Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA <p>Ajalooline Ajakiri on eelretsenseeritav akadeemiline ajakiri, mis ilmub Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo ja arheoloogia instituudi juures.<br> “Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal” is peer-reviewed academic journal of the Institute of History and Archaeology, University of Tartu.</p> en-US janet.laidla@ut.ee (Janet Laidla) Ivo.Volt@ut.ee (Ivo Volt) Mon, 22 Feb 2021 21:12:13 +0200 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Measures for alleviating grain shortages in Estland’s and Northern Livland’s rural municipalities in the 1860s http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.01 <p>This article is part of a joint project conducted by Finnish and Estonian scholars that aims to comparatively study the famine of the 1860s in those countries. Unlike Finland, research into the last large-scale famine of the 19th century has begun only rather recently in Estonia. Kersti Lust has contributed the most to this area of research. The task of this article is to trace the development of agriculture in the present-day Estonian area in the 1860s, focusing primarily on the size of harvests. Attention is paid to some factors that still made agriculture vulnerable even in the 1860s. Additionally, the article also considers methods adopted at the local level in attempts to resolve the situation, alleviate food shortages, and ward off famine.</p> <p>The appendices to the annual reports drawn up by the governors general of Estland and Livland include statistical data on the amounts of winter grain (rye), summer grains (barley, oats) and potatoes sowed, the size of their harvests (in chetverts), and the number of inhabitants. These appendices also provide an estimate of crop yields (how many seeds these types of crops produced). The fact that more precise information from Estland on 1868 is missing has to be pointed out as the largest gap. In spite of imperfection, the absolute numbers presented in the appendices of the reports from the governors are used in this article since there are no better options.</p> <p>The archives of rural municipal governments provide the opportunity to ascertain how different localities tried to alleviate the situation that emerged as the result of crop failure and to ensure that all members of the rural municipality were supplied with grain. The extent of crop failure, the use of communal grain, and the purchase of grain using money from the rural municipal treasury or on loan unfold from rural municipal council transcripts. Many archives of rural municipal governments have been lost over time. There are only 156 collections in total that contain transcripts from 1868 and 1869.</p> <p>The most important grain was rye, which could withstand poor growing conditions. The amount of winter grains sowed in Estonian territory as a whole was around 200,000 chetverts in the 1860s, and in the better years, the harvest of winter grains exceeded the threshold of 1,000,000 chetverts. The average crop yield of winter grains was 4.8 in the 1860s (excluding 1868). Barley and oats were primarily grown as summer grains, whereas oats were mostly used as animal feed.</p> <p>It was only starting in the 1830s that potato cultivation had begun spreading more extensively in the Baltic region, whereas it started being used primarily in distilleries, where it was cheaper raw material compare to rye. Unlike grains, potatoes were cultivated considerably less in Livland than in Estland. The potato harvest failed in Estland in 1866 and 1867, when the crop yield was only 2.8. The crop nevertheless did not fail in 1868 in the northern part of Livland as a whole, but it was poor (the crop yield was 3.4). Good potato harvests in Estland in both 1869 and 1870, when it set a record, surpassing the 662,000 chetvert threshold, contributed to recovery from the famine.</p> <p>Crop failure (less than three seeds) was not universal, rather it affected only one crop type and was mostly regional. In Northern Estonia and primarily in Saaremaa, the years of poor harvests in 1865 and 1867 were followed by the rainy summer of 1868, which brought with it crop failure and famine. The most complicated situation was in Saaremaa because the soil there was not very fertile. There winter grain yielded 2 seeds, summer grains 2.5 and potatoes 0.5 seeds. Thus, less potatoes were harvested there than were planted. Tartu County was the only district in Livland where average or satisfactory, and even good harvests were almost consistently achieved in the 1860s.</p> <p>Grain grown in Estland and Northern Livland was mostly consumed in the domestic market. Manorial estates cultivated grain primarily with the needs of the market in mind, while farms had to look after covering their own needs first and foremost. At that time, 1 chetvert of winter grain and 1 chetvert of summer grains was considered the food requirement of one person for a year. In Estland, 1.1–1.7 chetverts of rye and 1.2–2.2 chetverts of summer grains were produced per inhabitant in the 1860s. Rye was produced in quantities below this norm (0.8) in 1865, 1867, as well as in 1868, according to indirect data. In Northern Livland, 1–1.4 chetverts of rye and 1.1–2.0 chetverts of summer grains were produced per inhabitant. There the production of rye was slightly below the norm (0.9) in 1865, 1867, 1868 and also in 1870. Although crop yield was higher in Northern Livland, the large number of very small holdings in the crown manorial estates there, where secondary livelihoods, primarily fishing, occupied an important place, caused lower indices per person. The rye harvest per person was lowest in Pärnu County and Saaremaa (0.6) in 1868. The relative proportion of crown manors was especially large in these two counties.