the provincial administration. The cities are likewise classed apart. The heads of families form an assembly which elects the staroste, chief of the commune, as well as his various functionaries, the treasurer and collector of taxes, the trustee of the school or schools, the delegate to the reserve warehouses of wheat, the hospital inspector, or, the rural guard, the forest guard, and the scribe. The assembly draws up the budget of the commune, fixes the taxes necessary for the payment of expenses, and regulates the apportionment of the taxes due the state. If the enjoyment of the land is in common, as is most frequently the case, the assembly divides the lots among the families; if it is in individual lots, the division is limited to the lots which are not in process of cultivation. The assembly gives their dismissal to peasants who wish to live elsewhere, on their fulfilling the prescribed conditions; it decides as to the admission and settlement of new heads of families; it gives guardians to minors, and authorizes family divisions; finally, it sits as a police court and deals out penalties, from the simplest fine to the expulsion of peasants judged "harmful or vicious" from the commune. The decisions are made by the absolute majority, except in certain cases in which a two-thirds vote is required: for example, the substitution of individual enjoyment of the land for enjoyment in common, the renewing of the lots, and exclusion from the commune. In the rural communes in which the dues are paid in money and in labor, the inhabitants subject to the obrok and those subject to the corvée may form separate assemblies.
—The staroste is the president of the assembly, and sees to the execution of its decisions. He takes all simple police measures; he pays into the proper hands the taxes and the payments for redemption; he controls the employment of the communal funds; finally, he is the representative of the commune in the volosth (see below), and with the authorities of the district, the province and the state.
—Above the commune is the volosth or canton, which includes many communes belonging to the same district, or comprises only a single commune when the population is large enough. The administration of the volosth is composed of a chief called starchina, of two or three assistants, of an assembly of delegates of the communes (one to every ten families), and of a council in conjunction with the starchina, to assist him in his functions, and composed of his assistants, the starostes of the communes of the volosth, and collectors of the taxes. The assembly comes together in the most central or the most important village; it regulates the common interests of the volosth, decrees the measures of public assistance, controls the accounts, and fixes the taxes and the dues. The duties of the starchina are similar to those of the staroste, but of a higher degree. He decides, in the last resort, on cases of simple offenses against the police regulations. To be eligible to the office of starchina, staroste, assistant, collector of taxes, or as a member of the council of regency, it is necessary to be at least twenty-five years of age. The term of office is three years; office can not be refused unless one can prove that he is sixty years old or has serious infirmities, or unless he has already filled it. Substitutes are appointed to avoid the occurrence of vacancies.
—III. Religion. The population of Russia in Europe, in 1874, was divided, as regards religion, as follows: Orthodox Greeks, 58,169,019; Dissenters (raskolniks), 926,631. United Greeks, 229,260; Gregorian Armenians, 37,136; Roman Catholics, 7,209,434; Protestants, 2,565,354; Israelites, 2,612,019; Mohammedans, 2,359,372; Pagans, 255,975. The inhabitants of the grand duchy of Finland (1,843,253) are nearly all Lutherans. For Asia, the almanac of the empire gives the following figures: Orthodox Greeks, 4,936,917; Dissenters (raskolniks), 166,985; Gregorian Armenians, 560,684; Roman Catholics, 54,106; Protestants, 16,337; Israelites, 34,857; Mohammedans, 3,267,650; Pagans, Guebres, Shamanists, 295,734. The orthodox Greek religion is the religion of the state; but other creeds, as well as the Pagans, enjoy an equal liberty.
—The national church is governed by a college called the very holy synod, under the authority of the emperor and by virtue of his delegation. Peter the Great established this college in 1721, and at the same time sanctioned the laws which govern the church. The synod is composed of titular members and of assistant members; the first, to the number of eight or nine, are the principal prelates of the empire, metropolitans, archbishops or archimandrites; the second are prelates who leave in turn their dioceses or monasteries to attend the sessions, as well as three laymen, one of whom is a high agent invested with powers by the emperor, and the two others functionaries by whom he is assisted. The first metropolitans and the exarch of Grousia are members by right and for life; the others are appointed by the emperor for a certain time. The acts emanating from the holy synod are valid only on condition of their receiving the imperial approval. The candidates for ecclesiastical offices are presented by the holy synod for appointment by the emperor, who can displace or remove a priest whom he judges unworthy of his office. But he does not decide in matters of faith; in case of disagreement upon a question of doctrine, he refers the matter either to the holy synod or to a special synod.
—The dioceses number fifty-two; they comprised, in 1872, 38,809 churches and 3,534 chapels. In each diocese is a consistory, subordinate to the holy synod. These consistories preside over the acts of the civil state, watch over the exercise of worship, the police of the churches, the conduct of members of the clergy, and decide in all matters ecclesiastical.
—The metropolitans receive 3,000 roubles at most, the archbishops 2,500, the bishops 2,000, and the coadjutors 500. The salary of the curates does not reach 100 roubles; but they receive fees; in the country, they have a house, from twenty to forty déciatines of land, and wood is furnished them gratuitously. The churches receive legacies and possess property in most of the dioceses.
—The clergy is divided into secular or white, and into regular or black. The latter are forbidden to marry; they live in monasteries, and from among them the prelates are chosen. The nobles, therefore, who embrace an ecclesiastical career, enter the ranks of the black clergy. The white clergy are recruited almost entirely from among the sons of popes, or curates; they must be married before ordination, and they generally take their wives from the families of priests, so that this clergy forms a veritable caste. The secular clergy was composed, in 1872, of 1,160 archpriests, 36,440 priests, 13,250 deacons, and 56,886 curates. The convents numbered 532, of which 383 were for men and 149 for women. They contained 5,810 monks and 3,280 nuns, with 5,617 lay brothers and 11,258 lay sisters. Each monk receives an annual pension of from twelve to fifteen roubles; the nuns are not paid anything except in exceptional cases; most of them live on alms and the product of their labor.
—Missionaries are established in Siberia and in the region of the Volga, to labor for the conversion of the Pagans and Mohammedans. (See CHURCH, GREEK.)
—IV. Justice. The organization and administration of justice commenced, during the reign of Nicholas I., to receive improvements, which were continued and completed during the reign of Alexander II. In 1833 Nicholas I. had collected, arranged and published, under the name of svod, 36,000 civil and criminal laws made by his predecessors; he promulgated in 1845 a penal code, and in 1846 a criminal code. Alexander II. regulated the judicial organization and criminal and civil practice. The judicial power is entirely separate from the other two; it is exercised by the tribunals of the volosth, the police courts of the cities, the justices of the peace, the assemblies of justices of the peace, the district tribunals, the courts of justice, and the senate in its quality of supreme court of appeal. The tribunals of the volosth are composed, according to the population, of from four to twelve judges, elected by the assembly and taken from that body. Their functions are gratuitous. They take cognizance of controversies among peasants, unless another person is interested therein; in this latter case the affair is referred to the ordinary court. Judgment is not given until after an effort at conciliation has been made; the decisions are then final and without appeal. Moreover, the peasants are authorized, when there is no crime or misdemeanor in question, and when the interests of minors are not engaged in a controversy, to refer it to a third person. This arbitration is executory, after it has been recorded in a register deposited with the council of regency of the volosth, and it can not be appealed from.
