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SiberiaA History of the People$
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Janet M Hartley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167948

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167948.001.0001

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Governing and the Governed

Governing and the Governed

(p.100) Chapter Eight Governing and the Governed

Janet M. Hartley

Yale University Press

This chapter examines provincial administration and contact between people and the state in Siberia over the eighteenth and first three quarters of the nineteenth century. Russian provincial administration was poor: officials were often incompetent, ignorant, or corrupt; the powers of higher officials often went unchecked; there was no effective police force to maintain law and order; bribery was rife; overlapping jurisdictions led to confusion and delays; taxes went uncollected; and government decrees were not implemented. The inadequacies of provincial administration were fully exposed in Siberia, but this was also the territory within the empire where the most significant efforts were made to improve administration in the early nineteenth century. Contact between Russian peasant settlers and state officials was rare—and was often unwelcome and violent when it did occur. The main contact occurred during the recruit levy, when peasants could “pay off” local officials to save their sons from conscription.

Keywords:   Siberia, Siberian history, state, people, provincial administration, provincial government, levy, peasants

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