TOLMACHEVA S.A. District Offices on Peasants’ Affairs in Belarus (1878-1901)


Svetlana A. Tolmacheva

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History of Belarus and Slavic Peoples, Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maksim Tank,

Sovetskaya St., 18, 220030 Minsk, Republic of Belarus

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Abstract. An institute of conciliators was established for realization of agrarian reform of 1861. However, during the 1960s it satisfied the government less and less as it was not legally subordinate to the local government. As a result, the system of local institutions was reformed in 1874. Collective district offices on peasants’ affairs were established instead of the liquidated institute of conciliators. Martial law was in force in the territory of Belarus, and for this reason there were no district councils and judicial institutions in 1864. Besides, the government did not trust the local nobility of the Roman-Catholic religion, the representatives of which contributed to establishment of the district offices on peasants’ affairs. For this reason the district institutions of the new type started to work in the territory of Vitebsk, Minsk and Mogilev provinces, and the institute of conciliators continued its work in the Vilna and Grodno provinces. In the beginning of the 1980s the district offices on peasants’ affairs were admitted inefficient, and as a result in 1889 they were replaced by heads of district councils. However, they existed for almost 20 years more in the territory of the three provinces of Belarus. Numerous reports of governors of the country about the inefficiency of the district offices on peasants’ affairs convinced the government of the necessity to liquidate the latter in the beginning of the 20th century.

Key words: Belarus, district offices on peasants’ affairs, conciliators, heads of district councils, peasantry, agrarian reform, land arrangement, local management.

Citation. Tolmacheva S.A. District Offices on Peasants’ Affairs in Belarus (1878-1901). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Serija 4, Istorija. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 85-95. (in Russian). DOI:

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District Offices on Peasants’ Affairs in Belarus (1878-1901) by Tolmacheva S.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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