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Zemstva Institution in Bessarabia: historical and juridical aspects

Author: Ludmila Coadă
Degree:doctor of history
Speciality: 07.00.02 - History of Romanians (with specification of time period)
Scientific adviser: Demir Dragnev
doctor habilitat, professor, Institute of History of the ASM
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 14 September, 2007
Approved by NCAA on the 20 December, 2007


Adobe PDF document0.34 Mb / in romanian


Zemstvo, Bessarabia, Russian Empire, tsarism, politics, province, district, reform, local self-government, law, elections, electoral colleges, institution, councilors, Council, assembly, session, nobility, peasants, population, activity, public education, school, Zemstvo school, handicraft school, public health, congress of doctors, zemstvo hospital, budget, taxes, income, expenses, national interest


The thesis constitutes the result of the author’s long researches and represents an approach of Bessarabian Zemstvo from both historical and juridical points of view.

Introduction argues the actuality of research theme, displays its degree of research, emphasizing the aim and objectives of thesis, its chronological and geographical framework, scientific novelty and practical value of the research.

Chapter I – The constitution and juridical framework of Zemstvo institutions – reconstitutes the historical circumstances when the tsarist authorities accepted the foundation of Zemstva on the Russian Empire territory, including Bessarabia. The author analyses the legislation regarding Zemstvo institution, starting with the 1864 law, which settled both the procedure of organizing the elections as well as the working manner of local self-governmental institutions.

The Activity Spheres and the Financial Support of Bessarabian Zemstvo constitute the main subjects of the second chapter. Zemstvo institutions administrated multiple and various activity spheres, but the author decided to focus on two of them – the most important ones for the development of society – public education and public health. This chapter reflects the financial possibilities, income and budget repartition of Bessarabian Zemstvo; compares the amounts spent by Bessarabian Zemstvo for subsidizing the two above mentioned spheres with the amounts consumed by executive Councils during different periods of time or with the amounts allotted for other tasks more or less useful for local population.

The last chapter of the thesis – Bessarabian Zemstvo Composition – emphasizes the personalities activating in both provincial and district Zemstva institutions. There are nominated and characterized the most active councilors, who concentrated on administering local affairs and solving problems of national character, a significant attention being paid especially to the manifestation of the national element in Bessarabian Zemstvo.

The Conclusion includes main findings related to Zemstvo. The author concludes that Zemstvo played an important role in Bessarabian husbandry, in development of public health and education. As for the personalities who tended to take part in economic, social, cultural and political life of the region, Bessarabian Zemstvo became almost the only place were they could assert and manifest themselves.