[KURYSHEV A.V.], PARFENOV A.E. Evolution of Communal Order of the Sarepta Missionary Settlement Throughout the 19th Century

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2016.3.5

[Andrey V. Kuryshev]

Candidate of Sciences (History), Scientific Secretary,

Old Sarepta Museum of History and Ethnography,

Izobilnaya St., 10, 400026 Volgograd, Russian Federation

Aleksandr E. Parfenov

Candidate of Sciences (Economics), Head of Department of History and Ethnography,

Old Sarepta Museum of History and Ethnography

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Izobilnaya St., 10, 400026 Volgograd, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article analyzes the social and economic processes that took place in the Sarepta missionary settlement near Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd, Russia) in the 19th century. Those processes eventually led to dramatic changes in the life of Sarepta residents and to the loss of status of missionary settlement. Sarepta was founded in 1765 by the Moravians to fulfill missionary activities among the Kalmyks. Initially the life in Sarepta was based on communal principles. The Sarepta Moravians were organized into groups (choirs) according to their sex, age, and marital status. The choirs lived by strict rules and were supervised by superiors. The Sarepta economy was organized in a similar way with the single ruling centre and communal distribution of the production. In the course of the 19th century the Sarepta community was gradually disorganized under the pressure of a number of factors. The key factor consisted in the development of capitalism. Facing a severe competition from manufacturers of the region, Sarepta had to respond to the needs of time and introduce private entrepreneurship which was more effective but incompatible to the communal economic system. Another destructing factor was the inflow of non-Moravian population into Sarepta caused by the deficit of workforce in the settlement. Those newcomers were free from the restrictions imposed upon Sarepta Moravians by the community authorities. Alongside with the strengthening of their economic position they made more and more insistent claims on the Moravian communal property. Rights-of-ownership conflicts between Sarepta inhabitants and the Directorate of the Moravian church in Germany eventually led to exclusion of Sarepta from the system of Moravian settlements in 1892.

Key words: missionary settlement Sarepta, Moravian brothers, communal economy, transformation, capitalism relations.

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Evolution of Communal Order of the Sarepta Missionary Settlement Throughout the 19th Century by [Kuryshev A.V.], Parfenov A.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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