Konstantin Antonovich Verner

Verner, Konstantin Antonovich

 

Born Feb. 9, 1850; died July 31, 1902. Russian zemstvo (local self-government) statistician and agronomist; Narodnik (Populist); professor of agricultural economy at the Moscow Agricultural Institute (1895). Studied at the military engineering academy, then at the University of Kiev (as an auditor).

In 1876, while a student at the Petrovskii Agricultural Academy (Moscow), Verner participated in the presentation of a collective student protest against the police-style regime of the administration, an act for which he, V. G. Korolenko, and V. N. Grigor’ev were exiled to Viatka Province. From 1880 to 1884 Verner worked in the statistical department of the Moscow Province zemstvo;, here he did statistical research, mainly on privately-owned (pomest’e) farms and also on farms near urban markets and on trades of the province’s population. From 1884 to 1889 Verner supervised the statistical bureau of the Tavrida Province zemstvo (Simferopol’), organized statistical research of villages and farmsteads of several districts, and published the Memorandum-Book of Tavrida Province (1889).

In processing the homestead data in the Melitopol’ District (1887), Verner, together with S. A. Kharizomenov, was the first to group peasant homesteads according to the size of plantings. V. I. Lenin highly valued the method of the “Tavrida zemstvo statisticians” as “a very apt method, one that makes it possible to judge accurately the economy of each group as a result of the predominance in this locality of a cereal system of farming under conditions of extensive agriculture” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 3, pp. 61-62). In The Development of Capitalism in Russia, Lenin began his analysis of the disintegration of the peasantry in the second chapter with an examination of Verner’s Zemstvo Statistical Data on Novorossilla (first section of the chapter). At the same time, Lenin criticized certain unscientific groupings of Verner in his Memorandum-Book of Tavrida Province, in particular the infelicitous grouping of farmsteads according to size of allotment, which led to erroneous conclusions (ibid., p. 73, note). In the 1890’s Verner served in the division of the Ministry of Agriculture (Moscow) that administered the land set aside for the support of the royalty. In the course of almost two decades (1882-98), Verner participated actively in the work of the only scientific-societal organization of Russian statisticians in existence at that time, the statistical division of the Moscow Law Society at Moscow University.

WORKS

Krest’ianskoe khoziaistvo v Melitopol’skom uezde. Simferopol’-Moscow, 1887. Jointly with S. Kharizomenov. (Vol. 1, issue 2 of Sb. statisticheskikh svedenii po Tavricheskoi gubernii.)
Pamiatnaia knizhka Tavricheskoi gubernii. Simferopol’, 1889. (Vol. 9 of Sb. statisticheskikh svedenii po Tavricheskoi gubernii.)
Kustarnye promysly Bogorodskogo uezda Moskovskoi gubernii. Moscow, 1890.

F. D. LIVSHITS

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