Share this article with friends
M. P. GUBENKO and B. G. LITVAK. Concrete Source Research Devoted to the History of Soviet Society
The article examines certain aspects of intensive research, carried out in recent years, into sources relating to the history of Soviet society. The interest in these questions rose markedly following the important changes wrought in historical science by th? decisions of the Twentieth CPSU Congress. The period since 1956 was marked by more intensive publishing activity, Soviet researchers were given wider access to archive records, and the need of generalizing the experience in the field of source research acquired greater urgency. Yet it should be pointed out that up to 1961 there did not appear a single more or less serious article aimed at generalizing this experience. The authors note that the most conspicuous contribution made in recent years to source research devoted to the history of Soviet society is an article by V. P. Danilov and S. I. Yakubovskaya entitled "Source Research and the History of Soviet Society," which appeared in the journal "Problems of History" No. 5 for 1961, as well as the discussion on problems of research into sources relating to the CPSU history, sponsored by the journal "Problems of CPSU History." The inference to be drawn from these materials is that one of the chief objective reasons responsible for the lag of source research devoted to Soviet society is insufficient elaboration of problems connected with concrete source research, notably research into mass sources. The article convincingly proves that the proper arrangement and classification of archive materials, extensive scientific publication of documents and further development of source research methods primarily depend on the elaboration of source research techniques and investigation of mass documents conforming to up-to-date standardized archival practices in arranging records. The authors make an attempt to define this category of sources. The evolvement and application of scientifically substantiated methods of work with mass sources, the authors write in conclusion, will ensure complete victory over the "illustrative" method of arrangement and classification of archive materials, the publication and study of documents relating to the Soviet period. It will enable the researcher to extend the application of mathematical methods in investigating the socio-economic aspects of the history of Soviet society.
Academician B. A. RYBAKOV and G. F. SOLOVYOVA. Soviet Archeology Today
The article emphasizes that historical science cannot develop without drawing extensively on archeological data, whose role is particularly great in reconstructing the history of primitive, slave-owning and feudal societies, as well as the history of the peoples who had no written language. The chronological range of archeology is very wide, embracing the period from the early Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The authors describe the works produced by Soviet archeologists in recent years. Most of these works are reflected in "A Collection of Archeological Sources," the basic purpose of which is to unite the entire multiform archeological material into a single harmonious system.
Drawing on their extensive research carried out in recent years, the article points out, Soviet archeologists can contribute extremely valuable new materials to every stage of mankind's history. A vivid reflection of this will be found in Volume I of the twelve-volume "History of the U.S.S.R," compiled by the Institute of Archeology. The works produced by Soviet archeologists enable one to form a comprehensive and integral idea of the economic and cultural development Of the peoples inhabiting the territory of our country from hoary antiquity. In conclusion the authors put forward the task of generalizing archeological data and creating on this basis broad historical constructions on the history of the U.S.S.R. They stress the need of further strengthening the source research base of Soviet archeology and propagating archeological knowledge.
E. M. BRUSNIKIN. The Tsarist Government's Resettlement Policy at the End of the 19th Century
The author of this article makes an attempt to trace the evolution of the resettlement policy followed by the tsarist autocracy during the last two decades of the 19th century, to bring out its essence and direct results. Much attention in this connection is devoted to the close study of the activity of the Siberian Railway Committee and special resettlement agencies.
E. M. Brusnikin shows that the peasant unrest between the 1870's and 1880's was of decisive significance in bringing about a change in the government's resettlement policy in the early 1880's. The various projects drawn up by the tsarist Ministries were aimed at eliminating the land hunger among the farming population of Russia by moving a certain proportion of the landless and land-hungry peasants to other areas. The resettlement in this particular case was regarded as a means of solving the agrarian question. However, the gradually strengthening position of reaction enabled the government to confine itself to an insignificant concession of facilitating the transfer of the resettlers to the new areas. The rules and regulations of 1881 instituted a stringent procedure of issuing resettlement permits by arbitrary decision of the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of State Properties. In the years of political reaction these were supplemented by a number of new provisions and stipulations which still further restricted the rights of the peasants. The local authorities were obliged to send all resettlers without permits to their former residence. To carry out this order the authorities resorted to every means at their disposal, including coercive measures.
In the mid-1890's, the article points out, the futility of the government's efforts to prevent the peasants' "unauthorized" resettlement by resorting to methods inherited from the period of serfdom became perfectly obvious. Yet the government still persisted in its attempts to reduce the scope of the resettlement movement, though it now employed different means to achieve this aim: "unauthorized" resettlers were deprived of formerly established privileges. The Interior Ministry mobilized all the forces of the local government bodies to prevent mass resettlement of the peasants.