—The justices of the peace exercise three orders of functions: 1, a power of conciliation; 2, extra-judicial functions, such as the placing and removal of seals, etc.; 3, judicial functions. They take cognizance of personal matters and cases involving personal property, without appeal, up to the value of thirty roubles, and with the privilege of appeal up to the value of fifty roubles. In real estate cases they have no jurisdiction; they can only pronounce the re-establishment in their rights of proprietors dispossessed six months before at the most. In criminal cases the limit of their jurisdiction is determined by the punishment to be inflicted; reprimand, remonstrance, a fine of thirty roubles at the most, detention for three months, or imprisonment for a year at most. An appeal is not allowed when the penalty does not exceed three days' detention or five roubles' fine. Appeals are brought before the assemblies of justices of the peace, except recourse is had to the court of cassation.
—Each district tribunal is divided into two sections, one civil and the other criminal. The proceedings are public. When the penalty inflicted carries with it loss of civil rights, and there is no question of a crime against the faith or against the state, nor of a press offense, the tribunal is assisted by juries selected from among persons of all classes, and their verdict is subject only to be reversed by the court of cassation. Press matters are brought before the court of justice of the government. In case of a crime against the state, the court of justice that tries it is assisted by the marshal of the nobility of the government, by a marshal of the district, and by a golova or staroste.
—Civil procedure is oral. The assistance of advocates or barristers, optional before the justices of the peace, is obligatory before the superior courts. The advocates or barristers are subject to the disciplinary power of a syndical chamber.
—Connected with each tribunal and each court there is an imperial attorney, with one or more substitutes; and to each department of the court of appeals there is attached a superior procurator.
—In 1863, Alexander II. modified the system of corporal and correctional punishments, and abolished the use of the knout, as well as that of rods or sticks. The punishment of the plète, a whip composed of several twisted straps, remains. The death penalty is reserved for military justice and for cases of an attempt against the state or against the person of the sovereign. But condemnation to forced labor in the mines is fully equivalent to the last punishment, and simple transportation to Siberia, which is always preceded by corporal punishment, is extremely rigorous. Only the women and the sick are transported in wagons or by train; the men have to make the journey on foot, loaded down with chains. Some are condemned to temporary deportation to a fortress for a year at least, others to transportation to a penal colony, and others to transportation with forced labor, temporary or perpetual. Forced labor "in perpetuity" can not exceed, except in case of a second offense, twenty years; after this period the condemned is set at liberty, and placed, if he can be utilized, among the colonists of Siberia. The number of exiles in 1874 was about 100,000.
—V. Public Instruction. Public instruction commenced only in 1863 to be organized according to a studied plan and one comprising the different kinds of instruction. There are now nine universities established at St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kharkof, Kasan, Dorpat, Kief, Warsaw, Odessa and Helsingfors. There were about 6,800 students and 600 free attendants on the lectures in 1874. The best attended courses are law and medicine. 2,400 students are admitted gratuitously. Each university is administered by a rector and a council over which he presides. The rector and the members of the council are elected for four years by the professors. There are, besides, the imperial institute of history and philosophy, established at St. Petersburg in 1867; the Lazareff institute, for instruction in the oriental languages; the two academies of agriculture and forestry of Warsaw and Pétrovskoé; a law school; a school of engineering; three medical schools, at St. Petersburg, Moscow and Wilna; three veterinary schools, at Kharkof, Dorpat and Warsaw; and an institute of technology at St. Petersburg.
—In 1872 the state established commercial and industrial schools. There were, the same year, 123 gymnasia and 23 progymnasia, in which Latin and Greek were taught; the number of pupils was 42,791. The expenses amounted to 4,467,644 roubles, of which 3,215,887 were charged to the state, 513,534 to the provinces and cities, and 738,223 to the pupils. For girls, there were 54 gymnasia, 108 progymnasia, and 24 other schools. The pupils numbered 23,400.
—Superior primary instruction is given in the district schools, and elementary primary instruction in the parish and village schools. The number of the latter is estimated at 24,000, and the number of pupils at 870,000. The state established, in 1872, ten normal primary schools, which brought the number of these institutions up to twenty-five. Grants are voted annually by the provincial assemblies for the establishment and maintenance of primary and normal schools, and to these grants are added the private contributions, which, from 1865 to 1871, amounted to the sum of 1,183,540 roubles. Every one feels that the emancipation of the serfs has rendered the spread of primary instruction still more urgent.
—VI. Army and Navy. The organization of the army and of military service was reformed by a ukase of Jan. 1, 1874. "The service," it is said in this act, "weighed exclusively upon the bourgeois class and the peasants, and a large part of the Russian subjects were freed from a duty equally sacred to all. This system does not answer the military exigencies of the age. Contemporaneous events have proven that the strength of states does not consist alone in the numerical value of the army, but principally in its intellectual and moral qualities, which only reach their highest degree of development when the defense of the fatherland becomes the common work of the nation; when all, without distinction of rank and class, unite for the accomplishment of this sacred task."
—In accordance with these principles, the emperor sanctioned a number of laws in 224 articles, the principal provisions of which are as follows: The male population, without distinction of class, shall be subject to military service. The paying of a sum of money to escape the service, and substitution, are hereby forbidden. The armed force of the empire shall be composed of a standing army and a militia; the latter shall be called into service only in extraordinary circumstances in time of war. The standing army shall consist: 1, of the active army, recruited by levies of men throughout all the empire; 2, of the reserve, which serves to complete the effective force of the troops, and is composed of men sent on leave till the end of their term of service; 3, of Cossack troops; 4, of troops formed of foreigners. The naval army is composed of the fleet and of its reserve; the number of men necessary to complete the effective force of the army and the fleet is fixed by law each year.
—Entrance into the service is determined by a drawing of lots. The individuals whose numbers do not call them into the active service are enrolled in the militia. Each year the young men who have attained the age of twenty years by the first of January, are liable to service. For the marine the young men best fitted for that service are chosen. In the land army the term of service is fifteen years, six in active service and nine in the reserve. In the marine the term is ten years, seven of active service, and three in the reserve. In war time all the men remain in active service as long as the needs of the state demand it. The soldiers and marines can be sent into the reserve before their term of active service expires. The men of the reserve are subject to the ordinary laws, and enjoy the rights peculiar to their station. When they are called into active service, in case of war, their families are supported by the city or rural corporations, in which they are domiciled. Soldiers incapable of continuing in service and deprived of resources, receive from the treasury three roubles a month, or are placed in the hospitals. The militia comprises the men who do not form part of the standing army, but who are capable of bearing arms, from the age when they are liable to be conscripted up to forty years completed.
