Zemstvo Reform of 1864 in Pages of Zemstvo Press of Chernihiv Province
The attitude of the Zemstvo press of Chernihiv Province to the role and importance of Zemstvo institutions in the region is analyzed in the paper, relying on a content analysis of specialized media publications devoted to the Zemstvo reform of 1864. The information is introduced into international scientific circulation for the first time.
The author concludes that the fact of creation and development of zemstvo institutions in the Russian Empire was assessed in the publications as the act of progress in the history of Russian autocracy. The authors of the articles especially emphasized that the leading, driving force in the zemstvo assemblies and boards were the representatives of the liberal nobility, who, despite their minority among the aristocracy of the region, with their public activity, persistence, and large-scale practical activities in the bodies of local authority made a great contribution to the matter of capitalist transformation of the Russian Empire. It is noted that thanks to those representatives of the democratic regional nobility, the life of the province fundamentally changed for the better, and the main attention was paid to the development of optional from the point of view of Russian absolutism issues such as education, medicine, culture, etc., on which the expenditures from zemstvos budgets were spent.
Considering all the advantages and disadvantages of the Zemstvo reform of 1864, the publicists of Chernihiv Province abandoned themselves to the idea that it was necessary to rectify existing shortcomings in the legislation and implement a new one which would take into consideration the new challenges that society and the state faced. After all, just in Ukrainian provinces where the traditions of Magdeburg law still existed, the success of the zemstvo self-government became obvious to everyone.
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