Russian Observations of European Experience in Agricultural Development in 1840s (based on the printed output of the Imperial Agricultural Societies of Russia)
Authors: Yulia I. Kuznetsova, Vladimir N. Baryshnikov, Viktor N. Borisenko, Nina E. Adamova, Valery E. Vozgrin
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In the first half of the nineteenth century, agriculture in Russia had reached the new level of development. The Imperial Agricultural Societies paid much attention to establishing relations with the foreign agricultural societies and kept up with their periodicals, issuing translations and abridgements of texts, which could be interesting to the Russian readers.
This paper examines the articles on farming industry in Great Britain, France, German countries, Italy, and the USA, released in journals and transactions of Imperial Agricultural Societies of Russia in 1840s. The research draws on both reviews of European congresses or exhibitions, written by members of agricultural societies, and the articles written by foreign authors and published in translation. Such approach made it possible to specify the certain topics appealing to Russian farmers. Moreover, the study of the articles contributed by the Imperial Agricultural Societies helped to build a complete picture representing knowledge on history, theory and practice of foreign and Russian husbandry, shared by the Russian farmers in 1840s. It is also worth to mention that the effective work of agricultural journals in fact integrated Russian farming communities into the broad network of contacts, experience and knowledge exchange, which had been functioning in Europe in the first half of the XIXth century.
Nevertheless, the research revealed that the articles in question almost lacked comparisons between Russian and European agriculture. The papers dealing with comparative analysis of the different European farming systems are characterized by noticeably restrained reaction of the editors and authors to the published information. They tended to show the advantages and disadvantages of the foreign farming without furnishing the Russian reader or the Russian authorities with any specific recommendations.