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Features of demographic development of the German colonies of St. Petersburg province in the first half of the XIX century.

Kairyak Anna Alekseevna

ORCID: 0009-0001-2197-1565

Student, Department of History, Pushkin Leningrad State University; laboratory assistant, Scientific and Educational Center for historical research and analysis

196605, Russia, Saint Petersburg region, Pushkin, Peterburgskoe highway, 10

anna_solveig@mail.ru

DOI:

10.7256/2585-7797.2023.3.44064

EDN:

XQOZPA

Received:

18-09-2023


Published:

12-10-2023


Abstract: The purpose of the study is to present the features of the demographic development of the "distant" colonies that were formed in the 1810s. The object of the study is the German colonies of the St. Petersburg province. The subject of the study is the demographic processes that took place in the first half of the XIX century in the "distant" colonies, namely: Izvarskaya, Strelninskaya, Kronstadt, Oranienbaum, Peterhof, Kipenskaya. The data from the revision fairy tales of the first half of the XIX century were used for the analysis. The results of the study have practical significance and novelty. They can be used by historians, demographers and sociologists for a deeper study of the processes of colonization in Russia. The results of this study allow us to better understand the demographic changes that took place in the German colonies, as well as their impact on the development of society as a whole. This can be useful for understanding the historical context and the formation of national identity. The analysis of the materials allowed us to draw conclusions about the change in the population in the German colonies due to natural growth, their gender and age composition, as well as the average population of families. The results of the study indicate the active development of German colonies in the St. Petersburg province in the first half of the XIX century. Based on the results of this study, it is possible to draw conclusions about the significant role of the German colonies in the formation of the social and cultural component of the St. Petersburg province at that time. This information may be useful for further research and preservation of the historical heritage of this region.


Keywords:

Russian Germans, German colonies, colonists, St. Petersburg, foreign colonization, revision tale, demography, St. Petersburg colonies, family, St. Petersburg province

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

 

Introduction

In the XVII-XVIII centuries, some states of Central and Eastern Europe faced the need to organize and conduct internal colonization. In Prussia, for example, in the second half of the XVII century. this was caused by economic ruin and demographic crisis as a result of the Thirty Years' War. The Russian Empire was forced to colonize sparsely populated suburbs in order to keep them in the orbit of its influence. In the 1750s and 1760s, the first projects were developed for the colonization of Russian regions by foreigners. As a result, in the 1765-1810s, the main enclaves of foreign colonies were formed in the Middle Volga region, Novorossiya, near St. Petersburg and in Transcaucasia.

The first colonies in the St. Petersburg province were formed in 1765 (the so-called "near" colonies of Novo-Saratovka, Srednyaya Rogatka, Izhora and Yamburg colonies). At the beginning of the XIX century, a Seaside colony appeared near Oranienbaum, from which the so-called "distant" colonies were later isolated.

These German colonies not only played an important role in the economic development of the region, but also had their own demographic specifics. Understanding the demographic development of these colonies is important for a deeper study of migration processes, social structure and historical context of these communities.

 

Historiography

The study of the German colonies at the beginning of its existence was not the subject of special activity of scientists. In their works, the authors sought to present a general picture: the appearance of German settlements, the way of life of German colonists. A special place here is occupied by P. I. Koeppen's article [1], which examines aspects of the resettlement of foreign residents to the Russian Empire, describes in detail the dynamics of the number of Germans, compares the number of immigrants from different countries, paying special attention to the Germans and their settlements. It is worth noting that this study was limited to 1850. what is of interest for this article.

The research, which can be considered the first professional, was conducted by G. G. Pisarevsky [2, p. 84] at the beginning of the twentieth century, one of whose merits was the appeal to archival materials. The scientist in his work considered the stages of the colonists' resettlement policy, linking them with the broad political and economic situation in Europe in the XVIII century. The works published during this period were generalizing, the topic sounded during this period, there was interest in the history of German colonies, but the main attention was paid to the whole German colonies, the process of resettlement.

Against the background of generalizing works, it is possible to single out publications in which the authors addressed the life history of the St. Petersburg colonies. It should be emphasized that despite the celebration of the centenary of the first St. Petersburg colonies in 1865, there were no scientific papers devoted to this topic, but this event was reflected in the metropolitan press [3].

