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The role of Odessa seaport in the European grain trade system (1794-1853)

Author: Emilciuc Andrei
Degree:doctor of history
Speciality: 07.00.03 - World History (with specification of time period)
Scientific adviser: Valentin Tomuleţ
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Institution: Moldova State University
Scientific council: DH 30-07.00.03-27.03.08
Moldova State University


The thesis was presented on the 11 March, 2011
Approved by NCAA on the 8 July, 2011


Adobe PDF document0.39 Mb / in romanian


Odessa, Russian Empire, Bessarabia, grain trade, market integration, commercial institutions, commercial bourgeoisie, commercial capital


The thesis consists of an introduction, three chapters, conclusions, a total of 146 pages of main text, including 8 tables (two of them are placed in annexes) and 3 diagrams, plus the bibliography of 668 names. Results are published in 14 papers.

The objectives of the dissertation: 1) to ascertain legal, institutional and social framework of foreign trade of the Russian Empire through port of Odessa; 2) to determine the role of Bessarabia and south-western provinces of Russian empire in grain commerce of Odessa seaport, and 3) to assess the role of Odessa seaport in European grain trade system from the perspective of trade policy.

Scientific novelty and originality: We issue a problem still poorly researched in the historiography, namely the role of the port city of Odessa in European grain trade system. Scientific originality of the work results from the institutional approach to the problem. Thus, we have shown the measures taken by the imperial government and the provincial administration for the formation in Odessa of a cosmopolitan, but strong commercial bourgeoisie, with family connections in the European commercial world. In the same vein, we show how the Russian government created and financially supported commercial establishments, initially ineffective due to social and economic backwardness, but which consequently have become engines of foreign trade of Odessa.

Studying the role of the port of Odessa in the European grain trading system allowed the resolution of an important issue of the national and world historical science, namely the mechanism of integration of domestic market of Russian Empire into the European market system.

The theoretical value and practical significance: From the theoretic point of view the results widen scientific support of debates regarding the concept of European grain market. The applied nature of the work is the result of the use of rich documentary material, the work can be used as a basis for future research and study of the role of free-ports in the formation of the European grain market, or the trade in grain of Danube ports including Bessarabian. In addition, the work should add new perspectives to researches dedicated to the history of Russian cities in terms of social and economic institutions. Research results are useful for researchers of modern history, for students of history and economic specialities from academic institutions, for people i