a category of peasants in Russia in the second half of the 18th century who were feudally dependent on the state.
Before the secularization of church lands in 1764, the ekonomicheskie krest’iane lived on lands held by the Orthodox Church and were known as monastyrskie krest’iane (monasterial peasants). In 1764, they were placed under the control of the Collegium of the Economy. The ekonomicheskie krest’iane included approximately 2 million peasants settled in various regions of European Russia. They paid obrok (quitrent) in cash rather than rendering barshchina (corvée) or obrok in kind; in the 1770’s and early 1780’s the treasury received more than 1.3 million rubles from them annually.
When the Collegium of the Economy was abolished in 1786, control of the ekonomicheskie krest’iane passed to local administrative bodies (financial boards), and the peasants soon ceased to be distinguished from the general mass of state peasants.
REFERENCESZav’ialov, A. A. Vopros o tserkovnykh imeniiakh pri imperatritse Ekaterine II. St. Petersburg, 1900.
Semevskii, V. I. Krest’iane v tsarstvovanie imperatritsy Ekateriny II, vol. 2.
St. Petersburg, 1901. Vershinskii, A. N. “K istorii volnenii sredi ekonomicheskikh krest’ian v XVIII i v nach. XIX vv.” Izv. Tverskogo pedagogicheskogo instituto, 1928, issue 4.