Studying the historiography of the Soviet period, it is worth noting that mostly scientists paid attention to other regions, for example, the Volga region, there were few special works on the history of the colonies of the St. Petersburg province, and mostly they began to appear late, around 1970-1980. Among the works in which there is material on the Germans of the St. Petersburg province, one can single out an article by N. V. Yukhneva [4], published in the collection "Ethnocontact zones in the European part of the USSR". The publication includes articles on the ethnocultural history of Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Jews, Crimean Tatars, Nogais, and other peoples.

In the post-Soviet period, interest in the historical past of ethnic minorities has sharply increased. This can be fully attributed to the Russian Germans. Scientific centers were formed that studied the history of the German population of the Volga region, Novorossiya, Siberia. Studies on the history of the St. Petersburg Germans also began to appear. First of all, it is necessary to highlight the article by E. V. Bakhmutskaya [5]. Comprehensive studies on the demographic development of German colonies have also been published. They include a large number of articles that reveal various aspects of the development of the German colonies. For example, an article by G. N. Fauser and V. V. Fauser [6], which examines demographic factors affecting the number of Russian Germans. Special attention is paid to the period from 1939 to 1959 . It is also worth noting the article by D. Y. Meshkov [7], which describes the demographic development and family in the German colonies of the Black Sea region from 1800 to 1870. Studies show that the relationship between land security, family structure and reproductive behavior of people was obvious. The article by L. A. Burgart [8] examines the influence of ethnic and confessional factors on demographic processes. The author notes that modern research does not always take into account the importance of religion in previous historical periods. In addition, spiritual factors, including religious faith, can also influence demographic processes.

Several scientific articles published in the 2010s explore the history of some colonies in connection with the anniversary events. Strelna becomes the most interesting object of study. The history of the Strelna colony is presented in the works of I. V. Cherkazyanova [9, 10]. The author highlights the development of the Strelna German colony, which was part of the group of so-called "seaside colonies" created during the reign of Alexander I.

Another important work among modern researchers is an article by V. N. Shaidurov and O. V. Erokhina [11], the authors describe the first colonies formed near St. Petersburg (Novo-Saratovka, Srednaya Rogatka, Yamburgskie and Izhora), the work examines the initial period of their existence (1765-1800-ies).

The general result of the historiography of the issue is the following – despite the fact that some studies provide information about the processes that took place in the field of demographic development of the German colonies of St. Petersburg province in the second half of the XIX century, there are still gaps that need to be filled. This can be done with the help of additional research to gain a deeper understanding of all aspects of the demographic development of the German colonies in this region.

The conducted historiographical analysis allows us to determine the purpose of this study: the analysis of demographic indicators of German colonies in St. Petersburg province in the first half of the XIX century. To achieve this goal , several research tasks should be solved:

·                   Identify historical sources that contain information about the demographic development of colonies;

·                   To analyze the main demographic indicators relative to the German colonists who lived in the so-called "distant" colonies.

The results of the study will allow us to better understand the demographic development of German colonies in St. Petersburg province in the first half of the XIX century and contribute to a broader understanding of the migration and demographic processes of that time.

 Sources

The range of historical sources for the reconstruction of the demographic development of the St. Petersburg colonies in the first half of the XIX century is extremely narrow. Despite the fact that the Lutheran church in Novo-Saratovka was built in the second half of the XVIII century, the metrical books and other sources of church records of the late XVIII – first half of the XIX century have not been preserved in the archives. Therefore, one of the most important sources for studying the demographic development of the German colonies of the St. Petersburg province is the revision fairy tales. These documents represent information about the population collected during periodic censuses conducted in the province. In this study, we used data from the revision fairy tales for 1811, 1816, 1834 and 1858, allowing us to reconstruct the demographic picture of the German colonies in the first half of the XIX century. These materials were identified in the funds of the Russian State Historical Archive (f. 383. The First Department of the Ministry of State Property) and the Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg (f. 1644. Peterhof County Treasury, f. 1645. Oranienbaum County Treasury).

