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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Towns and Townsmen

Towns and Townsmen

Chapter:
(p.235) 11 Towns and Townsmen
Source:
The Russian Empire 1450-1801
Author(s):

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.003.0013

This chapter examines the organization and trade and artisanal activity in Muscovite towns through the seventeenth century. Muscovy’s cities fit the east European model of “small towns,” with few large metropolises (compared to contemporary western Europe and the Ottoman empire); they did not enjoy urban autonomies but were ruled by tsarist governors. The chapter examines the typical circular geographical structure of Muscovite towns and their juridical multiplexity, with taxpaying artisans and merchants living side by side with tax-free neighborhoods controlled by gentry, church hierarchs, musketeers and coachmen, and other pockets of unfair competition. It also explores the status of merchant through the models of Vasilii Shorin and Gavriil Nikitin.

Keywords:   towns, urbanization, municipal government, merchants, Moscow, Ottoman empire, Siberia, Bukharans, slavery, 1649 Lawcode

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