</p> <p>Alongside harvests and crop yields, it is also necessary to examine how the population coped in situations of crop failure and hunger, and what measures were taken for alleviating grain shortages.</p> <p>This particular crop failure was the first serious touchstone for the rural municipal communities that had only just been liberated from the control of the manorial estates by the Baltic Rural Municipalities Act in 1866. According to this act, each rural municipal community had to elect a council, which was the governing body of the rural municipal community. Thus, the council was the body that had to make the decisions concerning the use of the communal granary’s grain reserves, the taking out of loans, and distributing aid.</p> <p>Harvests in many regions of Estland and Northern Livland, and especially in Saaremaa, were so small in 1868 as the result of crop failure that they did not make it possible to survive over the winter or to allocate grain for the next sowing. The crisis reached its culmination in the winter of 1868 and the spring of 1869, when famine struck the most backward regions, gripping the province of Estland more or less as a whole, whereas the situation in Lääne County was the worst. Of the counties of the northern part of Livland, it struck only Saaremaa severely. Epidemics broke out in addition to the famine, primarily typhus, as well as dysentery, measles, smallpox, etc.</p> <p>The rural municipality was obliged to care for all its members, especially if they encountered difficulties due to either illness or poverty. Particular attention started being paid to providing poorer people with food and shelter. Food supply policy in the Russian state was founded on maintaining reserves in local communal granaries in order to prevent famine in the event of crop failure. In an emergency, members of the community could borrow grain from the granary for food or sowing, but the borrowed grain had to be returned together with interest in the form of grain from the new crop. In good years, the rural municipality could sell the surplus grain and set aside the money earned from such sales in the rural municipal treasury.</p> <p>When the communal granary’s grain reserves had been distributed and the granary was empty, the next measure was to purchase additional grain in return for the savings of the rural municipality, using both money from the treasury as well as obligations. In some rural municipalities, such measures were sufficient, and the rural municipality managed in this way to ride out this difficult period and also to feed its poor. More exceptional measures did not have to be adopted. This, of course, depended on the condition of the rural municipal treasury, which differed widely. Money taken from the rural municipal treasury was also a loan that had to be paid back. Here the principle of joint surety applied, thus this also had to be paid back on behalf of those who were themselves incapable of doing so.</p> <p>These measures nevertheless were not sufficient everywhere because primarily in Northern Estonia and Saaremaa, rural municipality transcripts record that the whole rural municipality had declined into great need and poverty, and all of the poor were starving. If the rural municipality had spent its own financial resources, the next step was to apply for a crown loan with which to procure grain, which would in turn be loaned out to the people of the rural municipality. The public authorities already made it known well in advance that rural municipalities could take out loans in an emergency, stressing that this was not aid and that it had to be paid back.</p> <p>The rural municipality could use granary reserves and money from the rural municipal treasury and receive support loans from the state only with the consent of the parish judge. The threshold for requesting permission was quite high because rural municipalities mostly already had communal granary debts, and the authorities feared the creation of new debts. The decision to take out a loan was not taken lightly in the rural municipalities because both paying back the loan and the payment of interest were considered to be too difficult.</p> <p>Taking out a crown loan was placed on the agenda only in the event of a very serious emergency, when reserves were completely depleted. The need for loans continued to grow at the end of 1868 and over the first half of 1869, when there were shortages of bread grains as well as seed grain.</p> <p>Different types of tactics can be seen in the case of taking out loans that corresponded to the size and opportunities of the rural municipality. In some rural municipalities, it was common procedure to assess the situation separately for each month, and smaller sums within the range of 100–600 roubles were taken out repeatedly as loans. Elsewhere – primarily in larger rural municipalities – the aim was to borrow a larger sum all at once that exceeded 1,000 roubles. A small proportion of the rural municipalities in Järva, Viru and Lääne counties had taken out a loan by then, but the sum could even extend to 3,000 roubles.</p> <p>Since the rural municipalities had been made responsible for looking after supplying the peasantry with food, resolving the situation depended on the extent of the famine and the economic condition of the rural municipality. At the same time, the rural municipality lacked sufficient power for coping with the tasks assigned to it. The resources of the rural municipality were limited, and it did not have possibilities for redistributing reserves between rural municipalities. In cases of more serious famine when communal granary reserves were insufficient, the manorial estate and, above all, the state had the means for assisting the population.