Zemsky Starosta is an original post,which became known in the territory of Rus, since the 16th century. The emergence of this type of officials is directly related to the reform of local government. Further development of these institutions enshrined the rights and duties of Zemstvo headmen, who continued to operate until 1917. Despite all attempts to liberalize the local authorities, they still worked in an old fashion. Why did it happen? Let's try to understand.
This position has been known sinceKievan Rus. At that time the zemstvo elder, who were also princely servants and faithful servants, were appointed by the prince or his closest supporters to carry out the leadership of the lower classes. In the laws of Yaroslav the Wise, village and rat starosts are mentioned. The former were engaged in the rural population of the princely patrimony, discussed quarrels, lawsuits, collected taxes. The latter were in charge of land problems, disputes over communal and patrimonial lands, and disassembled property problems. Later, the Institute of the elders moved to the territory of the northeastern principalities.
For a long time the labial and zemstvo elderappointed by a prince's decree. In fact, they did not exert any influence on the local population, but drove by the method of Tatar raids: they jumped, collected, and were taken away. Although they were instructed to monitor the order in the most remote places of the Russian lands, they performed their duties reluctantly. Arbitrariness and monstrous corruption reigned everywhere, and there were neither local councils nor chiefs on the local kings. It took the iron will of the individual ruler to break down the existing system and work out a new principle for the functioning of the local administration.
During the reign of Ivan the Terrible emergedan urgent need to completely reorganize the administrative system of the Russian state. The general code of laws, tied to this political process, was called the reform of local government. The main reason for their occurrence was the need to abolish the so-called feeding - an archaic relic of ancient times, which gave the right to visiting officials to live with the income (that is, feed) a certain area.
In 1551 Stoglavy Cathedral gave the go-ahead forthe introduction of statutory zemstvo certificates, according to which the institution of governors was completely liquidated. Instead of appointees in all corners of the Russian state, the zemstvo elder began to be elected. The royal decree of 1555 ordered the annulment of feeding and the election of these officials on the ground. The concentration of local power was the Zemsky huts, which personified the executive power. The judiciary and management system was completely reformed, and zemstvo elders under Ivan the Terrible were given new rights and powers.
The transformation of local government has completely changedprofile of the administrative system of the Russian kingdom. Zemsky's elder began to have a wide range of powers. He was in charge of local courts, which dealt with not only civil cases, but also small criminal violations of the law. Particularly high-profile criminal offenses were dealt with separately. The headman was engaged in problems of draft population, management of lower estates and collection of taxes. The main type of tax was "conscription", which was required to pay the entire adult male population of the country. This collection was replaced by an outdated governor. The money began to flow directly to the tsarist treasury, and from there, the maintenance of local officials and visiting auditors was paid.
Zemsky's elder stood at the head of the Zemsky hut. He dealt with the problems of using communal lands, taking notes in tax, collecting and distributing state taxes, and carrying out other assignments.
The candidate for this remarkable position was electedof the most influential and wealthy local residents. With a good mix of circumstances, they were prepared for a career of metropolitan officials and boyars. Of course, many small noblemen sought to make such a career. Zemsky's elder was elected on the spot, but he submitted directly to the central order, in charge of which were nearby counties. The period of his term lasted from one to two years. Simultaneously with the re-election, the whole staff of the Zemsky hut was also revised. The most famous zemstvo was A. Minin.
In 1699, the landlords become likelocal councils of small European cities. The zemstvo elder became the mayor with a significant extension of his duties. But in the remote places of the Russian Empire, the old form of local power existed even further. Another reorganization of institutions of local self-government was held in 1719.
Changes in central power for twocenturies (from the 16th to the 18th century) were of a periodic and non-systemic character. Peter the First sought to give the dense Russian administration a civilized European look. Of course, there was no question of any self-sufficiency of the European bodies of local self-government, rather, about imitating the Swedish system of self-government, but in fact all power was still concentrated in the hands of the tsarist appointees. The labial and zemstvo headmen seemed to have been chosen on the ground, but to approve them in their posts, a separate decree of the tsar was required.
City authorities reformed in Swedishsample, but rural rural huts reluctantly succumbed to innovations. First of all, this was due to the lack of an educated population and strict class restrictions, which did not give the right to hold elective offices to the draft class. Therefore, the staff for new local self-government bodies was recruited from old clerks and sub-lieutenants, who could not and could not reorganize their work according to a given pattern. Therefore, the Petrine reform of local self-government failed to fulfill the tasks assigned to it, but became only an autocratic set of existing European freedoms.