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V.I. SHUNKOV. Main Problems of the Study of the History of Siberia
The author, on the basis of an analysis of publications on the history of Siberia, sums up the results and outlines the tasks of research work in this field. He also points to the considerable successes of Soviet historical science in the study of Siberia's history. The historians of the 18th and 19th centuries, V. I. Shunkov notes, attached prime importance to elucidating the activities of tsarism in annexing and governing this territory, whereas Soviet scientists study the operation of objective laws that determined the development of the multi-national population of Siberia from the Paleolithic period to our days. Soviet historians, it is stressed in the article, have worked out Siberia's ancient history and shown the conversion of this formerly backward outlying area of the country into a land of advanced industry, large-scale mechanised agriculture and well-developed culture, which has taken place after the Great October Socialist Revolution. Soviet historians have conducted a study of the development of productive forces and social and economic relations in Siberia in the 16th-19th centuries and class struggle there. Much has been done in the study of the revolutionary traditions of the territory. Great attention is devoited by the students of Siberia to Siberia's accession to Russia, the history of the peoples of Siberia, the transition of some of these peoples to socialism by-passing the capitalist stage, and the importance of the life of the Siberian peoples within one state.
At the same time, V. I. Shunkov stressses, Siberian studies have so far been characterised by the elaboration of separate problems and the absence of generalizing works.
It is noted in the article that the creation of a fundamental summarizing work on the history of Siberia is one of the most important immediate tasks of the students of Siberia. This calls for the elaboration of concrete little-studied questions, such as the history of industry, the working class, etc., and a number of fundamental problems: the stages of the social and economic development of Siberia, the role of the Russian people in the development of its productive forces, and others.
B.A. RYBAKOV. Controversies About the Formation of Kiev Rus
This treatise has been prepared as a report for the Eleventh International Congress of Historical Science. It exposes the scientific invalidity of the Normanist theory regarding the emergence of statehood among the Eastern Slavs. This is done through the analysis of the ancient "Ostromirov Chronicle" and "Narrative of Transitional Years" and through the study of archeological, toponymical and other materials.
The author points out that in studying the problem of the emergence of statehood among the Eastern Slavs, it is necessary thoroughly to analyze each separate source and to take into account its origin, and to study the genuine remnants of ancient life, language, ancient annals, legal documents, etc. It is necessary to have an historical synthesis that will make it possible to form separate facts and events into one whole picture showing the historical process over a lengthy period of time. Proceeding from the analysis of all available sources, B.A. Rybakov describes the transformation of the Kiev tribal principality into a big ancient Russian power with Kiev as capital, as well as the social-political structure of ancient Russia.
The article concludes that the ancient Russian feudal state came into being as the result of the internal process of class formation. The Norman Vikings could neither accelerate nor substantially retard this process.
A.V. ARTSIKHOVSKY. the Great Novgorod in the 11th - 15th Centuries
The article sums up the findings of the archaeological excavations conducted in Novgorod under the author's guidance since 1929.
A.V. Artsikhovsky notes that the former concepts of the peculiarity of Russian historical process were connected with denying the handicraft nature of Russian medieval cities. It has now been proved, on the basis of archaeological findings, that artisans comprised a majority of the population of Novgorod. During excavations conducted between 1951 and 1959 375 birch bark scrolls dating back to the 11th - 15th centuries were found. In the author's
opinion, these finds promise a considerable increase in the number of written sources on the medieval history, since birch bark scrolls may be found in other countries of Northern Europe, opening up new prospects for historical research. The birch bark scrolls and other finds testify that literacy was widespread in Novgorod.
Till the middle of the 12th century, it is noted in the article, Novgorod was a monarchy, and till the middle of the 13th century, a republic with survivals of monarchy. At the beginning of the 14th century these survivals disappeared, and the political system remained republican till the end of the 15th century. But the republican system was of an aristocratic nature. Contrary to previous notions, the boyars who governed Novgorod were not merchants, but big feudal lords. The birch bark scrolls addressed to boyars indicate large-scale land ownership but contain no mention of trade. These scrolls, A.V. Artsikhovsky writes, support the historians' opinion that peasants were not yet fully turned into serfs in the Novgorod state; but feudal exploitation reached considerable proportions and roused the protests of peasants.
Most of the scrolls found in Novgorod deal with agricultural subjects, and many of them are addressed to petty feudal lords. The appearance of this kind of documents m a medieval city is somewhat unexpected. A.V. Artsikhovsky explains this in the following way: The feudal lords resided permanently in Novgorod and participated, together with handicraftsmen and merchants, in the popular assembly (Vyetche). They seldom visited their estates, some of which were situated at great distances from the city, and maintained contacts with them through correspondence.
At the end of the article the author comes to the conclusion that in the Russian medieval city feudal lords played a more important part than in West-European cities. The preponderance of boyars in the government of the Novgorod republic was probably explained by the presence of a large number of petty feudal lords among the citizens.
