Among the early attempts of Alexander III, and especially his minister of finance, Bunge, to cope with the problems of industrialization was the State Council's decision of June 1,1882, confirmed by the emperor, concerning the industrial employment of minors. These were among the key provisions.

Reference: PSZ, 3d ser., 2:265-66.


1. Children under the age of twelve are not permitted to work.

2. Minors between the ages of twelve and fifteen cannot be employed at work for more than eight hours a day....

3. Minors under the age of fifteen cannot be employed at work between nine o'clock in the evening and five o'clock in the morning, or on Sundays and high [vysokotorzhestvennye] holidays.

4. Minors referred to in article 3 are forbidden to be employed in industries, or at particular jobs in such industries, which by their nature are harmful to the health of minors or must be regarded as exhausting for them....

5. Owners of mills, plants, and factories are obliged to afford those minors working in their establishments, who do not have a certificate of course completion from at least a one-grade primary school [odnoklassnoe narodnoe uchilishche] or another equivalent school, the opportunity to attend the aforesaid educational institutions for no less than three hours daily, or eighteen hours a week.

II. For supervising the observance of the ordinances on labor and education for underage workers, a special inspectorate is instituted.



Another significant piece of legislation to alleviate industrial strife was the regulations of June 3, 1886, including these points. Reference: PSZ, 3d ser., 6:262-66, 268, 270.

A. Decision of the State Council, confirmed by the emperor.


11. It is forbidden to lower the wages of workers before the expiration of a term contract negotiated with them, or without giving two-weeks' notice to workers hired for an indefinite term.... Workers likewise have no right, before the expiration of their contract, to demand any changes in its conditions....

13. A worker who has failed to receive the wages due him on time has the right to demand the legal dissolution of the contract negotiated with him....

14. It is forbidden to pay workers in coupons, promissory notes, bread, merchandise, or other articles in place of money....

17. It is forbidden to charge workers for ... medical assistance.... consecutive days without a satisfactory reason....  In consequence of insolence or bad behavior on the part of a worker, if it threatens the property interest of the factory or the personal safety of any member of the factory administration....

21. Besides the circumstances indicated in article 13, a worker is also permitted to demand the cancellation of a contract:

a. In consequence of beatings, severe insults, and mistreatment in general on the part of the owner, his family, or persons entrusted with supervision of workers.
b. In consequence of the violation of conditions relating to the furnishing of food and living quarters to the workers.
c. In consequence of work detrimental to his health....


2. For stopping work in a mill or factory through a strike among workers, with the aim of forcing mill or factory owners to raise wages or change other conditions of the hiring contract before the expiration date of the latter, those guilty are subject to: imprisonment for a term of four to eight months, for instigating the beginning or continuation of a strike; imprisonment for a term of two to four months, for otherwise participating. Those participants in a strike who discontinue the same and commence work upon the first demand of the police authorities, are freed from imprisonment....


A. For an arbitrary refusal to work before the expiration date of the hiring contract, guilty mill or factory workers are subject to arrest for not more than one month. [...] Rules for supervision over industrial factory establishments and for mutual relations between factory owners and workers.

1. Supervision over the observance of . proper organization and order in mills and factories is entrusted to the local guberniia authorities and is carried out by them with the assistance of guberniia bureaus for factory affairs [gubernskie po fabrichnym delam prisutstviia], officials of the factory inspectorate, and the police.

2. Guberniia bureaus for factory affairs, under the chairmanship of the governor, are composed of the vice-governor, the prosecutor of the district [prokuror okruzhnogo suda] or his assistant, the head of the guberniia department of gendarmes, the district factory inspector or his assistant, the chairman or a member of the guberniia zemstvo executive board (who shall be elected by this executive board), and the mayor of the capital city of the guberniia or a member of the local municipal executive board (who shall be elected by the latter body)....