</p> <p>Grain harvests did not depend solely upon the weather or other natural conditions, but also on agrarian relations. The farm economy was still almost entirely dependent on the manorial estate economy in the 1860s. Major changes took place in the 1860s aimed at accelerating the transition from the mode of management based on corvée to a system based on a money economy. The reorganisation of relations between farm and manorial estate did not immediately bring any noticeable changes. The three-field system remained in use in compact hamlets with fields divided into strips in Estland and Saaremaa until the enclosure of farms, which was usually carried out just before the manor put the farms up for sale.</p> <p>Enclosure became universal in the latter half of the 19th century, when the sale of farmland to peasants as hereditary property became its primary impetus. The outright purchase of farms took place early in Livland precisely in those areas with predominantly dispersed settlement where farms had accumulated money from the sale of flax and where it was not necessary to carry out the enclosure of farms before starting to sell farms. At the same time, this is precisely what led to Northern Livland’s more rapid commercial and financial development compared to Estland. Areas with enclosed farms that had been purchased outright were naturally not immune to unfavourable weather conditions and crop failure. They nevertheless had better chances for coping with grain shortages. Only the establishment of new economic relations, primarily the enclosure of farms and the growth of peasant smallholdings, created the prerequisites for the transition to crop rotation and for increased crop yields, which made it possible to cope better with setbacks.</p> Copyright (c) http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.01 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Attempts at putting up intellectual and spiritual resistance to the occupying authorities in Hugo Raudsepp’s comedies from the 1940s http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.02 <p>In the 1940s, the totalitarian occupying regimes of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union implemented the strictest control and ideological guidance of intellectual and spiritual life of all time in Estonia. Essentially, the mechanisms and results of control are known. Cultural life was subjected to strict pre-censorship and post-publication censorship, and in the Soviet era also to thematic dictation.</p> <p>The intellectual and spiritual resistance of Estonians in those years, in other words their refusal to accept the ruling ideology, has been studied very little. The most widespread way of putting up intellectual and spiritual resistance was to remain silent, in other words to avoid creating works that were agreeable to the authorities. Selective silence, that is the selection of one’s points of emphasis, and splitting, in other words writing for oneself works that one keeps in one’s drawer while at the same time writing for publication in print, are also placed in this category. Recording actual history in diaries through the eyes of contemporaries of events, reading intellectually and spiritually enjoyable literature, and other such actions were ways of putting up intellectual and spiritual resistance.</p> <p>The main objective of this study is to ascertain in historical context the attempts to put up intellectual and spiritual resistance in the comedies from the 1940s by Hugo Raudsepp (1883–1952), one of the most outstanding Estonian playwrights of the 20th century. Ideologically speaking, dramatic literature was clearly one of the most vulnerable branches of literature. It was created for public presentation in theatres, after all, for which reason authors had to be particularly careful in their wording. On the other hand, plays provided both authors and directors with opportunities to conceal messages between the lines. For this reason, theatre became exceedingly popular in Estonia by the final decades of the Soviet era. The ridicule and mocking of the Soviet regime were especially enjoyed.</p> <p>The subjugation of Estonian intellectual and spiritual life to the ideological requirements of the occupying regime was launched at the time of pre-war Stalinism (1940–1941). Its aim was to rear Soviet-minded people who would help to justify, fortify and enhance the Soviet regime. The systematic control of the activities of creative persons and the working out of dictates and regulations were nevertheless not yet completed during the first year of Soviet rule. Many outstanding cultural figures remained silent or earned a living by translating texts. At that time, Hugo Raudsepp wrote the non-political novel Viimne eurooplane [The Last European], which is noteworthy to this day, while his plays from the period of independent Estonian statehood were not staged in theatres.</p> <p>Starting with the German occupation (1941–1944), the point of departure for Hugo Raudsepp was writing between the lines in his comedies in order to get both readers and theatregoers to think and to give them strength of soul. In 1943, he wrote the comedy Vaheliku vapustused [Interspatial Jolts], which has later been styled as a masterpiece. He concealed numerous signs between the lines of this play referring to the fate of a small people, in other words Estonia, between its great neighbouring powers the Soviet Union and Germany. Performances of this play were soon banned. Performances in theatres of all other plays by Hugo Raudsepp were similarly banned, with one exception.