A History of Wealth and Poverty: Why a Few Nations are Rich and Many Poor, by John P. Powelson.

Appendixes for Chapter 13

Appendix 13.1: Historical Citations on the Ulozhenie (1649) as an Instrument of Absolutism in Russia

  1. The Ulozhenie was "a benchmark in the transition of Russia from feudalism to absolutism." [291]
  2. "Ulozhenie put the finishing touches on a system which made every subject of the tsar a potential victim of false accusation. This system operated on the principle that every citizen had the duty to denounce: he was legally required, under pain of 'death without mercy,' to act as informer whenever disloyal words or conduct came to his attention." [292]
  3. The Ulozhenie "sealed the fate of the seignorial peasantry, once free renters of land belonging to members of the upper classes, and now converted into the serfs of their erstwhile landlords." [293]
  4. "The 1649 Ulozhenie threatened with disgrace (opala) landholders who aliened land; persons removing taxpayers from rolls by receiving them as residents; boyars' peasants and other nontaxpaying subjects who purchased commercial establishments or engaged in trade in taxpaying settlements; and Russians who sold dwellings to foreigners in restricted sections of Moscow." [294] Disgrace constituted a legal status by which privileges of one's usual status were denied and penalties exacted.
  5. "In the judicial realm, acts of private law (such as contracts of sale and exchange) as well as public law (such as convocations of synods, measures of ecclesiastical discipline, and religious ordinances issued by the patriarch or metropolitans) enjoyed the same status as acts of the tsar." [295]

This last quotation, by Raeff, might seem to indicate an equality of church, urban/commercial, and monarchical law, such as was evolving in the West. Not so. Raeff goes on to explain how "the idea of Moscow as the Third Rome, whereby the tsar, as heir to the legacy of Rome and Byzantium, claimed the legitimate right to rule [meant that] the tsar could be approached only in an attitude of fervent devotion." [296] Thus the "equality" of different laws derived only from their equal subordination to a despotic tsar. It congealed Russian society in a rigid hierarchy, a feudalism depending not on contract as in the West but on the immutable status of every person. Possibilities of vertical alliance and leverage were frozen out.

Appendix 13.2: References to Interest-Groups Arising after the Collapse of the Soviet Union

  1. "Two months after they led the largest industrial walkout this country has seen since the 1920s, independent coal miners this week took the first steps in a campaign to seize control of the official local workers' union." [297]
  2. "Another sign [of a lower level of fear] is the birth of genuine interest groups to defend the promised changes. These include not only the popular fronts in the Baltic and other republics, but associations of private entrepreneurs organized to protect their new niche in the Soviet economy." [298]
  3. "Scores of political upstarts who triumphed in last month's elections have begun to join forces in what promises to be the first independent bloc in the Soviet Government since Lenin's time. . . . Like-minded deputies in Moscow, the Baltic Republics and elsewhere have begun forming committees, establishing links, and drafting plans to increase their leverage in the new Congress." [299]
  4. "Alternative political parties have popped up like mushrooms, feeding on the decay of the communist apparatus. These parties arise in turn from the thousands of active organizations and civic clubs that have emerged in recent years. These voluntary organizations are the embryos of a civil society." [300]
  5. In the Ukraine in 1989 (now simply "Ukraine"), at least three new political-action groups were formed: the Movement of Ukraine for Restructuring, by writers advocating radical change; the Shevchenko Ukrainian Language Society, to demand official status for the Ukrainian language; and the Ukrainian Memorial Society, dedicated to expose Stalinist crimes against the Ukrainian nation. [301]
  6. ". . . the neformaly, the thousands of voluntary associations that have successfully defined the political agenda in virtually every republic and are now seedbeds for the country's emerging political parties." [302]
  7. Sajudis, the leading independent reform association in Lithuania, is "an umbrella organization for dozens of smaller organizations, including a Hyde Park-like speakers' association, a temperance group and parties that go so far as to endorse a shift to democratic capitalism." It has helped form "the Lithuanian Workers' Association, a group that supports the rise of Solidarity-type independent labor unions." [303]
  8. "Before the end of the Soviet Union, farmers in Uzbekistan organized to keep for themselves the crops demanded by the central government, which they sold privately in foreign markets." [304]


Copyright © 1994 by the University of Michigan. First published in the USA by the University of Michigan Press, 1994.

Published on the World Wide Web by The Quaker Economist with permission from the University of Michigan Press, 2005.

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