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By John R. Staples

A neighborhood heritage of colonization and version in southern Ukraine, Cross-Cultural Encounters at the Ukrainian Steppe examines how diversified agrarian teams, confronted with universal environmental, financial, and administrative stipulations, sharply divergent paths of improvement. utilizing a large choice of resources, together with neighborhood Ukrainian and Russian documents by no means ahead of tested via a western pupil, John Staples compares and contrasts how the Mennonites, Nogais, Russians, Ukrainians, and different teams reworked their environments and tailored to existence within the Molochna Valley.

Staples contends that the allocation and use of land shaped a imperative hub round which public lifestyles in Molochna revolved, and decided the luck or failure of every team. finally, he concludes, it used to be the settlers, no longer the country, who determined how they might adapt to the arid southern Ukrainian steppe. might be most significantly, Staples makes a massive contribution to the research of ways peasant teams can emerge from their traditionalist mentality and lifestyle because the Mennonites of Molochna did. His considerate research could be a welcome boost to the research of either Tsarist peasant heritage and Russian and Ukrainian agricultural and peasant history.

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Extra info for Cross-Cultural Encounters on the Ukrainian Steppe: Settling the Molochna Basin, 1784-1861

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40 Such a claim must not be taken too seriously. State aid ensured subsistence but hardly provided for ease, and it is doubtful whether the peasantry as a whole relied on subsidies so heavily that it consciously manipulated its grain production based on them. The claim may, however, have some credence for the Molochna region. It is striking that the state took no notice of either livestock or gardens when it assessed food reserves in Molochna. To be sure, during the 1821 harvest failure the Molochna region did not receive aid because the uezd nachal'nik took into account garden production, but this was the exception rather than the rule.

The claim may, however, have some credence for the Molochna region. It is striking that the state took no notice of either livestock or gardens when it assessed food reserves in Molochna. To be sure, during the 1821 harvest failure the Molochna region did not receive aid because the uezd nachal'nik took into account garden production, but this was the exception rather than the rule. In eight of the twenty-three years for which detailed grain production figures exist between 1803 and 1838 the state officially designated Molochna as a grain-deficit region and exempted it from contributions to grain depots.

Chapter 7 addresses the period 1847 to 1861, recounting the harvest failure and livestock epidemic of 1847-8 and showing how they helped to consolidate the transformation to arable husbandry that saw the amount of arable land in Molochna pushed to its natural limits. Interlocking economic developments in Mennonite and Nogai society pushed both groups to the brink of crisis, and this ultimately became a significant catalyst for both the Nogai exodus to Turkey in 1861 and the Mennonite landlessness crisis of the 1860s.

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