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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2021.112.10.101

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Болотова Е. Ю. РЕАЛИЗАЦИЯ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЙ ПОЛИТИКИ В СФЕРЕ СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ ПОДДЕРЖКИ СЕМЕЙ НИЖНИХ ЧИНОВ АРМИИ В ЦАРСКОЙ РОССИИ В ГОДЫ ПЕРВОЙ МИРОВОЙ ВОЙНЫ / Е. Ю. Болотова, Д. В. Третьяк // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2021. — № 10 (112) Часть 3. — С. 168—172. — URL: https://research-journal.org/hist/implementation-of-the-state-policy-of-social-support-for-the-families-of-enlisted-men-in-tsarist-russia-during-the-first-world-war/ (дата обращения: 02.07.2022. ). doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2021.112.10.101
Болотова Е. Ю. РЕАЛИЗАЦИЯ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЙ ПОЛИТИКИ В СФЕРЕ СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ ПОДДЕРЖКИ СЕМЕЙ НИЖНИХ ЧИНОВ АРМИИ В ЦАРСКОЙ РОССИИ В ГОДЫ ПЕРВОЙ МИРОВОЙ ВОЙНЫ / Е. Ю. Болотова, Д. В. Третьяк // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2021. — № 10 (112) Часть 3. — С. 168—172. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2021.112.10.101

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РЕАЛИЗАЦИЯ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЙ ПОЛИТИКИ В СФЕРЕ СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ ПОДДЕРЖКИ СЕМЕЙ НИЖНИХ ЧИНОВ АРМИИ В ЦАРСКОЙ РОССИИ В ГОДЫ ПЕРВОЙ МИРОВОЙ ВОЙНЫ

РЕАЛИЗАЦИЯ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЙ ПОЛИТИКИ В СФЕРЕ СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ ПОДДЕРЖКИ СЕМЕЙ НИЖНИХ ЧИНОВ АРМИИ В ЦАРСКОЙ РОССИИ В ГОДЫ ПЕРВОЙ МИРОВОЙ ВОЙНЫ

Научная статья

Болотова Е.Ю.1, Третьяк Д.В.2, *

1 ORCID: 0000-0001-6432-2373;

1, 2 Волгоградский государственный социально-педагогический университет, Волгоград, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (d.v.tretyak99[at]yandex.ru)

Аннотация

Проведён анализ законодательных актов и делопроизводственных документов из фондов Государственного архива Волгоградской области по вопросам социальной поддержки семей нижних воинских чинов в Российской империи в 1914 г. – феврале 1917 г. Выявлены различные формы социальной защиты семей нижних чинов, сделан вывод о необходимости их сосуществования и взаимодействия. Определены особенности реализации законодательных актов на региональном уровне и приведены примеры законодательной неопределенности, затруднявшей определение категории нуждаемости семей. Изучены механизмы взаимодействия органов власти, а также выявлены особенности функционирования системы социального обеспечения указанной категории населения. Сделан вывод о том, что основными причинами, снижающими эффективность данной системы, являлись малоэффективная система контроля, субъективизм и бюрократизм в назначении пособий, обусловленные несовершенством и противоречивостью законодательства.

Ключевые слова: социальная защита; военнослужащие; нижние чины; семьи нижних чинов; взаимодействие уровней власти.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STATE POLICY OF SOCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE FAMILIES
OF ENLISTED MEN IN TSARIST RUSSIA DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Research article

Bolotova E.Yu.1, Tretyak D.V.2, *

1 ORCID: 0000-0001-6432-2373;

1, 2 Volgograd State Social and Pedagogical University, Volgograd, Russia

* Corresponding author (d.v.tretyak99[at]yandex.ru)

Abstract

The article presents the analysis of legislative acts and clerical documentation from the funds of the State Archive of Volgograd Region on the issues of social support of enlisted men’s families in the Russian Empire in 1914 – February 1917. Various forms of social protection of enlisted men’s families were identified and a conclusion was drawn about the need for their coexistence and interaction. The features of the legislative acts’ implementation at the regional level are determined. The author presents the examples of legislative uncertainty, which complicated determination of the category of neediness for a family. The mechanisms of interaction between the authorities have been studied and the features of functioning of the social security system for this category of population have been identified. The authors revealed the factors reducing the system effectiveness – subjectivity and bureaucracy in assigning allowances, poor control due to imperfection and ambiguity of legislation acts.

Keywords: social protection; military personnel; lower ranks; families of enlisted men; interaction of the government levels.

Introduction

Implementation of social support is one the critical functions of any state. It demonstrates the social orientation of the state. Protection of people in need and practices of charity and mutual help show the strength of spirit and morality of the society. The urgency of the study is substantiated by the increased interest in the social aspects of history and the necessity to determine effective mechanisms of social support for particular groups of population. The history of our country is full of military conflicts. This fact poses the questions of social security of the population and the military men during and after the conflicts.

