1902 Encyclopedia > Yaroslavl (government), Russia

Yaroslavl (government)

YAROSLAVL, a government of central Russia, separated from Moscow by narrow strips of Vladimir and Tver on the S., and having Tver and Novgorod on the W., Vologda on the N., and Kostroma on the E., is one of the smallest, but at the same time one of the most populous and industrial governments of Great Russia. It has an area of 13,751 square miles, and the population was 1,118,130 in 1884. It consists of a broad and shallow depression, elongated from west to cast, where the Volga flows at a level ranging from 260 to 230 feet above the sea, while the surrounding hills rise to altitudes of from 700 to 800 feet. la the west, especially between the Motoga and the Sheksna, the country is covered with marshes and ponds, which become completely flooded when the water rises in the rivers. There is another region of low and marshy tracts in the south, about Rostoff. Gentle sloping hills appear in the north on the left bank of the Sheksna.

Jurassic clays, sandstones, and sands cover nearly the whole of Yaroslavl, but they are concealed almost everywhere by thick deposits of Glacial boulder clay, which is regarded by Russian geologists as the bottom moraine of the great ice-cap of the Glacial period. Triassic " variegated marls," widely diffused throughout the whole of the middle Volga region, undoubtedly underlie nearly all the Jurassic deposits of the government, but only a few patches come to the surface ; many salt springs exist in these deposits. The Upper Carboniferous limestones come to the surface only in the north-west and towards the east) The chief mineral products are bog-iron ores, sulphate of copper, and pottery clay. Peat occurs in thick beds. There are also several mineral springs. The soil is mostly a kind of loess of moderate fertility ; sandy tracts are not uncommon ; and wide areas are covered with marshes - relics of the great lakes of the Lacustrine period.

The chief river of the government is the Volga, which traverses it for 180 miles, making a great bend to the north. The chief towns - Rybinsk, Yarostavl, Motoga, Roinanoff Borisoglyebsk, Uglitch, and Myshkin --are situated on its banks, and a brisk traffic is carried on, both by the river itself and by two canals, Mariinsk and Tiklivinsk, which connect it with the Neva through its tributaries the Sheksna and the Motoga. Another tributary received by the Volga within the government is the Kotorost, which has many manufactories on its banks and is navigated, especially in spring. The Kostroma flows along the eastern border and is a channel for the export of timber and fuel. Small lakes are numerous, the chief being Lake Nero or Rostoff. The forests, which consist chiefly of fir and Scotch pine, cover one-third of the aggregate area ; but they are rapidly being destroyed. The flora of Yarostavl, although similar to that of Moscow, bears a northern stamp owing to the presence of the dwarf birch, Rubies arcticus, and Linnwa borealis.

The climate is as continental as that of middle Russia generally. The average temperature at Yaroslavl is 36°.7 Fahr. (January 6'5, July 61°o5); the prevailing south-western and western winds render it moister than in central Russia ; and the average number of days with rain or snow is 114. The rivers remain frozen from 118 to 183 days every year.

The population is thoroughly Great Russian. The aboriginal Meryas have been completely Russilied ; and traces of the Karelians, who innnigrated in the 17th century, can only be discovered in the names and features of sonic inhabitants on the Siti river. There are moreover some 1000 Tartars, 2100 Jews, and about 500 Gipsies. Leaving out of account some 2700 Catholics and Protestants, the population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church or is Raskani/c.

Although Yaroslavl is one of the chief manufacturing governments of the empire, its inhabitants have by no means abandoned agriculture, 27 per cent. of the total area being under crops (36 per cent. under forests and 8 per cent. untillable) ; on the lands of the peasantry the percentage is still greater (from 46 to 58 per cent.). Rye, oats, and barley, with some wheat and pease, are the chief crops, and in good seasons Yaroslavl has even a surplus of corn, which is either sent to the distilleries or exported. The average crops of 1883-85 were 960,100 quarters of rye, 36,000 of wheat, 97,400 of barley, 1,097,100 of oats, 19,600 of other grain, and 6,992,800 bushels of potatoes. Nearly 40,000 cats. of flax are cropped every year. Market-gardening is' largely engaged in and the Yaroslavl gardeners have a wide repute throughout Russia. Chicory, sweet pease, cucumbers, apples, and berries are exported. Although there is no want of meadows, cattle-breeding is not greatly developed. In 1882-84 there were 178,370 horses, 260,000 cattle, 188,700 sheep, and 4700 pigs. One-third of the peasant households had no horses. Cheese-making on the co-operative principle has spread extensively of late, owing to the efforts of the zemstro ; 93 associations have a yearly production to the value of £12,700. Domestic trades are carried on in great variety in the villages, including the making of linen cloth, boots, gloves, sheepskins, knitted wares, clothes, felts, all kinds of wooden wares, pottery, and a variety of metallic goods. The total production is very considerable, although no details are available. The manufactures are growing rapidly, the yearly production of 1708 establishments being estimated at £2,210,000 in 1884. Cotton and linen are the chief items (nearly £1,000,000); flour-mills, distilleries, and tobacco works conic next ; and these are followed by chemical works and workshops for machinery, metallic wares, and so on, which are rapidly developing. The trade of the government is very active both on the Volga and on the two railway lines, one of which connects Rybinsk with the St Petersburg and Moscow line and the other connects Yaroslavl with Moscow and Vologda. Rybinsk and Yarostavl are the chief commercial centres, but Rostolf, .Motoga, Rornanoff, and Posheklionie also carry on an active trade in corn, timber, and manufactured wares. The total merchandise shipped or discharged to and from the towns and villages of Yaroslavl is estimated at 1,600,000 tons annually, one-half by rail.

One of the most distinctive features of Yaroslavl is the large numbers of its male population who annually leave their homes in order to work all over Russia as locksmiths, masons, plasterers, waiters in restaurants, -greengrocers, tailors, gardeners, carpenters, joiners, pilots, or boatmen. Many of these employments have been specialties of the population of Yaroslavl from a remote antiquity, and the native of this government can easily be distinguished by his enterprising spirit, keen air, and energetic and nervous temperament. In Moscow and St Petersburg together there are about 76,400 employed in the above capacities, and it may be estimated that as many as 100,000 persons annually leave their homes in this way.

The educational institutions were represented in 1884 by a lyceum (197 students), six gymnasia (569 boys and 1219 girls), a military school (492 boys), a seminary for teachers (81 students), and 745 elementary schools (25,780 boys, 10,140 girls).

Yarostavl is divided into ten districts, the chief towns of which, with their population in 1884, are - YAROSLAVL (see below), Haniloff (5780), Lubin (3180), Motoga (6360), Illyshkin (2390), Poshekbonie . (5990), Romanoff-Borisoglyebsk (5300), Rostotl (12,450), Rybinsk (19,900), and Uglitch (11,930). Petrovsk (1760) has municipal institutions.

History. - As early as the 9th century the Slavonians had become masters of the Yarostayl territory, which was formerly occupied by the Finnish stems Vess and Merya, as also by Mordeinians, Muroms, and Tcheremisses in the south. Rostoff was already in existence ; but Yarostavl, Rybinsk, and Ugliteh begin to be mentioned in the annals only in the 11th and 12th centuries. The independent principality of Rostoff was divided in the 13th century into three parts, but these were soon afterwards successively annexed to Moscow.

See the Trudy of the Yaroslavl Statistical Committee, 8 vols., and the Vyestnit of the Yaroslavl zemstvo, published since 1S72. (P. A. K.)

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