Note b. In the two capitals and in cities where a consultative institution dealing with trade and industry exists, the bureau members representing the zemstvo and municipal executive boards are replaced by two members: in Saint Petersburg, from the council on trade and industry; in Moscow, from a department of the same; and in other localities, from the committees on trade and industry....

21. Every worker . . . must be issued a pay book....

42. The manager of a mill or factory is subject to a monetary fine of from fifty to three hundred rubles:

a. For charging workers for articles the use of which should be accorded them free of charge....
c. For paying workers in promissory notes, bread, goods, or other articles including coupons, instead of in money.


The official account of the legislative activity of the State Council in 1886 contains this partial explanation, clothed in good bureaucratic phraseology, of what lay behind the factory laws of the 1880s. Reference: Otchet po Gosudarstvennomu Sovetu za 1886 god (St. Petersburg, 1888), pp. 426-29.

Our legislative enactments concerning the mutual relations between manufacturers and workers (articles 50-60 of the factory ordinance), issued more than fifty years ago (in 1835) and now considerably antiquated, were marked by deficiencies and did not correspond to the contemporary needs of factory life. These inadequacies in legislation relating to such an important subject, which provoked the frequent occurrence of abuses on the part of factory owners and workers both, have long since attracted the attention of the government and have given occasion to the adoption of various measures over the past forty years directed toward the regularization of factory employment. But these measures, in consequence of their fragmentary and one-sided nature, were found to be inadequate and did not achieve their goal.... Meanwhile, in consequence of the rapid growth of industry, which has of late created entire branches of production that previously did not exist, the mutual relations between manufacturers and workers have begun to grow increasingly complicated. The disturbances that arose among the factory workers of the Moscow and Vladimir guberniias at the end of 1884 and the beginning of 1885, and the disorders that took place in certain factories, palpably revealed many extremely unattractive aspects of factory life. The investigation that was conducted proved that the causes behind these disorders were by no means of an accidental nature, but were conditioned by incorrect relations between manufacturers and workers. The owners of certain factories, taking advantage of their position, did not hesitate to violate the contracts concluded with the people they hired and resorted to various means of extracting excessive profits. Reductions of workers' wages, in violation of the agreements concluded, took place either openly or by reductions in the number of working hours and days per week. Furthermore, deductions and fines from the workers, which the manufacturers were turning to their own benefit, in some cases attained huge proportions, comprising a total of up to 40 percent of the wages paid. Finally, forcing the workers to purchase articles they needed from factory stores and at high prices was found to be a common practice. Such a state of affairs naturally entailed very harmful consequences for the development of industry and directly affected factory owners who managed their business conscientiously. . . . The position of the workers proved to be still more deplorable. Burdened to excess by their helpless indebtedness to the owner, they were often placed in a position where it was impossible for them, not only to discharge their obligations and to support their families, but even to earn enough money for their own subsistence. The irritation against the manufacturers that would arise therefrom, in view of the difficulty for ignorant folk of finding lawful means of protecting their rights, constantly bolstered the workers' tendency to seek the restoration of these rights by means of strikes and disorders, accompanied by rude displays of insubordination and violence. In view of this, being anxious to discover means for the possible elimination of factory strikes and disorders in the future, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has become convinced that it is essential to begin without delay a reappraisal of those enactments of the ordinance on factory and mill industry that are currently in force, to regulate the mutual relations between manufacturers and workers, with the aim of introducing into these enactments those rules that, by supplementing the existing law with instructions defining the rights of owners and workers, would guarantee the strict execution by both parties of their obligations and would show them more effective methods for restoring infringed interests. With this aim, a special commission was established, with imperial sanction, within the aforesaid ministry, consisting of representatives of the departments concerned, under the chairmanship of Senator Privy Councilor Pleve [Plehve LOOP], which has drafted a set of rules for supervision over industrial plant establishments and for the relations between their owners and the people working for them.


*1897je02: FACTORY LAW

Reference: PSZRI, 3d ser., vol. 17, pt. 1, p. 355.