Recent studies consider the activity of local Popechitel’stvo as the key structure element of the system of social assistance for the enlisted men’s families [11]. Historians also investigate the evolution of social assistance for military men and their families [17], complex issues of implementing the social policy of the state in practice [2], and others. The cited works note the attention of the state to the issues of social security of military men’s families. The authors come to the conclusion that gaps and mistakes in social policy formed a negative attitude towards the authorities, which could also become one of many factors in the rise of revolutionary ideas.

So, the actuality of the research is substantiated by the interest of the scientific historical community to the issues of state’s social policy and its implementation, as well as to the problem of coordination between the levels of the government structure. We focused our research on the problem of social support for the families of enlisted men in czar Russia during the First World War. The purpose of this article is to study the measures of social protection for family members of enlisted men during the First World War. To achieve this goal, several tasks had to be solved – to study legislative acts on social support of the population in 1914-1917 and to estimate the effectiveness of its implementation at the regional level.

Methods

Methods of analysis and synthesis of information, systemic historical and problem-chronological methods were used. The research is based on the principles of historicism and objectivity. The study of the regional archival documents reflecting the peculiarities of the implementation of social policy measures helped us to come closer to objective assessment of the authorities’ activities in providing support to families of lower ranks. Retrospective review gave us the possibility to analyze and estimate the effectiveness of this coordination in various historical periods and conditions.

The state legislative acts and clerical documentation for the period covering 1914- February 1917 were studied by the authors in available literature sources and State Archive of the Volgograd region. In the studied period Tsaritsin belonged to Saratov gubernia, so the State Archive of the Volgograd region keeps documents of Saratov and adjacent regions (for example, the documents of Samara gubernia). The reports of the representatives of the regional government on social issues and their correspondence with the superior governing bodies formed the basis for the reasoning about the structure of social support organization and its effectiveness.

Results

During the First World War, assistance to families of enlisted men was regulated by the Law of June 25, 1912 [13, P. 935-945]. The responsibility of social support for the families was entirely put on the state compared to previously involved charity societies and funds. The issuance of funds for the purchase of food rations was made not from the zemstvo budgets (local level), but from the State Treasury. This decision increased the amount of help and provided guaranteed support to those in need.

Members of enlisted men’s families received a food allowance in cash for each adult in the amount equal to the price of 1 pud (about 16 kg) and 28 pounds (1 pound was equal to 1/40 of pud, that was 400 g) of flour, 10 pounds of cereal, 4 pounds of salt, 1 pound of vegetable oil. As food prices rose, the amount of the allowance also increased. For example, in January 1916 it was 2 rubles 50 kopecks [4], in February 1917 – 3 rubles 10 kopecks [3].

State social help to the wives and dependent children (under 17) of enlisted men was unconditional. Other relatives had to prove the fact of being dependent on the man called up for the service. They had to present any evidences that they live at the expense of the enlisted man. This wording created difficulties in the implementation of the law especially for a large number of extended and joint families. Since August 1914, 2 more criteria were introduced by the State Treasury Department. The parents of the enlisted men had to satisfy the following requirements to get a free ration: 1) at least 55 years of age, 2) incapacity for work. These additions caused dissatisfaction among the enlisted men [10, P. 38].

Structural elements of the system of social assistance for the families of enlisted men are presented in Fig.1.

21-10-2021 12-07-05

Fig. 1 – Structural elements of the system of social assistance for the families of enlisted men

 

Local authorities, mainly Popechitel’stvo, had to make a record of families of enlisted men within two weeks from the date of the mobilization announcement and submit the documents to higher authorities for the appointment of allowances. County (uyezd) Convention also had a 2 weeks period to make a decision on the amount of the allowance and to check the handout sheets. Then, the Convention requested a loan from the Treasury Chamber through the Gubernskoye Prisutstviye [13, P. 944]. Among other powers, the Prisutstviye was a control board as it considered the complaints filed against the decisions of the County Convention. But there were cases when despite a double check (for volost’ – triple check), Saratov Treasury Chamber pointed out the incorrectness of filling out payment sheets which lacked necessary information. So the families of enlisted men didn’t get allowances and filed complaints about the decisions of the authorities [7].

One of the possible causes of the mistakes and misunderstanding between the authorities was the inconsistency of legislative acts and local recommendations. For example, the Saratov guberniya governing bodies recommended taking into account several more criteria while assigning benefits. So, the prosperity of the families and the income from other working members of the family could be considered as reasons for refusal [6]. These terms were contradictory to the previously mentioned Law of June 25, 1912. The local acts increased subjectivity in the assignment of the benefits as the solutions depended on fairness and scrupulosity of the representatives of the local authorities.

