Старший научный сотрудник Центра источниковедения Майя Лавринович выступила на международной научной конференции в Роттердаме, Нидерланды
30 июля 2015 г. старший научный сотрудник Центра Майя Борисовна Лавринович выступила на 14 Международном конгрессе по изучению XVIII века в Роттердаме, Нидерланды с докладом "How to Survive In The Early Modern City: Moscow Town Dwellers’ Economic Strategies In The Mid 18th – Early 19th Centuries"
The paper is based on the source documents of the Moscow police, Moscow Board of public relief and Moscow Foundling house of the late 18th century. Town dwellers of the lowest tiers of the society (poor officials, destitute townspeople, non-commissioned officers, their widows and orphans, solders’ wives and widows) were detained having committed minor offences and were examined by the Moscow police before being punished by placing in the newly opened (1775) Moscow work- and correction houses. The detainees could enjoy some freedom in the early modern Moscow although formally the majority of them were ascribed to landowners or were home serfs. Some of them had not got any legal passports or certificates from their owners or authorities. It complicated their life in the city. The majority of those detained for the indecent behavior were soldiers’ wives and widows. They were excluded from their social tier (usually peasantry) as soon as their husbands were conscripted. They had not much opportunities to ensure the subsistence for themselves and their children. All that circumstances forced them to make choices in the everyday life and to act while fending for themselves. The examination speeches held in the police official records reveal different ways of survival of a pre-modern individual in a modernizing society. The detainees who possessed restricted economic resources described their strategies of survival in the society with the rigorous social delimitation. They used their social capital if they had it and resorted to different types of economic activities overcoming these restrictions. Yet there was a risk to slide into destitution, to commit a theft, or to become a prostitute. The modernizing social reality described in the documents is represented as diverse and variable. It did not correspond the definitions of the law anymore.
The other source of criminal tension in the city were the graduates of the Foundling House. Whereas from the turn of the 19th century the Foundling house sought to ensure the personal future of the graduates, the Moscow police, the university and craftspeople reported to the House about its pupils’ and graduates’ idleness and misbehavior. However, the unearthed individual stories of graduates demonstrate that some of them did realize the opportunities of the Foundling house becoming either teachers in the House or governesses in the noble families in the province.
There are some evidences that Moscow dwellers of middle and low tiers used the facilities of the Moscow Foundling house, including its secret maternity hospital, or used the possibility to leave a newborn baby in the House until the child attained the age of seven.