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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2019 year, number 4

YAKUT BUREAUCRACY IN 1775-1803

A.A. Borisov
Institute of humanities and the indigenous peoples of the North of SB RAS, 1 Petrovskogo st, Yakutsk, 1677027, Russia
Keywords: якутские чиновники, губернская реформа 1775 г, местное управление, Якутская область, государственная служба, Yakut officials, Provincial Reform of 1775, local government, Yakut province, public service

Abstract

The Provincial reform of Catherine II started in Russia in 1775. On the local level, its implementation led to forming governorships and provinces. In Yakutia, a provincial administration was formed as part of the Irkutsk governorship. Until that period, the Yakut Voivode administration existed here with a small administration staff of officers engaged mainly in collecting yasak (fur tax). The local staff increased markedly when the Yakutsk province was created in 1783. The regional government structure was formed in accordance with the provisions of Provincial reform: Upper and Lower Raspravas (Justicement offices), Conciliar Court, Magistrate, Zemsky Lower Courts, County Courts, and Treasury. The staff of the Yakut bureaucracy increased quickly to 200 people excluding family members of officials by the late XVIII century. Nobles prevailed among them, who came from different regions of the country: the central and Volga regions, Baltic states, Siberia. The measures taken by government of Catherine II to recruit the nobility to the public service, were clearly manifested in the province, particularly in Yakutia. Many nobles were attracted by the opportunity to make a career in connection with formation of the Irkutsk governorship despite the remoteness and severe climatic conditions. The position of Yakut nobility weakened significantly, as they lost former sources of income due to abolition of the local noble staff. The Yakut bureaucracy was recruited from other classes as well: the Cossacks, clerical staff, bourgeois, non-OrtodoxYakuts. Many military servicemen, participants of the recent Russian military companies in the North Caucasus, Chukotka, arrived here. Among the Yakut bureaucracy there were many representatives of titled nobles, up to the 5th class rank according to the “Table of Ranks”. They got families here, some of them settled down for a long time. During this period a group of local hereditary bureaucracy began to form. It is of interest, that non-Ortodox Yakuts were attracted to the public service as assessors in the Upper Rasprava (court) for the first time just in the studied period. In general, the quite significant bureaucratic layer was formed in Yakutian local community under the influence of Provincial Reform of 1775.