I.E. SHALASHILIN. Concerning the Causes of the Retarded Development of Irrigated Farming Areas in Central Asia in the Middle of the 19th Centnry
On the strength of published and unpublished chronicles, documents on agrarian relations, and other sources, I.E. Shalashilin proves that the nationalities inhabiting the irrigated farming areas of Central Asia passed the same stages of social development as the peoples of Europe. He shows the untenability of the assertions of some historians to the effect that in the middle of the 19th century Central Asia was in a state of absolute stagnation. In this period, he writes, after overcoming the depression of the 17th and the first half of the 18th centuries, Central Asia's irrigated farming areas proceeded slowly along the capitalist path of development.
The lag in their social and economic development is regarded in the article as a consequence of an exceedingly slow pace of this development, chiefly explained by the peculiar nature of feudal relations of production that reigned there, specifically the preponderance of state feudal ownership of the irrigation systems, water and land.
Great attention is devoted in the article to elucidating the essence of state ownership and its influence on all the aspects of the social development of the areas of irrigated fanning, as well as the role of the water-and-land community and the invasions of neighbouring nomadic peoples in retarding the development of these areas. The form of the states existing there (Eastern despotism) and their certain isolation, by virtue of the geographical position and the primitiveness of the means of transport, not only from bourgeois Europe but also from the feudal states of the East, hampered the development of Central Asia's irrigated farming areas. I.E. Shalashilin also deals with the forms of the exploitation of peasants: metayage, which was predominant, as well as rent in money and labour rent.
M.A. ALPATOV: From the History of Russian Medieval Historiography
The author outlines the theoretical views and analyzes the activity of the mid-19th century Russian students of medieval history-M.M. Stasyulevich, V.A. Bilbasov and N.A. Osokin. The study of their works enabled M.A. Alpatov to place them in a special category of Russian bourgeois historiography. The world outlook of this group was greatly influenced by the ideas of Hegel, Thierry and Guizot. The characteristic feature of the methodology of Stasyulevich, Bilbasov and Osokin was that, though surrounded by positivists, these scientists continued the philosophical line of the Hegelian T.N. Granovsky, forgetting his elements of democratism and assuming liberal positions. Politically, this put them in the same ranks with such positivists as M.M. Kovalevsky, P.G. Vinogradov, I.V. Luchitsky and N.I. Kareyev. Philosophically, Stasyulevich, Bilbasov and Osokin differed from the positivists by their interest in the antagonism of the competing forces, the antagonism they sought in the political sphere.
The author shows that Stasyulevich regarded historical process as a reflection of "the fate of social intellect" in the form of struggle of the social and political forces. Bilbasov devoted most attention to historic personalities in the atmosphere of the struggle of opposites. Osokin displayed interest in the class and religious struggles and in economic history.
Stasyulevich, Bilbasov and Osokin, the author points out, occupy a special place in Russian medieval studies. They elaborated problems which the positivists by-passed, and
sought to investigate the struggle of social contradictions in class and religious forms. The attempts to show the ups and downs of historical process and the interest in the struggle of classes often enabled them to give a picture that was closer to reality than that given by the positivists.
Analyzing the creative heritage of each of these historians, Alpatov shows up the strong and weak points of their scientific activity and comes to the conclusion that Stasyulevich, Bilbasov and Osokin will take their places in the history of the Russian historiography of the 19th century.
A.S. YERUSALIMSKY. Penetration of German Monopolies into China on the Bounds of the 19th and the 20th Centuries
The author has endeavoured to elucidate the history of the penetration of German monopolies into China and the methods, aims and direct results of this penetration on the eve of the Ihetuan Rebellion, the first anti-imperialist rebellion of the Chinese people in the 20th century.
The article consists of four sections. The first section deals with the activities of German trading firms in China. In the course of many years British capital had operated in China jointly with German firms and often even through them, and at first it did not notice them getting rid gradually of the modest role they had been playing before and beginning to turn into the strong points of the economic expansion of German imperialism in China. Towards the beginning of the 20th century the export of German goods to China equalled only a fifth of British exports. But big German monopolies hoped that, relying on the connections and experience of the firms that had entrenched themselves there and, above all, on the bridgehead in the Shantung province, and taking advantage of contradictions between Britain and tsarist Russia, they would be able to develop rapidly their expansion in the Far East. German marine shipping in China and also the purchase of steam-ship lines on the Yangtze River proved one of the tools of this expansion. German trade in arms was also greatly instrumental in it. Krupp, who had the support of the German government and Kaiser Wilhelm II himself, was the chief competitor of the British firm Armstrong.