—Besides the exemptions for bodily defects or for family reasons, reprieves are granted as follows: 1, two years, at the most, for individuals who personally manage their landed property or who direct the commercial or industrial establishments belonging to them, excepting dealers in strong liquors; 2, from two to seven years, to pupils of various ecclesiastical, collegiate or artistic establishments, divided into five classes. Moreover, the term of active service is reduced, according to circumstances, to four years, three years, and even to six months, and that of the reserve to eleven years, in favor of young men who have graduated at certain establishments of public instruction. Members of the Christian clergy only are completely exempt. Young men who have the rank of doctor of medicine or of licentiate in the veterinary art or in pharmacy, or who are pensioners of the academy of fine arts sent to a foreign land, or who are professors in establishments of public instruction, are enrolled at once in the reserve for fifteen years. There are also certain temporary exemptions in the fleet, and reductions of service from one to two years in certain cases.
—Volunteers are received into the land army, on their proving, 1, that they are at least seventeen years of age; 2, that they are minors, and that their parents or guardians have consented to their enlistment; 3, that they have passed an examination in the complete course of studies in an establishment of public instruction, or a special examination determined by the ministers of war and of public instruction. They serve for three months, if they have passed the examination in an establishment of the first class; for six months, if in an establishment of the second class; and for two years, if they have only passed the special examination. At the expiration of these terms they are allowed, in time of peace, if they are not officers, to remain in the active service or to pass into the militia, where they are kept for nine years. Volunteers admitted into the guard or into the cavalry must support themselves at their own expense; in the other troops they are supported by the state. In the navy the special examination is appropriate for that service; volunteers are held for two years' active service and five years in the reserve.
—The annual contingent is divided among the provinces by the minister of war; then that of each province is divided among the subdivisions by a recruiting board. In each district or city a committee is charged with drawing up the lists of names, subject to the drawing by lot, with visiting the young men, and deciding upon their admission or exemption. The provincial assembly controls the operations, examines the complaints, and decides upon or refers them to superior authority.
—The ukaso does not apply to Cossacks and the other population whose military obligations are determined by special provisions.
—The regular army presented, on a peace footing, Jan. 1, 1872, an effective force of 760,000 men, of which 28,000 were officers of all ranks, and 732,000 non-commissioned officers and soldiers, forming 82 battalions of infantry and 281 squadrons of cavalry. The 732,000 non-commissioned officers and soldiers were thus divided: infantry, 572,400; cavalry, 61,700; artillery, 80,500; engineer corps, 17,400. To these figures must be added 560,000 men on leave, who could be called for in case of war.
—The naval forces were composed, in 1870, of 216 vessels of all classes, 194 of which were steamships, and 22 sailing vessels, carrying 1,464 pieces of ordnance. There were eight iron-clad frigates, three bomb-protected batteries, thirteen iron-clad batteries, five ships, twelve frigates, and fifteen corvettes. The effective force of the military marine was 75 admirals, vice-admirals and rear admirals, 2,340 officers, and 20,986 marines and sailors. There are two admiralties, one at St. Petersburg for the fleet of the Baltic, and one at Nicolaïef for the fleet of the Black sea. The principal dock yards are in these two cities, and at Okhta, Cronstadt, Kherson and Archangel. A great arsenal is established at Kolpina, near St. Petersburg.
—VII. Finances. Peter the Great, according to historians, had, to meet all his enterprises, a revenue of only 5,000,000 roubles, with tributes in kind, and the expenses were proportioned to the receipts. Both increased after his reign, but the expenses chiefly. Catherine II., having exhausted all other expedients, had recourse to a paper currency, which, in 1817, amounted to 210,000,000 roubles. To reduce it, recourse was had to internal loans; then, this recourse not being sufficient, in 1820, foreign loans were negotiated. In 1847, the debt bearing interest reached the sum of 315,000,000, with 184,000,000 of paper money in circulation; and in 1860, in consequence of the increase in the military expenses and the construction of the first railways, the amount of the debt was more than doubled. But the emperor brought about improvements in the management of the finances; he wished to have a regular budget, and for the first time that of 1863 was given to the public. This was, according to L. Faucher's expression, a veritable revolution. According to the financial accounts, the ordinary receipts in the years 1864 and 1871, in roubles, were as follows:
The only diminution is in connection with the domains of the state, and is a result of the emancipation of the peasants. If the expenses of collection and the anticipated deficit in receipts are deducted, viz., 42,000,000 for 1864 and 52,000,000 for 1871, we find, for the first of these years, a total of 304,246,000, and for the second a total of 487,966,000. But as the budget of Poland has been joined to that of the empire, 30,000,000 must be added to the first of the two totals, and by adding them we find an increase in the receipts, of 153,720,000 roubles, without any increase in taxes except upon liquors. The following table shows the ordinary expenditure for the years named, in roubles:
Deducting the expenses of Poland, we have for 1864 a total of 351,346,000 roubles, and for 1871 a total of 498,422,000 roubles, consequently an increase which is not the result alone of the increase in the debt and the military expenses, but also of the improvements made in the different services.
—The expenditure of 1864, compared with the receipts, presents a deficit of 47,000,000; in 1871 we find 10,000,000 deficit, but we shall see, further on, that the debt had increased.
—The expenses connected with the construction of railways and of certain ports, are paid separately from a special fund raised by means of loans. The budget of 1874 was thus fixed: receipts from all sources, 539,851,656 roubles; expenses, 536,683,836 roubles.
—The debt is divided into the public debt properly speaking, or consolidated debt, the floating debt, and the paper currency. The consolidated debt is composed of loans effected at different periods since 1798, at different rates and under different forms, some domestic and some foreign; some to be liquidated or redeemable at a fixed time, others at no determinate period; lastly, some to reduce the paper currency, others to cover the deficits, and others to pay the expense of the construction of railways or of advances for the redemption of serfs. In 1863, this debt amounted to 759,000,000 roubles, and, Jan. 1, 1872, to 966,000,000. It had, therefore, increased 207,000,000. Moreover, the debt of Poland having been charged to the treasury, in 1869, and this debt amounting to 92,000,000 in 1872, the debt of Russia was therefore increased to 1,058,000,000. The floating debt is composed of treasury bonds, of fifty roubles each. It amounted, in 1863, to 189,000,000 roubles; from 1866 to 1872 it remained fixed at 216,000,000. The paper currency consists of credit notes put into forced circulation by the bank of Russia. They do not bear interest, and are not guaranteed by a metallic reserve, like the other credit notes issued by the same bank for its own operations. In 1863, after 118,000,000 roubles had been retired from circulation or burned, there remained 643,000,000. In 1872 there were 724,000,000, and adding the notes issued to replace those of the former institutions of credit to which the bank of Russia succeeded in 1860, the circulation amounted to 959,000,000. As to the debt arising from the redemption of the serfs, the advances made by the treasury amounted, from 1861 to Jan. 1, 1871, to the sum of 559,931,289 roubles, out of which 251,500,000 were retained for the mortgage debts of the former owners.