The settling of the territory adjoining the construction site of the Siberian Railway required more vigorous efforts in providing the resettlers with allotments and increasing the resettlement assistance fund. But the aid rendered by the government was too meagre and could not substantially improve the conditions of resettlement.
In conclusion the author stresses that the domination of the landlords in the country was the chief obstacle to the colonization of outlying districts. Crushed by feudal bondage and oppression, the basic mass of the peasantry did not possess adequate means and technical facilities required for the development of new lands.
S. M. KASHTANOV. Diplomatics as a Special Historical Subject
The author comes out against attempts at identifying diplomatics with the study of ordinary documents. Regarding diplomatics as the science of the study of official acts, the author substantiates the need for interpreting the term "act" in a narrower sense. Acts are often interpreted to mean all "documents" in general, with the exception of narrative sources. This hampers both the sociological conception of the history of an official act and the elaboration of specifically "diplomatic" methods of research. The article stresses, in particular, that the concept "acts" must include only contractual documents like treaties, agreements, charters, etc., with their stable historico-legal form. The author acquaints the reader with Latin terminology which, though extensively used in Western diplomatics, is little known in Russian literature, and subjects to a critical analysis the formal method employed by Western diplomatics. The article contains examples showing concrete application of diplomatic methods to Russian acts.
S. A. STEGAR. The French Government's Policy in the Spanish Question (1936 - 1939)
The article analyzes the imperialist powers' policy of "non-intervention" in the Spanish events, primarily the policy of the French government in 1936 - 1939. The author shows the utter groundlessness of the attempts to shift the whole blame and responsibility for the "non-intervention" policy and its fatal consequences to the Blum government alone, convincingly illustrating that the chief role in evolving the "non- intervention" concept was played by Britain.
The article highlights the struggle waged by France's progressive forces, first and foremost by the French Communist Party, for rendering effective assistance to the Spanish people. French mnopoly capital, which had considerable economic interests in Spain, was afraid to lose its capital investments in that country in the event of the Popular Front emerging victorious. Another important factor which determined the French policy in the
Spanish question was the apprehension of the French financial bourgeoisie that the victory of the fascist putschists with the support of Italy and Germany would enable the latter to strengthen their influence in Spain to the detriment of French interests.
While Italy and Germany were rendering effective assistance to the fascist rebels, the French imperialists officially proclaimed their policy of "non-intervention" allegedly for the sake of preventing the civil war in Spain from developing into an all-European conflict. Very soon the French imperialists' "non-intervention" assumed a camouflaged form of their intervention in favour of the fascist putschists. Helping to strangle the Spanish Republic, France broke off diplomatic relations with it and on February 27, 1939, recognized the fascist junta headed by Franco as the lawful government of Spain. Thus, the "non-intervention" policy pursued by France, Britain and the United States enabled Germany and Italy to decide the outcome of the civil war in Spain in favour of reaction and fascism.
V. M. TUROK. Austro-Hungary as a "Model" of European Integration
The article points out that one of the major and extremely complicated problems which attracted a good deal of attention in historical literature of recent years concerns the role of Austro-Hungary in Europe at the various stages of the Hapsburg monarchy. Particular note in this connection should be made of the rise and development of a distinctive trend in West-German historical science, designated by the cummulative term of Sud-Ostforschung. This term has a fairly wide connotation, embracing research in the history, literature, culture, economics and language of the peoples inhabiting the Balkan Peninsula, as well as of the states which arose on the ruins of the Hapsburg monarchy in the autumn of 1918. Like the Ostforschung itself, V. M. Turok writes, this particular subdivision of it can in no way be regarded as an independent branch of science: the only point of unity are the geographical boundaries of research. Consequently, it is a question concerning the study of South-East Europe in the broad sense, i. e., the Balkans and the territories that had formed a component part of Austro-Hungary.
The article makes a point of stressing that in most of their works devoted to the history of Austro-Hungary, the authors extol the monarchy and its emperors, notably Francis-Joseph. Carried away by the idea of European integration, many West- German historians are trying to discover the prototype of integration in past history. Their attention here is most strongly attracted by the multi-national Hapsburg monarchy, which they-try to depict as a shining example of the voluntary union of integrated nations-an example worthy of emulation. But all such attempts only impel the authors of these works to take the false path of modernization and artificial analogies with the help of seeking parallels in events belonging to entirely different historical epochs. The employment of this method results in drawing conclusions for the past from positions of contemporaneity: the advocates of supra-national integration make strenuous efforts to prove the correctness of such integration in the past. Hence the inevitable idealization of Austro-Hungary in violation of elementary rules of historical research. Such a flagrantly unscientific method cannot be supported or substantiated even by the best knowledge of facts, outward refinement or scientific data.