</p> <p>During post-war Stalinism in 1944–51, the sovietisation of Estonian cultural life resumed. Hugo Raudsepp did not initially write on topical Soviet themes, rather he sought subject matter from earlier times. His first play from that period entitled Rotid [Rats] (1946) was about the German occupation during the Second World War and it ridiculed the occupying Germans. Raudsepp also skilfully wove messages supporting Estonian cultural identity into the play. The play was staged in the Estonia Theatre but was soon banned.</p> <p>Raudsepp’s second play from that period, Tagatipu Tiisenoosen (1946), earned first prize at the state comedy competition in that same year. The action in the play was set in the period of Estonian National Awakening at the end of the 19th century. It ridiculed Baltic Germans and the behaviour of parvenu Estonians. Similarly to his previous play, he demonstrated nationalist mentality in this comedy by way of nationalist songs. It is noteworthy that by the summer of 1947, Tagatipu Tiisenoosen had also reached expatriate Estonians and it was staged with an altered title as the only Stalinist- era play from Soviet Estonia in Canada (1952), Australia (1954) and Sweden (1956).</p> <p>The thematic precepts imposed on Estonian writers and the mechanism for ensuring that those precepts were followed became even stricter starting in 1947. Raudsepp wrote his next 7 plays on required Soviet subject matter: post-war land reform (Tillereinu peremehed [The Owners of Tillereinu], 1947), monetary reform (Noorsulane Ilmar [Ilmar the Young Farmhand], 1948), kolkhozes (Küpsuseksam [Matriculation Exam] and Lasteaed [Kindergarten], 1949, Mineviku köidikuis [In the Fetters of the Past] (1950) and his so-called Viimane näidend [Last Play], 1950 or 1951), and the beginning of the Soviet regime in Estonia in 1940 (Pööripäevad Kikerpillis [Solstices in Kikerpill], 1949). Hugo Raudsepp skilfully wove words of wisdom for Estonians on surviving under foreign rule through the mouths of his characters, or discreetly laughed about Soviet reality in a way that the censors did not grasp.</p> <p>Post-war cultural policy culminated with the 8th Plenum of the Estonian Communist (Bolshevist) Party (EC(B)P) Central Committee on 21–26 March 1950, where among other things, the EC(B)P Central Committee Bureau was accused of allowing the exaltation of the superiority of Western European science and culture. Cultural figures were branded bourgeois nationalists and they faced serious ordeals. The fate of the great figure of Estonian dramatic literature was very harsh. Hugo Raudsepp was depicted as a ‘fascist henchman’ in 1950. He was expelled from the Estonian Writers’ Union and was deprived of his personal pension. He was arrested on 11 May 1951. Opposition to the Soviet regime was stressed in the charges presented to him. His play Vaheliku vapustused, which the German occupying regime had banned, and his only play that was allowed at that time, Lipud tormis [Flags in the Storm], were named as the primary evidence supporting the charges. Hugo Raudsepp was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the autumn of 1951. He hoped to the last possible moment that he would be allowed to serve his sentence in Estonia. Unfortunately, on 18 February 1952 he was sent by train from Tallinn to Narva and on 19 February on to Leningrad. From there his journey took him to Vjatka, Kirov and finally Irkutsk oblast. This great man’s health was poor, and he soon died on 15 September 1952.</p> <p>Very few new literary works appeared in the 1940s. The historical nadir is altogether seen in post-war book production in the era of Stalinism. Estonian theatre was similarly in a most difficult situation due to censorship, shortage of repertoire, scarcity of funding, and layoffs and sackings of theatre personnel. Nowadays the survival of theatre at the time, regardless of difficult times, is appreciated, and actors are recognised for preserving Estonian identity and uniting the people.</p> <p>Hugo Raudsepp’s role as a playwright in supporting intellectual and spiritual resistance to foreign authorities has to be recognised on the basis of his occupation-era comedies. Hugo Raudsepp was one of the most productive authors of his day, writing a total of 11 plays in 1943–51. According to the assessment of scholars of literature, he never once rose with these works to the leading-edge level of his previous works. It was impossible to create masterpieces that would become classics in that time of strict ideological precepts and the monitoring of their observance. Taking into consideration the extremely restricted creative conditions, his works were still masterpieces of their time. As Hugo Raudsepp’s oeuvre demonstrates, spirit still managed to cleverly trump power regardless of censorship and official precepts. The denunciation of Stalin’s personality cult in 1956 once again opened the door to the theatre for Hugo Raudsepp’s best comedies from Estonia’s era of independent statehood. The witticism and laughter of Hugo Raudsepp’s comedies gave people renewed strength of soul.</p> Anu Raudsepp Copyright (c) http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.02 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0200 The origin of metadata: a perspective on information theory http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.03 <p>According to the simplest and most common definition, metadata refers to a set of data that describes other data. Research on metadata is focused almost exclusively on solving practical issues. There are few theories on metadata that emphasise the lack of a common theoretical foundation to handle metadata, and there is also a lack of corresponding research. This article looks at metadata from a broad perspective of information technology and seeks an answer to a question that may, at first glance, seem simple: what is the origin of metadata? The article aims to present a conceptual model that connects metadata to communication processes, thereby creating an opportunity to treat metadata in a more systematic manner.