—VIII. Means of Communication. When Peter the Great tried to remedy the enormous greatness of the distances which separated and still separate the groups of habitations, it was by means of interior waters, seas, lakes, streams and rivers that he undertook to create means of communication. He commenced the junction of the Volga with the basin of the Neva and that of the Dwina of the north, by a system of navigation which was continued by his successors; and is composed to-day of three branches, measuring, altogether, 3,460 kilometres, 553 of which are of canal. This system unites the Caspian sea with the Baltic and the White sea. In the west the Baltic is placed in communication with the Black sea by three lines of navigation, composed, one of the western Dwina, and the canals of the Beresina and the Dnieper; the second of the Chara, a tributary of the Niemen, and of the Pripet, a tributary of the Dnieper; the third, of the Vistula, the Boug and the Pripet. The south does not fare so well, the Caspian sea has no direct communication with the Black sea, and the basin of the sea of Azof is entirely isolated. There are in all 30,337 kilometres of natural navigable lines, connected by 1,381 kilometres of canals. There are navigation and steam-towage companies upon the Volga, the Neva, the Dnieper and the Vistula. But the rivers are only open usually six months in the year in the north, and eight to nine months in the south, and the cold closes the canals even longer. The transports are subject to a tax of a quarter of 1 per cent. of the value declared; this tax is applied to the maintenance of navigation works. According to the official Vremennik of 1866, the quantities of merchandise carried by water in that year were:
|Basin of the Volga...
|Basin of the Neva...
|Basin of the Dnieper...
|Basin of the Duna...
|Basin of the Dwina...
|Basin of the Niemen...
—Highways. The roads practicable in all seasons date only from 1816. They were in 1867, in Russia in Europe, only 8,416 kilometres in length. The post roads had, in 1874, an extent of 94,000 kilometres. Transportation is possible on wheels during four months of the summer, and on runners over the snow during four months of the winter. There are not more than 200 days in the year when communication is easy; but in proportion as the roads are insufficient, horses, cattle and fodder are procurable at a small price, so that grain and the products of the mines are carried considerable distances for a less price than that of transportation in more favored climates. The principal highways are those from St. Petersburg to the Chinese frontier, by way of Irkoutsk (6,616 kilometres), from St. Petersburg to the Prussian frontier, via Warsaw (1,173 kilometres) and via Tilsit (816 kilometres), and from St. Petersburg to Abo (613 kilometres).
—Railways. The first was that from St. Petersburg to Tsarskoé-Sélo, which is only twenty-six kilometres long; it was built by the state and finished in 1835. The state commenced in 1842 the railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow, 643 kilometres long, and opened it in 1851. Since 1856, the undertakings of new lines have been granted to private individuals, and in 1858 the state gave up the management of those under its control. The railroads in running order Jan. 1, 1872, represented a total length of 14,003 kilometres; the lines in course of construction had 1,454 kilometres. (See note at the end of IX.)
—Agriculture. Russia, from the agricultural point of view, has one hundred and seventy-five millions of hectares in arable lands and meadows, one hundred and eighty-eight millions in forests, fifty-seven millions in steppes which can be utilized as pasturage, and eighty millions in non-productive lands. Of the first one hundred and seventy-five millions, ninety-eight, situated between the fifty-first and fifty-fourth degrees of latitude to the west, and between the fifty-seventh and fifty-fourth to the east, constitute the region called the region of the black earth, and which is especially productive. In Finland the extent devoted to rural economy is estimated at thirty-one millions of hectares, and in Poland at ten and a half millions.
—The progress of agriculture is trammeled by various unfavorable circumstances: the lack of capital, the lack of hands, absenteeism, and, above all, communism applied to the lands. Labor, besides, because of the climate, is suspended during seven months of the year, and extremely hurried during four others; which greatly restricts cultivation. Serfdom has disappeared, but ignorance and carelessness continue. A very great number of proprietors, whose property was weighed down with mortgages, found themselves greatly impoverished when the corvées failed them. The laborers, whom it was necessary to employ and pay, have shown, it is said, in general, little zeal and even little good faith in the execution of their engagements. Moreover, they did not have the knowledge which less rude methods demanded. Some proprietors have tried to farm out their lands, but good farmers are only found in the southwest. The proprietors are contented, under these circumstances, with small rents on long leases, and the rent is double for leases by the year. In a great part of the empire the proprietors have been compelled to divide up their estates and lease them by the year in small lots; cultivation has not been improved thereby. Another system consists in having the work done by contract with the implements of the cultivator; sometimes the seeds are furnished by the proprietor, sometimes by the cultivator, and the latter is paid either in money, or by the grant of a piece of land. Finally, in the south the metayer system exists.
—Live-stock does not receive the care necessary to insure its increase and improvement. Little attention is paid to the development of artificial prairies. Manure is not much used, and the low price of meat on the premises does not encourage production. Hence cattle, in the twenty years from 1851 to 1871, increased only by 640,000 head, of ordinary quality. The increase is larger among sheep and hogs; but horses have diminished from 16,155,000 to 15,540,000.
—Two-thirds of the forests belong to the crown. Those belonging to individuals had already suffered much by bad management, when the emancipation of the serfs necessitated considerable clearing. A great number of proprietors were forced to sell wood to procure the means they needed; taxes, besides, are often very heavy in comparison with the revenue, and it is difficult to prevent theft and incendiarism. The consumption of wood is enormous; the annual exploitation of it is estimated at 135,000,000 roubles.
—Industry. For the seven or eight months during which work in the field is suspended, the peasants carry on various industries in their villages; such as, weaving of cloth, oil pressing, wood work, the manufacture of tar, turpentine and potash, the making of mats, drying and salting of fish, preparation of glue and caviar, tanning, horse-hair work, charcoal burning, basket work, working of quarries, and the manufacture of woolen stuffs. The sheep-skin pelisses give occupation to entire villages. In one place, furniture is made; in another, pictures are painted; in a third, boots and shoes are manufactured. Some families do filigree work; thousands of hands make lace. One village is devoted to iron foundries; another to locksmiths' work or cutlery. There are turners, fullers, and boat and raft makers.
—The gold mines have been worked since 1814. The product amounted to 22,000 kilogrammes in 1841, and since then it has varied from 23,000 to 24,000 kilogrammes. The iron mines are abundant; but the working of them is difficult, because of their distance from inhabited places and the lack of means of communication. The yield of the copper mines is estimated at 51,000 metric quintals. There are four coal basins in course of exploitation; the product has considerably increased of late; it amounted, in 1871, to 830,000 tons. The salt mines, the salt marshes and the salt works give 4,637,000 metric quintals. Many of the provinces, because of the distances, are obliged to procure their provisions from abroad. There are numerous naphtha and petroleum wells, whose product (1874) is 100,000 metric quintals.
—Of all the industries, the most lucrative is that of spirits; the manufacture is estimated at 300,000,000 roubles. According to an abstract prepared in 1863, the consumption in Russia in Europe was then more than 107,000,000 hectolitres, and it has increased since that time.
—The manufacture of beet-root sugar has diminished; the number of sugar factories was 427 in 1860, but fell, in 1872, to 233. Honey is preferred in consumption, hence apiculture has greatly increased.
