a category of state peasant in Russia, formed in the first quarter of the 18th century. The odnodvortsy were men who performed patrol and guard duty on the southern frontier at the time a regular army was being created. They were obligated to pay a poll tax (podushnaia podat’) and an obrok (quitrent) of 4 grivny (a monetary unit of 10 kopeks). Their lands can be divided into two groups. One group included plots of land granted to ancestors of the odnodvortsy in return for military service, plots of land granted by the state to eliminate a shortage of arable land, land seized by the odnodvortsy in the untamed steppe, and land purchased by the volost (small rural district) or settlement. The second group included lands personally purchased by the odnodvortsy or granted to them by the government as patrimony.
The principle of allocation of state lands was not by individual but by household, and it is possible that the name odnodvortsy (“one-householder”) was derived from this practice. Traditionally, state lands could be sold only to the odnodvortsy. The landholdings of the odnodvortsy were greatly reduced under the pressure of the noble landlords (pomeshchiki). In the 1730’s there were 453,000 male odnodvortsy, and in the 1830’s, more than 1 million. They owned a negligible number of peasants (about 11,000 in 1833–35) and as a rule settled with their peasants in a single household. The peasants of the odnodvortsy had the same obligations to the state as their owners.
REFERENCEBeliavskii, M. T. Krest’ianskii vopros v Rossii nakanune vosstaniia E. I. Pugacheva. Moscow, 1965.
L. V. MILOV