Ingermanland Experiment: On the Background of the Government Reform of Peter the Great
IZVESTIA Ural Federal University Journal Series 2 Humanities and Arts
This article is devoted to the study of the formation of a management system in Ingermanland Province (the predecessor of St Petersburg Province) during the first years of its existence (1702–1708). The creation of the province was the first step towards a radical reform of the administrative and territorial division and local government of Russia. The author studies the process of creating key positions of the provincial apparatus of the upper and lower levels, primarily the provincial
... provincial ober-commandant and landrichter and ober-commandant and commandant as heads of intra-regional territorial units, officials with highly specialised functions (commissars and food-masters (proviantmeistery). Considering the historical perspective, the author examines the principles of their interaction, the hierarchy, and terms of reference, concluding that the decisive influence on the formation of the state apparatus of Ingermanland Province was not provided by borrowing foreign (Baltic-German and Swedish) experience, but the specifics of solving current problems. The author considers the emerging principle of specialisation at the local state government level, primarily in the military and fiscal spheres, to be the main characteristic that distinguished the Ingermanland model from the previous voivodship administration. In the management methods as such, a significant role was played by traditional administrative principles and the regime of "manual control", the adoption of situational decisions. All the advantages and disadvantages of the Ingermanland experiment were projected onto the state as a whole and consolidated during the provincial reform. Thus, the immediate source of the latter should be considered not the evolution of the system of enlarged districts (razryad) of the late seventeenth century, and not a generalisation of the experience of administering the Swedish Ostsee, but the achievements accumulated over several years of the functioning of Ingermanland Province.