—The cotton factories had, in 1867, 1,600,000 spindles, a great number of which were worked day and night. They used 46,000,000 kilogrammes of cotton, and spun only to No. 50. The weaving employs 12,000 looms, run by machinery, and seven or eight times as many run by hand. Red and blue calicoes of good quality are manufactured. The spinning and weaving of flax and hemp are not sufficient for the consumption, especially of the upper classes. At Moscow are manufactured rich silk stuffs, worked and embroidered with gold and silver, for priests' vestments. The white embroideries of the Caucasus are highly praised. Tanning remains backward, but Morocco leather manufacture is renowned. Nijni-Novgorod manufactures beautiful cutlery of excellent steel from the mines of the Oural. The jewelry and gold and silver work are of the best, both in design and execution.
—Commerce. The domestic commerce of Russia is five or six times greater than its foreign commerce. The two principal commercial seats are Moscow and Warsaw. After these two cities come those in which fairs are held, notably Nijni-Novgorod, the principal one, in which the merchandise sold amounted to 128,000,000 roubles. M. Schnitzler estimates the whole of the domestic commerce at 6,000,000,000 francs. The merchants are divided into three classes: 1, the members of the three guilds; 2, the persons engaged in industry with certificates or licenses; 3, the tradesmen of the villages. The members of the first guild must have a capital of 15,000 roubles at least; the declaration which they make as to the amount of their capital serves as a basis for the credit which the banks open to them. They can carry on wholesale commerce, banking, insurance business, and equip merchant vessels. The same rights are conferred upon the members of the second guild, except that they can not obtain from abroad merchandise worth more than 90,000 roubles, nor carry on banking or insurance business. Their capital must be at least 6,000 roubles. Those of the third guild must have a capital of 2,400 roubles at least; they can carry on retail commerce, keep inns, and have transport boats and weaving looms. Failure, with aggravating circumstances, involves expulsion. The total of the members of the three guilds was 200,760 in 1874, and their capital was estimated at 2,400,000,000 francs.
—The certificates or licenses issued annually, to the number of about 190,000, give those who obtain them the right to carry on small industries or commerce on a very small scale. In the villages the peasants may, without paying any tax, sell objects of customary consumption.
—The following is the amount of the commercial movement in the years mentioned, in roubles:
Russia in Asia is included in these results for a total movement of 28,880,000 roubles in 1870, and of 24,830,000 in 1871.
—Considering the movement of precious metals, since 1861, by itself, we find, at that time, an importation of seven millions, which fell off gradually to two in 1866, rose to thirty-three millions in 1867, and to thirty-nine in 1868; then diminished again to two millions in 1869 and 1870, and rose to seven in 1871. The exportation, which was fifteen millions in 1861, rose to thirty-seven in 1862 and to sixty-seven in 1863; then it fell to fourteen in 1867, and to five in 1868, to rise again to fifteen in 1869 and to seventeen in 1871.
—The maritime commerce is about two-thirds of the land commerce. From 1863 to 1867 it amounted, without Finland, to an average of 266,000,000 roubles in Europe, and to 11,000,000 in Asia. There were, in 1869, 2,532 sailing vessels and 114 steamships; 753 sea-going ships and 1,893 coasting vessels.
—The principal article of exportation consists of cereals. This trade commenced to be developed in 1817; it is subject to great fluctuations; sometimes grain forms 30 per cent. of the total exports, and sometimes only 6 per cent. In 1839 the greatest quantity was exported; it represented 332,000,000 roubles. The ten years previous to 1867 gave an average of 58,000,000. In 1870 the exportation was 163,000,000, and 183,000,000 in 1871. Next comes flax, 49,000,000 roubles in 1871; linseed, 28,000,000; wool, 7,000,000; tallow, which decreased from 12,000,000 before 1867 to 4,600,000 in 1871; wood, which increased from 6,500,000 before 1867, to 14,000,000 in 1871; hemp, 12,000,000; hogs' bristles, 9,000,000; hides, 2,000,000; live stock, 6,000,000; unmanufactured metals, 1,800,000 in 1870 and 1,200,000 in 1871; oleaginous seeds, 3,400,000.
—The principal article of importation is raw cotton. Before 1867 the average of ten years was 18,000,000 roubles; in 1870, 31,000,000 was imported, and in 1871, 48,000,000. Unmanufactured metals also increased from 4,500,000 roubles before 1867, to 17,000,000 in 1868, 30,000,000 in 1870, and 31,000,000 in 1871. Machinery, from an average of 8,000,000 before 1868 rose to 25,000,000 in 1870. An increase has also taken place in the following: metal works, 18,000,000 in 1871; tea, 20,000,000; paints, 16,000,000; oils, 12,000,000; wines and liquors, 11,000,000, (three-fourths coming from France); wool, 13,000,000; woolen fabrics, 10,000,000; fruits, 8,000,000; spun cotton, 8,000,000; coffee, chemical products, plants and seeds, 5,000,000; silk textile fabrics, 5,000,000; fish, 4,000,000.
—The different countries participated (1874) in the foreign commerce of Russia in the following proportions: Great Britain, 160,000,000 roubles in 1866, 269,000,000 in 1871; Prussia, 98,000,000 in 1866, 203,000,000 in 1871; France, 46,000,000 in 1871; Austria, 30,000,000; Hanseatic cities, 22,000,000; Turkey, 21,000,000; The Netherlands, 20,000,000; Italy, 18,000,000; the United States, 17,000,000; Belgium, 14,000,000; China, 10,000,000. (See NIHILISM, ORIENTAL QUESTION.)
Notes for this chapter
The Russian empire comprises one-seventh of the territorial part of the globe, and about one twenty-sixth part of its entire surface. Owing to the vast extent of the empire, and its social condition, no surveys that can lay claim to accuracy have yet been made, and the area is obtained in greater part from estimates. There has been, likewise, no general census of the population, but various enumerations, made by the government during the years 1870 to 1873, mainly undertaken for purposes of finance or war, serve to furnish an approximately correct return of the numbers of the people. The density of population of European Russia is considerably greater than that of the Asiatic part of the empire. Russia in Europe has, on the average, thirty-four individuals to the square mile, while Asiatic Russia has barely more than a single individual to the square mile.
—By articles forty-two and fifty-nine of the treaty of Berlin, signed July 13, 1878, Russia added to its vast territories the province of Bessarabia, taken from Roumania, together with the districts of Ardahan, Kars and Batoum, in Asia Minor, detached from the Turkish empire. Bessarabia has an estimated area of 3,720 English square miles, with a population of 140,000. According to the most reliable estimates, the newly acquired district in Asia Minor, formed, provisionally, into the government of Kars, embraces an area of 5,670 English square miles, with a total population of 600,644, comprising 417,602 Mohammedans and 183,042 Christians.
—In 1881 most of Kuldja was restored to China, leaving Russia only 5,500 square miles and 26,000 inhabitants. To the above have also to be added the trans-Caspian territory, 123,250 square miles, 275,000 inhabitants, and Fergana, 28,040 square miles, 800,000 inhabitants. More recent enumerations give the population of Poland (1872) as 6,528,017; Finland (1879), 2,028,021; Caucasus (1873-6, inclusive of additions), 5,391,744; Siberia (1873), 3,440,302; and the whole of Central Asia, 4,401,876—According to official returns of births and deaths for the years 1867-70, the population progresses at an average increase of 781,000 a year; a percentage which, supposing the inhabitants always to multiply at the same rate, would double the population in fifty-eight years.
