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  • «Мелкий собственник» - опора порядка? Освобождение крестьян, либеральная доктрина и социальный вопрос в России в первой половине XIX века

Article

«Мелкий собственник» - опора порядка? Освобождение крестьян, либеральная доктрина и социальный вопрос в России в первой половине XIX века

In the huge literature on the “peasant issue” one of its important aspects still remains unstudied—the elite’s vision of the ideal liberated peasant. Whom a former serf was expected to become: a rationalized market producer, a bearer of historical values and traditions, or a small proprietor resistant to revolutionary ideas? What notions and stereotypes influenced this vision? The article examines the impact of various ideological doctrines on the concept of “special Russian way” from serfdom to modernity. There existed two different ways of looking at homo rusticus originated from Western Europe and very common for pre-reform Russia. The first regarded peasant as a rational individual, subject to all natural and universal economic laws while the second, romantic one, stressed its patriarchal simplicity and the ancient cultural “roots”. It was a contradictory combination of these visions that generated many myths and symbols of peasant emancipation.