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Article

Les commissions d’enquête, l’administration sibérienne et l’impôt sur le peuples autochtones en Russie au XVIIIe siècle

Histoire, Économie et Sociétés. 2007. No. 4. P. 27-50.

Based on the administrative and judicial sources of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts in Moscow, this paper analyses several aspects of activity of the extraordinary commissions in Siberia, which is a major contribution to the strengthening of the monarchical power and the imperial control on the country’s peripheral provinces during the 18th century. The essential mission of these commissions is to pursue the abuses inside the local administration. Finally, through an analysis of the successes and failures of their investigations, various facets of the reality of the Siberian administration, its social universe, the management practices and its relationships with the native people, just after the conquest of Siberia, will be described. In particular, a great effort is provided by the commissions in order to eradicate the fur trade smuggling developed in the border area between Russia and China to the detriment of the interests of the State. During the years of 1760, these commissions contribute to the realization of the Yasak tax reform which gives a new dimension to the Russian Monarchy’s colonial policy. This reform resulted in the improvement of the administrative and financial structures and mechanisms for a better integration of the Siberian territory and people into the Empire.