—The vast majority of the population of Russia are devoted to agricultural occupations, and dwell in villages, spread thinly over the vast area of the empire. According to local enumerations made at various periods, there are but seventeen towns containing more than 50,000 inhabitants. The list is as follows:
|St. Petersburg (1881)...
In the larger towns a considerable proportion of the trading and industrial population are either aliens, or of foreign extraction.
—The population of Russia proper is composed of three groups: Great Russians, or Veliko-Russ; Little Russians, or Malo-Russ; and White Russians, or Bélo-Russ. The first, numbering 35,000,000, all belonging to the Slavonian race, occupy the central provinces: the second, numbering about 11,000,000, compose the bulk of the population of Poltava, Kharkof, Chernigof, Kief, Volhynia, Podolsk, Ekatermoslaf, and the Taurida; the White Russians, about 3,000,000, inhabit the provinces of Monilef, Minsk, Vitebsk and Grodno. Besides these three groups of Russians proper, there is a great variety of national elements in the general population of the Russian empire.
—Since the emancipation act of 1861 the cultivable lands of Russia proper in Europe have been approximately distributed as follows:
| ||Per cent.|
|Town lands, about...
|Crown lands, about...
|Lands attached to mines...
|Lands held by peasants: 1, crown peasants, 15.6 per cent...
Lands held by peasants: 2, former serfs, 5.0 per cent...
|Lands held by landed gentry and nobility...
|Lands held by other proprietors, or not surveyed...
It will be seen, that about one-third of the cultivable land in Russia proper is held by the state; one-fifth by landed proprietors; and one-fifth by the peasantry.—F. M.
The prohibition of celibacy in the Greek church is carried to such an extent that no priest can perform any spiritual function before he is married, nor after he becomes a widower; and as, by the rules of the church, he is not allowed to remarry, the death of his wife occasions the cessation of his clerical functions. A priest may, however, on the death of his wife, enter into a convent, and enjoy the privilege of becoming eligible to be a dignitary of the church. There are in Russia nearly 500 cathedrals and about 29,000 churches attached to the established faith, the latter employing (1883) about 70,000 secular or parochial clergymen. The Russian church formerly possessed immense wealth, but it was partly confiscated by Peter I. and partly by Catherine II. The latter sovereign appropriated the whole movable property of the church for the use of the state, assigning, in compensation, pensions to the chief ecclesiastical dignitaries. But, with the exception of a few benefices in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other principal cities, the stipends of the clergy, even when increased by the offerings of the people, and by the fees on occasions of births, marriages and funerals, are scarcely adequate to provide for their subsistence. The total number of the established clergy, of all ranks and orders, is stated (1883) at 254,000.
—No member of the Russo-Greek church is permitted to renounce his creed; and when a marriage takes place between one of its members and a person belonging to another faith, the children must all be brought up in the established church.
—The number of members of the principal creeds in European Russia was returned as below for 1879:
|Orthodox Greek Catholics...
|United Greeks and Armenians...
Under the ministry of public instruction, Russia is divided into eleven educational districts, each presided over by a curator. The nine universities, in 1878, were attended by 6,250 students. In 1876 there were 24,456 primary schools, with 1,019,488 pupils; in 1877 there were sixty-eight normal schools, with 4,596 pupils; while the various secondary establishments—lyceums, gymnasiums, district schools, etc.—had 88,400 pupils. In the budget for the year 1882, a sum of 18,030,867 roubles was set down for public education.
—The mass of the population of Russia is as yet without education. In 1860 only two out of every hundred recruits levied for the army were able to read and write, but the proportion had largely increased in 1870, when eleven out of every hundred were found to be possessed of these elements of knowledge. In the grand duchy of Finland, which has a system of public instruction separate from that of the rest of the empire, education is all but universal, the whole of the inhabitants being able at least to read, if not to write. The empire, Finland excepted, is divided, as above stated, into educational districts, each of which has a number of lyceums, at which the young men intended to fill civil offices are mostly instructed, besides gymnasiums, high schools and elementary schools, varying according to area and population. The eleven districts are those of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kharkof, Kasan, Dorpat, Kief, Odessa, Wilna, Warsaw, Caucasus and Orenburg.—F. M.
The following was the composition of the regular Russian army in 1882:
The nominal strength of the various divisions of the Russian army, according to the returns of the ministry of war, was as follows in 1882:
To this has to be added the staff, gendarmerie, militia (raised only in time of war), etc., which would raise the war forces to a total of 2,733,305 men.
—By the law of Dec. 18, 1878, which came into force Jan. 1, 1881, personal military service is declared obligatory in Finland. The Finnish troops form nine battalions of riflemen, each with eighteen officers and 505 men, and number in all 4,833.
—Among the irregular troops of Russia the most important are the Cossacks. The country of the Don Cossacks contains from 600,000 to 700,000 inhabitants. By imperial decree, dated April 29, 1875, every Cossack of the Don, from fifteen to sixty years of age, is bound to render military service. No substitution is allowed, nor payment of money in lieu of service. Exemption from military service is granted, however, at all times, to the Christian clergy, and, in times of peace, to physicians and veterinary surgeons, apothecaries, and teachers in public schools. The regular military force consists of fifty-four cavalry regiments, each numbering 1,044 men, making a total of 56,376. The number of Cossacks is computed as follows:
The military organization of the Cossacks is in eight districts, called woisskos. Each woissko furnishes a certain number of regiments, fully armed and equipped, and undergoing constant military exercise, so as to be prepared to enter the field, on being summoned, in the course of ten days. The two larger districts are the woissko of Kuban, which has the privilege of furnishing a squadron of picked men for an imperial escort in time of war, and the second the woissko of Terak, which furnishes a like escort in time of peace.
—The Cossacks are a race of free men; neither serfage nor any other dependence upon the land has existed among them. The entire territory belongs to the Cossack commune, and every individual has an equal right to the use of the land, together with the pastures, hunting grounds and fisheries. The Cossacks pay no taxes to the government, but, in lieu of this, they are bound to perform military service. They are divided into three classes: viz., 1, the minors, or malolelniye, up to their sixteenth year; 2, those on actual service, the sluzhiliye, for a period of twenty-five years, therefore until their forty-second year; 3, those released from service, the otslavniye, who remain for five years, or until their forty-seventh year, in the reserve, after which period they are regarded as wholly released from service and invalided. Every Cossack is obliged to equip clothe and arm himself at his own expense, and to keep his horse. While on service beyond the frontiers of his own country, he receives rations of food and provender, and a small amount of pay. The artillery and train are at the charge of the government. Instead of imposing taxes on the Don Cossacks, the Russian government pays them an annual tribute, varying in peace and war, together with grants to be distributed among the widows and orphans of those who have fallen in battle. Besides the regular Cossacks, there are, on the Orenburg and Siberian lines, the Bashkir Cossacks, numbering some 200,000 men.