The second section is devoted to the activities of the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank in China. Created by thirteen big financial establishments, this bank was the main tool of the expansion of German financial capital in China. After the Japanese-Chinese war of 1894 - 95 the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank broadened capital investments in China through the granting of loans, and after the seizure of Kiaochao by Germany, began to set up railway, mining and other concessions in Shantung. For this purpose several groups of financial capital were formed in Germany: the Banking Consortium, the Shantung Sindicate, the Industrial Sindicate and the Sindicate of Magnates. In 1899 these rival groups came to an agreement and established the Society of Shantung Railways and the Society of Shantung Mining Industry.
The activities of these German monopolies and their influence on German policies in China are described in the third section. The German government considered it inexpedient to conclude a treaty on the Shantung concession with China: acting in the interests of the monopolies, it strove to present the Chinese ruling quarters with an accomplished fact-invasion into China. The German monopolies decided to act-in coordination with the German government, but independently. Urbig, a representative of German bankers, was commissioned to conduct negotiations with the Tsungli Yamen. As they were starting the plunder of China, the German monopolies sought to prevent the Chinese people from offering resistance.
In the fourth section the author shows that the planting of large German concession in Shantung meant the expropriation of land from the local population; it undermined the traditional foundations of the economy and brought ruin to countless numbers of people. This sparked uprisings of Chinese working people, which were suppressed in a most ruthless way. These uprisings were the first threatening outbreaks of the Ihetuan popular movement.
The study is based on unpublished documents of the German Foreign Ministry, the German Legation in Peking and documents from Russian and partially Chinese archives.
MAGDA ADAM. From the History of Hungarian-Czechoslovak Relations on the Eve of World War II
M. Adam reviews the as-yet little studied policy of Horthyist Hungary in the period of the Munich collusion and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia.
The author shows that the foreign policy of the ruling quarters of Horthyist Hungary aimed at the revision of the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, at the seizure of a part of the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire which had not been incorporated into Hungary. The aggressive claims of the Horthyists spread, in particular, to Czechoslovak lands.
The Horthyists intended, M. Adam writes, to materialize their revanchist designs through a collusion with German fascism, while the Hitler government planned to use the Hungarian revenge-seekers for carrying out extensive aggression and therefore was prepared to support some of their claims.
The Hungarian ruling quarters launched feverish activities for the realization of their aims. Consolidation of German-Hungarian contacts, lifting of restrictions on the armament of the Hungarian army, and diplomatic isolation of Czechoslovakia were made the basis of Horthyist diplomacy.
The author shows that preparation for an armed attack on Czechoslovakia was accompanied with diplomatic pressure brought by the Hungarian ruling quarters on the Czechoslovak government and subversive activities of Horthyist agents.
By the Vienna award of November 2, 1938, in which Germany and Italy acted as arbiters, Hungary severed from Czechoslovakia a territory embracing 12,400 square kilometres with a population of 1,100,000 people. The Vienna award was a direct continuation of the Munich deal.
On March 12, 1939, launching the implementation of the concrete plan of the liquidation of Czechoslovakia, Hitler sanctioned the Hungarian revenge-seekers' occupation of the Transcarpathia. Towards March 20 the Transcarpathia was seized by the army.
The article exposes the policy of encouraging the aggressor which was pursued in that period by the ruling quarters of the Western powers and which facilitated the onslaught of the Hitlerites and Horthyists on Czechoslovakia.
M. Adam also shows the struggle of the Soviet Union and the progressive forces of the world in defence of Czechoslovakia.
The article was written on the basis of materials from the Hungarian State Archives, the Hungarian Party Archives, the Transcarpathian Regional State Archives of the Ukrainian S.S.R., and also published documents.
L.N. KUDASHEV. Political Manoeuvres of Japan's Ruling Quarters at the End of World War II
Reviewed in the article are events directly connected with the termination of World War II in the Far East. In the pursuit of their aggressive policy, the Japanese imperialists had enjoyed, before the outbreak of the war in the Pacific, the support of the United States, Britain and France, which calculated on setting Japan against the U.S.S.R. The results of this policy turned against the Western powers themselves. It is shown in the article that at the end of the war the Japanese imperialists tried to secure the support of the United States, Britain and France in order to avaid the defeat of Japan and preserve the rule of reaction in the country. Japanese diplomacy sought to conclude a compromise peace with its imperialist rivals. Negotiations started in the autumn of 1944, through the mediation of Swedish diplomats. They were also conducted in Switzerland. In the spring of 1945 they were joined by U.S. intelligence officer A. Dulles, who acted with the knowledge of the Department of State. The Japanese insisted, in the first place, on the repeal of the demand of "unconditional surrender" and the joining of Korea and Taiwan to Japan. It is stressed in the article that the manoeuvres of international reactionary forces were foiled by the efforts of the masses in the United States, Britain and other countries, and also thanks to the direct and consistent policy of the Soviet Government, which stood for the implementation of the anti-fascist, liberative aims of the war. The Soviet Union's entry into the war against Japan compelled the Japanese ruling quarters to accept unconditional surrender.
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