Many Western historians, V. M. Turok writes, deny or completely ignore the fact that the Hapsburg monarchy became an outpost of German imperialism in South-East Europe and a vehicle of the Germanization of East-European peoples. The Austrian pan-Germans were even more zealous advocates of a "Greater Germany" than their counterparts in Germany herself. But this path could not provide a solution to the national problem in Austro-Hungary, and without solving the national problem the multi-national state could not exist endlessly. National conflicts accompanied by acute social collisions kept flaring up ceaselessly. There was an imperative need for fundamental social changes, the author writes in conclusion, but the ruling classes of the semi-feudal monarchy-that anachronism of the 20th century-proved incapable of effecting the urgently needed radical transformations.
M. S. ALPEROVICH. Paraguay's History as Reflected in Contemporary Bourgeois Historiography
The article points out that Paraguay's history is inadequately reflected in scientific literature, particularly in European and North American historical works. Active research in this field is conducted by West-German historians, which should be attributed to the German colonization of Paraguay, to the existence of the Mennonites there, and to the close ties of friendship now binding the ruling circles of West Germany and Paraguay. The only works in U. S. historiography which merit attention are those by H. G. Warren (1949), Ph. Raine (1956) and E. R. Service (1954).
" One of the major problems that has been given a good deal of attention in recent years is the Jesuit state of 1610 - 1768. French scientists C. Lugon (1949) and J. Des-
cora (1956) highlighted its history from clerical positions, and L. Baudin (1962)-from the viewpoint of general sociology. Another serious research work in this field was produced by M. Morner of Sweden (1953), though he failed to give a faithful description of the Guarani tribes and their position. Among the works produced by West-German historians, the pro-Jesuit book by P. Conzelmann (1958) is worthy of note; an interesting work that merits attention was compiled by the Austrian historian G. Otruba (1962). Research into Jesuit activity was also made by Soviet historians D. E. Mikhnevich (1955), I. R. Lavretsky (1961) and the group of authors who compiled Volume II of "The Peoples of America" (1959).
Another important problem that has given rise to broad discussion concerns Paraguay's social system and policy under dictators Jose Gaspar Rodriguez Francia, Carlos Antonio Lopez, Francisco Solarro Lopez, and during the war of 1864 - 1870. The Marxist work written by Paraguayan historian O. Crydt in 1964 represents an outstanding contribution to this problem. West-German scientist G. Kahle (1962), who analyzes in great detail the process of formation of national self-consciousness in Paraguay, erroneously tries to prove that nationhood in that country had taken shape after 1811 - 1813, when Paraguay became an independent state.
The present reign of terror instituted by the ruling element of Paraguay renders the work of national historians extremely difficult. Many of them have emigrated to other countries and publish their works in Argentina and Uruguay, thereby making their contribution to the development of national historiography.
M. A. BARG. The Conception o! Feudalism in Contemporary Bourgeois Historiography
Analyzing how the present-day West-European and American researchers in medieval history interpret the essence of the feudal socio-economic formation, the author notes the existence of the following four principal schools determining the conception of feudalism in contemporary bourgeois historiography: the typological trend initiated by the well-known work of the German historian O. Hintze; the socio-historical trend associated with the name of M. Bloch and his school; the American comparativist trend; and, lastly, the formal-juridical trend represented by F. Ganshof, С Stepbenson, F. Stenton' and others.
Despite their obviously superficial treatment of the essence of feudalism, M. A. Barg writes, the typological and comparativist trends undoubtedly represent a step forward in the development of bourgeois historiography. This is manifested above all in the efforts to overcome traditional Eurocentrism and treat the problems of feudalism more boldly from the viewpoint of world history. Notwithstanding the fact that these trends deny the law-governed and phasic character of the feudal system from the standpoint of social development, the entire treatment of the problem by historians belonging to these trends objectively leads to its interpretation precisely in this light.
The treatment of feudalism by the socio-historical trend, the author notes, is reflected in the concept put forward by M. Bloch and his school. His "Societe Feodale" concept embraces not merely any one institution or one of the social classes, but society as a whole. Although the exponents of this school continue to oppose the concept of "feudalism" to "seigniory," this is rather a tribute to traditional academism than an expression of the essential meaning of the concept. The seigniory and feod are viewed by the Bloch school as merely two sides, two aspects of one and the same system. Nevertheless, the author stresses, the formal-juridical treatment of feudalism, which substitutes the history of medieval society exclusively by the history of the vassal-fief system and attributes all other relations to the category of "extra-feudal," still predominates in contemporary West-European historiography. The utter futility and artificial nature of this conception are emphasized even by those bourgeois historians who are far removed from Marxist-Leninist methodology.
Permanent link to this publication:
LRussia LWorld Y G