"Resettlement Fact" – As Seen by the Eyes of Peasants (adapted from PeasantsꞌLetters): Latter half of XIX –early XX centuries
Authors: Yulia V. Putilina, Vera N. Cherepanova, Irina A. Filippova, Violetta S. Molchanova
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The article examines the letters of peasants, migrants turned to relatives and fellow villagers, written in the late XIX – early XX centuries and covering various aspects of resettlement policy implemented at this time in the country. The study concluded that the resettlement was perceived by the peasants in different ways and ambiguously: there were both dissatisfied persons who were deeply disappointed by the resettlement process, who wanted to return to their native land, and satisfied with the resettlement: those who managed to establish their life and life, get good yields and profits from the crops grown.
A typical trend is that in the letters of peasants, migrants often mentioned the words respect and "thanks for the generous mercy" shown by the authorities and officials (the allocated allowance, land, and other assisted), while sharp criticism in their address. Often such contradictory statements were found within the same letters. In General, the migrant peasants who participated in the resettlement program, judging by their statements in the letters, were distinguished by a certain naivety of judgments, the presence of inflated optimistic expectations from the resettlement program, or, on the contrary, excessive fears and fears, multiplied by rumors and inventions, often reaching absurd.
As a rule, most of the peasants who decided to move to Siberia for new land plots did not have a clear idea of what awaits them. Tired of the oppression of the "masters", hoping for a "merciful King-father", they went into the unknown, trying, thus, to get away from the pressing problems and poverty, to get the long-awaited independence and freedom.