Russian power and the colonists-mennonites in the second half of the eighteenth century: colonization policy and practices
The relevance of a studied problem is caused by the need of researching the realization of the colonization policy of the government in the second half of the 18th century that gives the opportunity to define the contribution of various ethnic - confessional groups to the land development of the Russian Empire. The article is devoted to the history of the invitation of the colonists (Mennonites) to Russia for the settlement in the Ekaterinoslav’s vicegerency. The article presents the main directions of the colonization policy of Catherine II, shows the colonizing activities of G. Potemkin in the Ekaterinoslav’s vicegerency reflects the implementation of the colonization policy towards Mennonite society. The authors showed that the activity of the Mennonites in the promotion of their claims to the most advantageous conditions of their arrangement in Russia led to the adoption of a decree that sanctioned special privileges and privileges for them. The article defines the importance of meeting the Russian Empress and Mennonite deputies, which led to a serious result – the announcement made by the Russian government to the Mennonite society in Danzig at the end of December 1787. This document authorized the arrival of the Mennonites to Russia, it determined the conditions for their invitation. Thus, the authors showed that an important factor in the arrival of the Mennonite colonists in Russia was their communication with the Russian authorities.
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