The desire to take into account the whole variety of individual cases in practice gave rise to subjectivity, a significant difference in the number of benefits and caused an increase in public discontent. As the consequence, it was necessary to strengthen control. This function was given to guberniya and town governors. Since August 1914 the main controlling functions were performed by uyezd and town Popechitel’stvo (local administrative body). The analysis of the practices showed that the majority of the errors in the assignment of benefits were associated with inaccuracies in determining the degree of kinship between the members of the families of enlisted men and the term of service [5]. To get the objective information it was required to address the documents of local clergy and the police authorities. But their representatives were not among the Popechitel’stvo members that significantly retarded the process of the benefits assignment and reduced the ability to exercise control functions. The activities of local Popechitel’stvo were carried out on a gratuitous basis, although they performed the bulk of the work. That is why it soon became necessary to involve members of the zemstvo bodies, which, in addition, provided greater control over the issuance of allowances [14, P. 295].

It is characteristic that the highest allowance for a widow of an enlisted man was 8 rubles, and the average family received an allowance of 10 rubles [Ibid, P. 296]. So, the amount of the aid was reduced after the death of the head of the family. The Council of Ministers recognized this fact, but pointed out that additional assistance to the families of the deceased could be provided through charity. The issue of including stepchildren and stepdaughters, stepfathers, stepmothers, nephews, children adopted illegally, illegitimate children and their mothers in the number of those receiving allowance, was not resolved due to contradictions between the State Council and the State Duma. Zemstvo was recommended to provide assistance to such persons from their own funds. [2, P.163].

Budget expenditures for the distribution of allowances to soldiers’ families occupied most of the expenditures of civilian departments. According to the State Treasury documents, payments under this item amounted to “190.6 million rubles in 1914, 623.7 million rubles in 1915, and 1106.8 million rubles in 1916” [16, P. 24] That is why, a tendency to unite the efforts of the whole population to help the families of enlisted men arose during the first year of the war. The Supreme Council for support of families of persons called up for war, as well as the families of wounded and fallen soldiers under the presidency of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was organized in August, 1914. Its task was to coordinate and effectively distribute the resources of charity funds for the needs of the families. This Council ensured the distribution of funds allocated from the State Treasury and from private donations among leading charitable organizations [17, P.18]. This fact demonstrates the intentions to increase the amount of assistance to the families in need and the necessity to involve charity resources to reduce the burden to the state budget. The chairmen of the State Council and the Duma, ministers of a number of departments, as well as representatives of the largest charitable societies were the members of the Council under the presidency of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. It promoted the solution of the most pressing problems of social policy and gave the possibility to promptly improve legislative acts, for example, in unifying the rules of allowances issuance [12, P.19-20]. However, the Council didn’t have the powers and mechanisms to control all state, public and private resources. Many local organizations found themselves outside the Council’s field of activity [1, P. 117]. And the institution itself was more like an All-Russian charitable society than a state structure, although it had access to budget funds.

It should be noted that the social support system was highly bureaucratic as it wasn’t centralized (starting from the moment the person was called up for military service) but based on the triad “request – consideration – solution”. It required extensive correspondence between institutions [15, P. 149].

The personnel of Popechitel’stvo sometimes made mistakes in compiling handout sheets for the issuance of allowances. So the local authorities couldn’t “apply for an appropriate loan timely”. However, the allowances, albeit with a delay, were paid to families [8]. Cases of erroneous cancellation of the payment are also presented in the available documentation. In a petition submitted on February 24, 1917, disabled parents of an enlisted man asked to restore the payment of allowances, which they had not received since October 1916. Four days later, on February 28, the Kamyshin Popechitel’stvo replied that the payment “would be requested with an additional loan» [9].

However, we should note the regulation of clerical office work in relation to the timing of the submission of documents and consideration by the authorities. It is also necessary to take into account the historical level of keeping records and clerical documentation, conditions of wartime, which impede the work of institutions. And still, there were mechanisms that allowed families of enlisted men to prove their rights to receive benefits by appealing against decisions made.

Conclusion

Thus, the policy of the state in 1914-1917 was characterized by the desire to maximize the provision for those in need in order to maintain a stable socio-political situation and save budget funds at the same time. The significant sums required to pay the allowance, as well as the enormous amount of bureaucratic work in processing information, necessitated access to financial and organizational resources of zemstvo due to unstable socio-economical background. The social protection system had significant organizational drawbacks, manifested in an ineffective control system, the influence of the subjective factor on the number of benefits and a high degree of bureaucracy.

The main cause of these drawbacks was the inconsistency of legislative acts and guidelines of local authorities. The elimination of these shortcomings would be possible if there was a single coordinating body, whose instructions would resolve individual controversial cases of the Law of 1912 and unify decision-making in such situations. But the Supreme Council organized for the support of families of enlisted men, wounded and fallen soldiers could not perform this function, as it did not have the appropriate powers. At the same time, the population had the opportunity to challenge the decisions of the authorities and prove their right to benefits. The deadlines for submitting information established by the Law made the local authorities keep records and submit the payment sheets timely that improved the efficiency of the social support system.

 Конфликт интересов

Не указан.

 Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Список литературы/ References

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