—The Russian navy (1883) consists of two great divisions, the fleet of the Baltic, and that of the Black sea. Each of these two fleets is again subdivided into sections, of which three are in or near the Baltic, and two in or near the Black sea. The divisions, like the English, carry the white, blue and red flag, an arrangement originating with the Dutch, but without the rank of the admirals being connected with the color of the flag.
—At the end of the year 1880 the strength of the various divisions of the Russian navy was returned officially as follows: 1, the Baltic fleet, consisting of one hundred and thirty-seven men-of-war, comprising twenty-seven armor-clad ships, forty-four unarmored steamers, and sixty-six transports; 2, the Black sea fleet, consisting of thirty-one men-of-war, comprising three armor-clad ships, twenty-five unarmored steamers, and three transports; 3, the Caspian sea fleet, consisting of eleven unarmored steamers and eight transports; 4, the Siberian fleet, consisting of fifteen unarmored steamers and twenty-one transports. The total comprises 223 men-of-war, all steamers, armed with 561 guns, with engines aggregating 188,120 horse power.
—The iron-clad fleet of war of Russia, comprising thirty ships, twenty-eight in the Baltic and two in the Black sea, was made up, at the end of 1880, of the following classes of ships: 1st class, three mastless turret ships, 12 and 14 inch armor thickness; 2d class, nine sea-going cruisers, 4 to 6 inch armor; 3d class, sixteen vessels for coast defense, 4 to 4½ inch armor; 4th class, two circular monitors, 11 and 18 inch armor.
—The imperial navy was commanded, in 1880, by 17 admirals, 32 vice-admirals, 31 rear admirals, 201 first-class captains, 98 second-class captains, 303 captain lieutenants, 443 lieutenants, and 129 midshipmen of the special corps attached to the navy. The navigation detachment contained, at the same date, five generals and 508 staff officers; the naval artillery, four generals and 197 staff officers; and the naval engineers, six generals and 139 staff officers.—F. M.
The public revenue of the empire is derived to the extent of two-thirds from direct and indirect taxes, while nearly two-thirds of the total expenditure is for the army and navy, and interest on the public debt. There are annual budget estimates published by the government, and also, since 1866, accounts of the actual receipts and disbursements of the state, which, entering into minute details, can not be issued till after the lapse of a number of years.
—The following table gives the total actual revenue and expenditure of the imperial government, in roubles, for each of the years 1875-81:
The expenditure 1876-81 is exclusive of the large expenses incurred during the war with Turkey, which in 1876 amounted to about 51,000,000 roubles, in 1877 to over 429,000,000, in 1878 to 408,000,000, in 1879 to 128,000,000, and in 1880 to about 59,000,000. It should also be remembered, that, during the last five years, the actual value of the rouble has only been about two English shillings.
—The following table shows the principal sources of revenue and the chief branches of expenditure of the government in roubles, according to the budget estimates for 1882:
Sources of Revenue.
|1. Ordinary revenue:
|Mint, mines, post and telegraphs...
|Revenue of Transcaucasia...
| Total ordinary revenue...
|2. "Recéttes d'ordre"...
|3. Extraordinary receipts...
| Total revenue...
Branches of Expenditure.
|1. Ordinary expenditure:
|Interest and sinking fund of the national debt...
|Ministry of the imperial house...
|Ministry of foreign affairs...
|Ministry of war...
|Ministry of the navy...
|Ministry of finance...
|Ministry of the imperial domains...
|Ministry of the interior...
|Ministry of public instruction...
|Ministry of public works and railways...
|Ministry of justice...
|Department of general control...
|Civil administration of the Transcaucasus...
| Total ordinary expenditure...
|2. Anticipated deficits in receipts...
|3. "Dépenses d'ordre"...
|4. Extraordinary expenses...
| Total expenditure...
It is expected that the actual revenue will show a deficit of 4,500,000 roubles. The budget estimates for 1883 balance the revenue and expenditure at 778,505,423 roubles, or £111,215,060.
—In the budget estimates for the year 1882, the total amount, in roubles, required for interest on the public debt and sinking fund, was divided as follows:
|Internal terminable loans:
|Debt to sundry departments...
|4 per cent. bank bills (metallic)...
|5 per cent. bank bills...
|First and second lottery loans...
|First and second oriental loans...
|Debt on Polish "Fenilles de liquidation"...
|Internal perpetual loans...
|Interest and sinking fund on consolidated bills issued for construction of railways, etc...
—The finances of Russia, almost since the beginning of the century, exhibit large annual deficits, caused partly by an enormous expenditure for war, and partly by the construction of reproductive works, such as railways. But the war expenditure was by far the greatest cause of the deficits.
—According to official returns, issued in 1881, the total war outlay incurred by Russia during the four years 1876 to 1880, amounted to 1,075,396,653 roubles, or £153,628,093.
—To cover a series of annual deficits, and, at the same time, to procure the capital for the construction of a network of railways throughout the empire, a number of foreign loans were raised during the thirty-two years from 1850 to 1882. The most important of them were, first, a loan of £5,500,000, issued in 1850, to meet the expenditure for the railway from St. Petersburg to Moscow; secondly, a loan of £12,000,000, issued in 1859; thirdly, a loan of £8,000,000, issued in 1860; and fourthly, a loan of £15,000,000, issued in 1862, the latter three contracted partly for the covering of financial deficits and partly for the construction of railways. The subsequent foreign loans were: one for £2,600,000, issued in 1863, and two for £6,000,000 each, issued respectively in 1864 and 1866. The next was a foreign loan of £15,000,000, brought out in September, 1872, and the second raised in December, 1873. The following table gives the year of issue, nominal capital, interest per cent., and price of issue, of the foreign loans of Russia, fifteen in number—including early liabilities dating back to 1822—contracted up to 1882:
Not included in the above list are several loans for railways, guaranteed by the imperial government. The earlier of the foreign loans of Russia have become largely reduced at present, through the operation of sinking funds. Of the 1822 loan, issued by Messrs. Rothschild, more than one-half had been repaid at the end of 1875; of the 1850 loan, contracted for by Baring Brothers, the outstanding sum was £2,950,000, of the 1859 loan, issued by Thomson, Bonar & Co., the amount was £5,100,000; and of the 1860 loan, issued by Baring Brothers, it was £6,600,000 at the same date. But the repayments of the subsequent loans, through sinking funds, were comparatively small.
—The entire public debt of Russia, interior and foreign, was estimated to amount to 2,450,000,000 roubles, or £350,000,000, on Sept. 1, 1878, the total including an internal loan of 210,000,000 roubles, or £30,000,000, issued in 1877, soon after the commencement of the war against Turkey, and another internal loan, called "the second eastern loan," to the amount of 300,000,000 roubles, or £42,837,142, issued in August, 1878. On Jan. 1, 1880, the total debt had increased to 4,480,812,699 roubles, or £640,116,099.
