Сентиментальное путешествие Ю.У. Немцевича по землям давней Речи Посполитой: а la recherche du pаys perdu
Recent decades have witnessed an increase in the number of works dedicated to the analysis of effects of historical events on the choice of institutions and further economical and social development of regions. This article employs the new institutional economics theory approach to consider the choices regarding title to land and serfdom in Moscovy and Rzeczpospolita (earlier the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in the 16th-17th centuries. The author emphasises the factors, which have affected the choice of institutional development trajectory, and considers the influence exerted by these institutes on the political and military development of these states. This article shows how the contingent property rights in Moscovy turned out to be competitive in the conditions of a considerable contribution of decentralisation factors to defence capacity and, opposite to the situation in Rzeczpospolita, ensured the formation of large and efficient troops. This work contributes to research on property rights and Russian economic history.