Results

By the beginning of the XIX century, there were 4 German colonies in the St. Petersburg province. In 1808, Emperor Alexander I decided to allocate 20 thousand des. their lands between Oranienbaum and Krasnaya Gorka for the settlement of foreigners on them, who were ruined as a result of the previous wars in Europe. This was done as part of an effort to alleviate the situation of foreign colonists who sought refuge in Russia. In August 1809, the first 18 German families from Inovlac, consisting of 67 people, were relocated to Oranienbaum and installed on the left side of the road in the direction of Krasnaya Gorka. This led to the emergence of the Kronstadt colony, also known as Klofchinskaya, named after the landowner who owned the land allocated for this colony [1, pp. 197-198].

In 1810, a new area of land of 15 thousand des., called Izvarsky edging, was allocated for German colonists in the Tsarskoye Selo district. However, later it became clear that this area was inconvenient for settlers, the soil was unsuitable for agriculture and the location was considered unprofitable for colonists. Therefore, by the decree of the Sovereign Emperor of September 12, 1811, the colonists were allowed to move to other places [12]. Thus, in 3 years the Izvar colony ceased to exist. By the will of the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich, another 28 families received 55 tithes of land in the Strelna estate. This is how the Strelna colony appeared, founded in 1812 and consisting of two villages - Neidorf and Neuhausen.

In addition, it was ordered to settle a number of colonist families on the palace lands of Oranienbaum and Ropshinsky, each of which received 35 tithes of land. The rest of the colonists were transferred to Southern Russia. As a result , three colonies were formed in Oranienbaum County:

· Kipenskaya, located on the postal route from St. Petersburg to Narva, near the Kipeni station. In 1842, 11 owners moved here and by 1849, 20 families with 55 men and 64 women lived in the colony.

·                   Peterhof, located between Peterhof and Oranienbaum. In 1849, the colony consisted of two houses with 4 families, where 15 men and 14 women lived.

·                   Oranienbaum, located 5 versts southeast of Oranienbaum. In 1812, 7 families settled here, and in 1849 there were already only 5 families with 16 men and 11 women in the colony.

In 1811 46 families who could not be transported to the specified localities were moved to Yekaterinoslav province. The lands of Izvarsky cutoff were then settled by Russian peasants from Pskov province.

Thus, from 1809 to 1811, 5 German colonies appeared on the territory of St. Petersburg province, including Strelinsky (consisting of Neidorf and Neuhausen), Kipensky, Oranienbaum, Peterhof and Kronstadt. These colonies were known as "new" or "seaside".

The peculiarity of the "distant" colonies was the smallness of the population, in comparison, for example, with the "near" colonies (Srednyaya Slingshot, Novo-Saratovka). The first statistical information is given to us by the revision of 1811 . Having analyzed the revision tales of the colonists of the seaside colonies, it can be noted that in 1811 there are data only on the number of men, while there is no information on the number of women. As we can see from table 1 below, the colonists were unevenly distributed among the colonies.

Table 1

Population of the maritime colonies, 1811

Name of the colony

Number of families

Number of colonists, M.P.

 

 

 

Izvarskaya

 

In a large colony

37

75

In the Middle Colony

17

41

In the Lower Colony

22

56

Strelninskaya

7

18

Kronshtadtskaya

6

18

Oranienbaum

3

9

Peterhof

2

5

Total

94

222

Source: [13 – 14].

Since the mid-1810s, the audit tales began to include information about the female part of the family. The materials of the revisions of 1816, 1834, 1858 allow us to get a more complete picture of the number of colonists. A comparison of the data (see Tables 2-4) presented below allows us to trace the dynamics of the growth of the average population of families of German colonists.

Table 2

Population of the maritime colonies, 1816

 

Name of the colony

Number of families

The number of colonists, people.

Average population, people.

Strelninskaya

 

New Village

12

67

5,58

Novoselki village

16

105

6,56

Kronshtadtskaya

7

46

6,57

Oranienbaum

3

17

5,66

Peterhof

2

13

6,5

Kipenskaya

11

80

7,27

Source: [15 – 16].