—Included in the debt here enumerated is a very large quantity of paper money, with forced currency. According to official reports, the total amount of bank notes in circulation on Jan. 1, 1875, was 797,313,480 roubles, or £113,901,925. There were new issues of paper money to a very large amount during the years 1876-9. The total debt represented by paper money of forced currency, was estimated at 1,500,000,000 roubles, or upward of £210,000,000, in January, 1880.
—The destruction of public credit, through an unlimited issue of paper money, is, as remarked above, of old standing. In the reign of Catherine II., the first attempt, on a large scale, was made to cover the annual deficits by a very liberal supply of paper roubles, the sum total of which at the death of the empress, 1796, amounted to 200,000,000. During the subsequent wars with France and Turkey, new emissions of paper followed, with the consequence that in 1815 the notes had fallen to 418, that is, one silver rouble was worth four roubles eighteen kopecks in paper. Great efforts were now made by the government to improve this state of things, by withdrawing a portion of the paper from circulation. After ten years of improved financial management, there remained, however, still 600,000,000 of notes, circulating at the rate of three paper roubles to one silver rouble. As a final remedy, the imperial government withdrew, in 1843, the whole of the old paper money, introducing, in its stead, a new form of bank notes, with forced currency. By these and other means, particularly the establishment, in 1859, of a state bank, the bank of Russia, under the control of the minister of finance, the nominal value of the paper money was considerably raised, with a prospect of the resumption of specie payments in the course of a number of years.
—The grand duchy of Finland had a revenue of 32,320,714 marcs, or £1,292,828, and an expenditure of 35,131,146 marcs. or £1,405,245, in 1882. Its total debt on Jan 1, 1882, amounted to 61,422,865 marcs, or £2,456,914. In December, 1882, Finland contracted an additional loan of £810,000 at 4 per cent., for forty-two years. The special budgets of Poland ceased in 1867, on the final incorporation of the kingdom with Russia.—F. M.
The commerce of Russia with foreign countries is officially divided into trade with Europe, and trade with Asia: the former being subdivided into trade through the Baltic ports, through the White sea ports, through the southern ports, and over the European land frontier. The immense extent of the empire, and its ever-changing limits eastward, make it difficult to obtain exact returns of the aggregate amount of its foreign commerce, which must be partly estimated. According to official statements, the total value of imports in the five years 1876-80 averaged, in round numbers, 455,000,000 roubles, or £65,000,000, while the value of the exports during the same period averaged 476,000,000 roubles, or £68,000,000 per annum. The four principal articles of import during the period were raw cotton, iron and other unwrought metals, tea, and machinery of all kinds, while the staple articles of export were grain and other agricultural produce.
—The two principal countries trading with Russia (1883) are Great Britain and Germany. Of the imports, about 40 per cent. annually came from Germany, and 20 per cent. from Great Britain; and of the exports 35 per cent. went to Great Britain, and 20 per cent. to Germany, on the average of the five years 1876-80.
—The commercial navy of Russia consisted, at the end of the year 1879, of 2,368 sea-going vessels, of an aggregate burden of 261,231 ship last, or 522,462 tons. The total comprised 925 ships engaged in trading to foreign countries, and 1,780 coasting vessels, many of them belonging to Greeks, sailing under the Russian flag. Not included in the return were 389 trading steamers on the rivers and lakes of the empire, very nearly two-thirds of this number being on the river Volga and its affluents.
—The internal commerce of the empire, as well as its foreign trade, has been greatly extended by the establishment, in recent years, of a comprehensive net-work of railways. The latest official returns state, that on July 1, 1880, the total length of the railways of Russia in Europe, open for traffic, amounted to 22,037 versts, or 14,145 English miles. At the same date 1,110 miles more of lines were in course of construction. The progress of railway construction in Russia is shown succinctly in the following table, which gives the length of lines opened at successive periods:
On the proposition of the minister of public works, the emperor sanctioned, in June, 1875, the extension of the then existing system by 6,500 versts, or 4,333 English miles, which, added to the 2,500 versts, or 1,666 English miles, previously sanctioned, raised the total to 9,000 versts, or 6,000 English miles. The new net-work is divided into four classes, according to different degrees of urgency, and the first of these classes will include the Siberian railway and the seven projected lines in the coal basin of the Don; 2,600 versts, or 1,734 English miles, are assigned to this class, at the head of which has been placed the immense Siberian line, reported as "most urgent" by a special commission on railways summoned in 1870. It is from a station on this line, probably Tinmen, that the Central Asian line to Tashkend is to take its rise, the continuation of the Orenburg line in that direction having been condemned as impracticable, owing to the inhospitable nature of the country it would have to traverse. The importance of the seven lines for the coal fields of the south is great, as the new railways will traverse this field in every direction, and connect it on one side with the Black sea and the sea of Azof, and on the other with the existing trunk lines of the empire.
—In 1880-81 a railway for military purposes was constructed from Mikhailovsk, on the southeast shore of the Caspian, to Kizil Arvat, and a tramway thence to Beurma, near Bami, about 200 miles in all; within 100 miles of Askabad, and 260 of Sarakhs, on the northwest frontier of Afghanistan.
—On Jan. 1, 1879, there were forty-five railway companies existing in the empire. Of this number ten had constructed their lines altogether without government assistance; while the remaining thirty-five were guaranteed, fifteen to the full amount of their capital, and the other twenty only to a partial extent. The entire sum guaranteed in 1874 by the state, in the shape of interest and repayment of capital, amounted to 51,177,627 roubles, or £7,311,089. In the year 1878 the sum of 14,392,172 roubles, or £2,084,596, being 78.52 per cent. of the sum total, was paid out of the exchequer to the railway companies. The charters granted to railway companies are for the most part terminable after between seventy-five and eighty-five years; but some small companies have charters only for thirty-seven years. The following table shows the gross receipts, the working expenses and the net receipts, in roubles, of the Russian railways during each of the eleven years 1869-79:
It appears from official returns referring to the end of the year 1878, that at that date the capital of all the railway companies amounted to 1,450,288,196 roubles, or £207,184,028. The capital consisted of £135,446,153 in bonds, and £71,737,875 in shares. No less than £92,101,350 of the bonds and £8,055,750 of the shares were held by the government itself; 48.8 per cent. of the whole railway property of the country was therefore held by the government.
—The postoffice in the year 1880 conveyed 128,817,612 letters and post cards, 8,960,721 wrappers and parcels, and 88,168,700 newspapers. There were 4,458 postoffices in the empire in 1880. The total receipts of the general post in the year 1880 did not cover the expenditure.
—The length of telegraph lines in Russia, in 1880, was 59,000 English miles, and the length of wire 134,000 English miles. Of the total system, about seven-eights was the property of the state. There were at the same date 2,838 telegraph offices, 1,185 belonging to the state, and the remainder to private companies. The total number of telegrams carried in 1880 was 7,298,429, comprising 5,768,255 inland dispatches, and the rest on international service. The receipts of the telegraph office, which were £1,226,762 in 1878, have shown, in recent years, a small annual surplus, which is, by imperial decree, always devoted to the extension of the telegraphic system.—F. M.
Footnotes for SANDWICH ISLANDS
End of Notes
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