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The reform of zemstvo self-government held in 1917 by the government was meant to construct the inner basis of the state organism, covering the local life Russia having tied it into the whole. Introduction of volost (area division in Tzarist Russia) zemstvo (country council) was one of the most important zemstvo reforms in 1917. This was driven by several factors justified by the authors of the article.

 Firstly, introduction of volost zemstvo self-government was one of the most prepared and long-waited reforms for which country councils were fighting from the beginning of the XIX century. Secondly, the reform included into the system of local power multi-million peasant Russia through volost’ meetings and municipal councils. Thirdly, with the introduction of the lower level of zemstvo structure there appeared a well-developed and complete system of self-government covering the state life from volost’ till the All-Russia Zemstvo Union. Fourthly, elections to the Constituent Assemly depended on the elections to volost zemstvo as they were kind of a rehearsal and a new experience of All-Russia elections. In the long run, the creating of volost zemstvo was the basis of all other zemstvo reforms of the interim government. The fate of the democratic organs in the country depended on the success of the reforms.

 Taking into account the fact that by the time of February Revolution the preparation for volost zemstvo introduction in Russia has been developing for a decade, the law on volost zemstvo was the first in the reform package of the the interim government. The introduction of volost zemstvo was considered by society not as a revolution in the system of power, but as the logical conclusion of an effectively functioning structure of local self-government.

About the authors

M. N. Matveev

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7045-4310

Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Department of Russian History

O. V. Turganova

Samara National Research University

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1381-6992

Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Department of Russian History


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Copyright (c) 2019 Matveev M.N., Turganova O.V.

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