Table 3

Population of the maritime colonies, 1834

Name of the colony

Number of families

Number of colonists, people.

Average population, people.

Strelninskaya

 

New Village

12

106

8,83

Novoselki village

16

170

10,62

Kronshtadtskaya

7

67

9,57

Oranienbaum

3

31

10,33

Peterhof

2

21

10,5

Kipenskaya

11

111

10,09

Source: [17-19].

Table 4

Population of the maritime colonies, 1858

Name of the colony

Number of families

Number of colonists, people.

Average population, people.

Strelninskaya

28

407

14,53

Kronshtadtskaya

7

105

15

Oranienbaum

2

37

18,5

Peterhof

2

34

17

Kipenskaya

11

147

13,36

Source: [20-22].

Thus, there is a noticeable trend towards an increase in the average number of family members of German colonists. If in 1816 there were an average of 6 people per family, then by 1834 this number had increased to 10 people, and in 1858 it was already 14 people. This phenomenon indicates a gradual increase in the demographic potential in these colonies. An increase in the number of people in the family may indicate an increase in the birth rate, an improvement in living conditions and social stability in the colonies.

Studying the aspects of demographic development of the German colonies located on the territory of the St. Petersburg province, scientific research should be enriched with an analysis of the sex and age composition of the population of the coastal colonies. Emphasizing the importance of this aspect, attention should be paid to the dynamics of changes in the sex ratio during the time period under consideration. Based on the data presented in figure 1, it can be observed that in the initial period of the analyzed time interval, the ratio of male and female population in the coastal colonies was relatively balanced. However, as time passes, an interesting trend is noted: the number of men begins to decrease, while the number of women, on the contrary, increases. In addition, this change is almost constant, increasing by about one percent every 20 years. This dynamic can be explained by analyzing the factors influencing demographic trends. It is likely that the decline in the male population may be due to various circumstances, such as economic changes, population migration, as well as employment and education opportunities. On the other hand, the increase in the female population may be due to an increase in the birth rate, especially of the female sex.

Figure 1

The ratio of men and women in the coastal colonies of St. Petersburg province in 1816, 1834, 1858

Source: [15-22].

Studying the structure of the colony population taking into account sex and age dynamics, it is also necessary to pay attention to the analysis of the age characteristics of colonists. Extracting information from diagrams 2-4, one can observe the distribution of age groups within the families of German colonists. In relation to this context, it is found that the percentage of the population, depending on the age categories in family groups, acquires the following character: the group from 0 to 8 years on average is 30%, the group from 9 to 15 years – 20%. A large proportion of colonists, namely about 50%, is concentrated in the age group from 16 to 60 years, while the proportion of people over 60 years is relatively small and is about 5%.

It is worth noting that the colonial settlements were multi-generational family structures. Basically, these were large patriarchal families, headed by a man aged 40-50 years. It should be noted that often the family included the head of the family, spouse and sons, with their own small families. Significantly interesting is the fact that the proportion of children aged 0 to 8 years was almost 30% in each family, which indicates an increase in the birth rate in the structure of colonial society. 

Figure 2

The sex-and-age ratio in the German colonies of the St. Petersburg province in 1816

Source: [15 – 16].

Figure 3

The sex-and-age ratio in the German colonies of the St. Petersburg province in 1834

Source: [17-19].

Figure 4

The sex-and-age ratio in the German colonies of the St. Petersburg province in 1858

Source: [20-22].

Conclusion

Based on the conducted study of the demographic development of the German colonies (Strelna, Kronstadt, Peterhof, Kipenskaya, Oranienbaum, Izvarskaya) in the first half of the XIX century, it seems possible to draw a number of significant conclusions that reveal in more detail the features and importance of this study.

The analysis of the population composition of the German colonies confirms the consistent growth in the number of colonist families during the time period under study. This indicator certainly indicates a gradual increase in the demographic potential of these colonies.

The study of the revision tales of the seaside colonists revealed interesting dynamic changes in the sex ratio. With increasing time, there is a decrease in the number of men and a simultaneous increase in the number of women. This phenomenon can be considered as a consequence of various factors, including economic changes, migration and mortality rates.