</p> <p>In memory institutions, different metadata schemes and standards are used to describe digital objects. In order to describe objects, libraries use bibliographical entries that correspond to valid entry and cataloguing rules. Objects are described by bibliographic entries and catalogued in a bibliographic format. Nowadays, cataloguing rules are mostly based on the ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description). The most common bibliographic formats are standards belonging to the MARC (Machine Readable Cataloguing) group. Some libraries, such as the Academic Library of Tallinn University and the University of Tartu Library use the Dublin Core metadata standard to describe the digital objects they preserve. A particular feature of the metadata systems used by libraries is that all objects in a collection are described to at least a minimum level. Archives in Estonia use the General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G)), which was developed by the International Council on Archives. Archives differ from libraries in that archives usually describe objects in detail on the levels of archive, series, and archive item, and preservation of the full context of information is prioritised. Estonian museums began introducing common structured metadata in 1992, when the Ministry of Culture commissioned a software company called AS GenNet Laboratories to develop KVIS (Information System of Cultural Values). The development of KVIS was based on the CIDOC (International Committee for Documentation) data model of the International Council of Museums, and on SWETERM, the Swedish standard of forming name attributes. This was an object-oriented data model, and the description was focused not on the object but the event. This type of description model is also supported by the CRM (Conceptual Reference Model) adopted by CIDOC in 2006. In 2005, the Ministry of Culture decided to create MuIS, a new information system for museums, although this new system was based on the same underlying data model as the previous system. The descriptions of museum objects are supported by central glossaries that ensure museum items are described as required and that searches can be made across museums. To describe natural scientific collections, other information systems are also used, such as the SARV database, used for managing data related to geocollections. Archaeological collections have their own databases as well, with specific metadata. The digital collection of the Art Museum of Estonia uses a bespoke system of metadata.</p> <p>Metadata are connected to each of the elements in the communication process: metadata are the attributes describing these elements. Each element of a communication act is characterised by specific, fixed attributes that provide full information about the act. All the attributes of the set of elements pertaining to a specific communication act make up the full meta description of this communication act. In fact, a communication act can be characterised by various attributes. The selection of metadata attributes used to characterise a communication process is connected to the function of the metadata relevant for the particular case.</p> Kurmo Konsa Copyright (c) http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.03 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0200 How to get published in international journals? http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.04 <p>The number of Estonian historians who publish regularly in international journals is fairly small. The aim of this article is to encourage historians to take this step and to give tips on how to succeed in the increasingly competitive world of international publishing. The tips are based on the lectures presented at the summer school “How to get published?” (organised by Tallinn University in 2019) alongside the author’s experiences and conversations with other colleagues. The topics considered include how to select a journal, compose an article and its key parts, impress editors and please peer-reviewers. Special attention is paid to the importance of language and style. Having a native speaker read the draft is essential.</p> <p>The article provides both general guidelines as well as specific suggestions for how to publish on Estonian history. The paper describes the main characteristics of what has been called the “Anglo-American model of academic writing”. The colleagues interviewed for the article agreed that, in principle, it would be possible to publish on most topics of Estonian history and there is no need to pick a globally attractive and currently trending topic. For that, the research question has to be linked to global or European developments, events or phenomena and to discussions in the respective field of research. The colleagues, however, disagreed on the issue of whether it is more important to follow the conventional style and format of the journal or to present novel ideas. There was a consensus that surprising source material, intriguing results, and high-quality English certainly increase the article’s chances of getting published.</p> Kersti Lust Copyright (c) http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.04 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Igor Kopõtin, Rahvuse kool: Eesti rahvusarmee ja vähemusrahvused aastatel 1918–1940 (Tartu: Rahvusarhiiv, 2020), 631 lk, ISBN: 978-9949- 630-07-3. http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.05 Copyright (c) http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2020.2.05 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0200