Репрезентации сельского населения региона в отчетах сибирских генерал-губернаторов второй половины XIX века: «инородцы»

Translated title of the contribution: The Representations of Rural Population of the Region in the Reports of Siberian Governor-Generals in the 2nd Half of the 19th Century: “Foreigners”

Natalia P. Matkhanova, Natalia N. Rodigina

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This article aims to identify the representations of “foreign” people (inorodtsev) of Siberia in the reports of the local governors-general, to define the context of their actualization, to find the mutual relations between the official position of the regional authorities towards the socio-cultural characteristics of the indigenous population, its economic situation and legal status, its relations with Russians and the narratives of the “foreigners’ issue” in Russian periodicals. The study is based on the reports of governors-general of Western and Eastern Siberia from the early 1850s until the abolition of the offices of the West Siberian (1882) and East Siberian governors-general (1887), as well as the Irkutsk governor-general in 1887–1899. Analyzing the above-mentioned sources, the authors take into account that such materials were usually complied with some involvement of predecessors, lower-level officials, invited experts. Comparison of the representations of the “foreign” people in the reports of the governors-general with those reflected in the periodicals shows their similarities and differences. The authors of the reports and many publicists share paternalistic discourse concerning the indigenous population of Siberia and consider the “foreign” people as an object of care and protection. Both of them claim the necessity to reduce the yasak payments, highlight the detrimental influence of merchants, as well as exiles, convicted of criminal and administrative offenses. Remarkably, the reports contain no criticism of the authorities for the decline of the aboriginal population and financial difficulties of the “foreigners”; discuss the problem of the “extinction” of aborigines in quite a soft tone. According to these documents, there was a general tendency in government policy to equalize the legal, social and economic status of “foreigners” with the Russian peasantry. However, at the same time, the governors-general who better knew the Siberian realities – at least some of them – more often defended the interests of the region, and hence the Siberian people, including the indigenous population.

Translated title of the contributionThe Representations of Rural Population of the Region in the Reports of Siberian Governor-Generals in the 2nd Half of the 19th Century: “Foreigners”
Original languageRussian
Article number6
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalVestnik Novosibirskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, Seriya: Istoriya, Filologiya
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022



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