Iasak Commissions

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iasak Commissions


commissions in Siberia that supervised the collection of the iasak (tax in kind on non-Russian nationalities; see).

The iasak commissions were established in 1764 because arrears in payment of the tax were increasing. The Main Iasak Commission was located in Tobol’sk, and there were local commissions in the provincial capitals. The iasak commissions established a specific territory for each clan (ulus) that was bound to pay the iasak, and they assigned responsibility for the collection of the tax to the upper strata of the feudalclan system on the principle of mutual responsibility. The commissions also legalized the substitution of a tax in cash for the tax in kind (usually paid in furs).

When revenues from the iasak continued to decline, the Statute on Iasak Commissions was promulgated in 1826; in 1827 two new iasak commissions were established—one for Western Siberia and one for Eastern Siberia. The imposition of the iasak was implemented on the basis of the Statute on Governing Native Peoples. The Second Iasak Commission was established in Yakutsk in 1828 and existed until 1834. In order to reduce arrears, it suggested a number of measures toward a more even distribution of hayfields and pastures in Yakut obshchiny (peasant communes); the measures were not implemented, however. The upper strata of the feudal-clan system kept the best land, and the ordinary clan members paid the bulk of the iasak.


Istoriia Sibiri s drevneishikh vremen do nashkikh dnei, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1968.
Istoriia lakutskoi ASSR, vol. 2. Moscow, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.