Polenov, Aleksei Iakovlevich
Born Oct. 1 (12), 1738; died July 10 (22), 1816, in St. Petersburg. Russian historian.
Polenov studied at the university attached to the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and at the universities of Strasbourg and Göttingen. On returning to St. Petersburg, he took part in a competition organized by the Free Economic Society, writing the essay “On the Enserfed Condition of Peasants in Russia,” which criticized serfdom (published 1865). Polenov proposed that the practice of buying and selling landless peasants should be ended, along with that of selling individual members of peasant families. He also suggested that a’universal literacy campaign should be introduced, that peasants should be provided with physicians, and that barshchina (corvée) should be restricted to one day a week. In 1768, together with S. S. Bashilov, he published the second part of the Nikon Chronicle.
REFERENCESShtrange, M. M. Demokraticheskaia intelligentsiia Rossii v XVIII v. Moscow, 1965.
Beliavskii, M. T. Krest’ianskii vopros v Rossii nakanune vosstaniia E. I. Pugacheva. Moscow, 1965.