4. For workers employed exclusively in the daytime the working day (article 2) shall not exceed eleven and a half hours, and on Saturdays and the eves of the . . . holidays designated in article 6, ten hours. On Christmas Eve work must be terminated no later than noon.... [Note: Article 6 lists fourteen obligatory holidays, not counting Sundays.]

8.... Overtime work is permitted only by special agreement between the manager of the industrial establishment and the worker. The hiring contract may include provisions regarding such overtime work only as required by the technical needs of production.



In the migration of more than three million settlers beyond the Urals in the years 1893-1913, it was to be expected that often those who most wanted to go were those who lacked the means to do so. Hence the government was led to furnish assistance of the types illustrated in these passages from regulations of June 29, 1899 (which followed "provisional regulations" of 1893 and 1896).

The full title of this document is "Regulations concerning Government Grants-in-Aid to Settlers Migrating with Required Authorization to Siberia and the Steppe Governorship General." It was prepared by the Committee of the Siberian Railway.

Reference: PSZRI, 3d ser., 23 (suppl. to vol. 19): 50-53.


1. The government may give assistance to settlers migrating with the required authorization to Siberia and the Steppe governorship general and settling in these territories:

(a) by granting loans for travel;
(b) by granting loans for farming equipment, seed, and housing construction, and
(c) by distributing free lumber from state forests for building purposes....

5. No interest or fines shall be charged on the loans issued to settlers....

7. Travel loans of not more than 30 rubles may be issued to individual scouts [khodoki] and to families of settlers migrating with the proper documents.... For settlers going to the Amur governorship general, the loan may be increased to 100 rubles....

11. Loans for farming equipment and seed may be issued in response to a written or oral application by the settlers within three years of settlement and should not exceed 150 rubles in the Amur governorship general and 100 rubles in the remaining territories of Siberia and the Steppe governorship general.

19. In those cases where the resettlement lands do not provide a sufficient quantity of timber for construction, the settlers may be issued free lumber from the state forests nearest the land assigned to them, in quantities of not more than 200 trees suitable for house timbers and 50 poles per household, and, in addition, up to 20 trees for bathhouses and up to 60 trees for threshing barns and threshing floors....

24. After five years during which no payment is required, the loans are to be repaid in the course of the following ten years, on fixed dates in equal annual payments.


*1901:Updated edition of Table of Ranks

The Table of Ranks promulgated by Peter I in 1722 underwent changes with the passage of time. Some of the titles widely encountered by readers of nineteenth-century Russian history and literature were not included in the original table. We therefore present here a table published in 1901. It has been abridged even more than the earlier document, and the courtiers' and Guards' ranks have been omitted altogether.

Reference: BrE,32:440-41 | CHECK BrE source to correct this table =













Field Marshal






Actual Privy Councilor
[Deistvitel'nyi Tainyi Sovetnik]

General of Cavalry,
of Infantry, of Artillery

General Admiral





Privy Councilor
[Tainyi Sovetnik]

Lieutenant General






Actual State Councilor
[Deistvitel'nyi Statskii Sovetnik]


Rear Admiral





High Procurator







Master Herald







State Councilor
[Statskii Sovetnik]








 Major General













Collegiate Councillor
[Kollezhskii Sovetnik]

Colonel [Polkovnik]






Court Councillor
[Nadvornyi Sovetnik]


1st Grade Captain





Collegiate Assessor
[Kollezhskii Assesor]


2nd Grade Lieutenant Colonel [Podpolkovnik]





Titular Councillor
[Tituliarnyi Sovetnik]


[Kapitan or Rotmistr]





Collegiate Secretary
[Kollezhskii Sekretar']


Staff Captain
[Shtabs-kapitan or -rotmistr]





Guberniia Secretary
[Gubernskii Sekretar']







Collegiate registrar
[Kollezhskii Registrator]


Warrant Officer