The analysis of the age structure within the families of German colonists revealed the dominance of persons aged 16 to 60 years, as well as an increase in the birth rate among children aged 0 to 8 years. The stability of age groups indicates the preservation of traditions and the multi-generational structure of families. It is important to emphasize that the number of children in the structure of families is noticeably increasing, which is reflected in the positive dynamics of the birth rate.

Colonial settlements were multi-generational structures, including large patriarchal families, where men aged 40-50 years were the heads of families. This highlights the importance of the older generation in ensuring stability and consistency within the colonies.

The importance of studying the gender and age structure and population dynamics of German colonies is revealed in the context of understanding complex demographic changes, migration processes and socio-cultural factors affecting the development of these colonies. The results obtained allow a deeper and more accurate understanding of long-term trends and the impact of social aspects on the life and development of the German colonies in the period under review and beyond.

 

 

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Although the Ancient Russian state was actually distinguished by polyethnicity, a particularly large palette of ethnic groups, differing in language, culture, economic structure, and religious affiliation, has been part of our country since the second half of the XVI century. It is noteworthy that since the era of Peter the Great, there has been an influx of foreigners who remained in our country for permanent residence. Among other things, this was caused by the need to settle the vast territory of Russia. Among those European ethnic groups that came to the Russian Empire in the XVIII – XIX centuries, Germans occupy a special place. It is difficult to overestimate the role of the German ethnic group in both governance and colonization, which causes the need to study various aspects of the development of German settlements in the Russian Empire. These circumstances determine the relevance of the article submitted for review, the subject of which is the demographic development of the German colonies of St. Petersburg province in the first half of the XIX century. The author sets out to analyze the historiography of the issue, identify historical sources that contain information about the demographic development of colonies, show the composition of the population of German colonies, consider the structure of families, etc. The work is based on the principles of analysis and synthesis, reliability, objectivity, the methodological basis of the research is a systematic approach, which is based on the consideration of the object as an integral complex of interrelated elements. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the very formulation of the topic: the author seeks to characterize the demographic development of the German colonies in St. Petersburg province in the first half of the XIX century. Scientific novelty is also determined by the involvement of archival materials. Considering the bibliographic list of the article, as a positive point, we note its scale and versatility: in total, the list of references includes over 20 different sources and studies. The source base of the article is represented by documents from the collections of the Russian State Historical Archive and the Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg. From the studies used, we will point to the works of G.N. Fauser and V.V. Fauser, I.V. Cherkazyanova, V. N. Shaidurov and O. V. Erokhina, which focus on various aspects of the development of the German colonies of the Russian Empire. Note that the bibliography of the article is important both from a scientific and educational point of view: after reading the text of the article, readers can turn to other materials on its topic. In general, in our opinion, the integrated use of various sources and research contributed to the solution of the tasks facing the author. The style of writing the article can be attributed to a scientific one, at the same time understandable not only to specialists, but also to a wide readership, to anyone who is interested in both the German ethnic group in Russia in general and the German settlements near St. Petersburg in particular. The appeal to the opponents is presented at the level of the collected information received by the author during the work on the topic of the article. The structure of the work is characterized by a certain logic and consistency, it can be distinguished by an introduction, the main part, and conclusion. At the beginning, the author defines the relevance of the topic, shows that the German colonies not only played an important role in the economic development of the St. Petersburg province, but also had their own demographic specifics. The author's "analysis of the composition of the population of the German colonies confirms the consistent growth in the number of colonist families during the time period under study." The work shows that "colonial settlements were multigenerational structures, including large patriarchal families, where men aged 40-50 years were the heads of families." The undoubted advantage of the reviewed article is the quantitative analysis presented in the diagrams. The main conclusion of the article is that "the results obtained allow a deeper and more accurate understanding of long-term trends and the impact of social aspects on the life and development of the German colonies in the period under review and beyond." The article submitted for review is devoted to an urgent topic, is provided with 4 tables and 4 diagrams, will arouse readers' interest, and its materials can be used both in lecture courses on the history of Russia and in various special courses. In general, in our opinion, the article can be recommended for publication in the journal "Historical Informatics".
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