Comparative characteristics of the electoral system for city reforms in 1863 in Odessa, 1870 and 1892 years

  • O. Marchenko Volodymyr Vynnychenko Central Ukrainian State Pedagogical University
Keywords: city reform, city selfgovernment, hlasnyy, city duma, electoral process


The city regulations of 1863 in Odessa, 1870 and 1892, introduced into everyday practice of post-reform Russia certain elements of selfgovernment, competition, a sense of weight and validity perspectives through electoral process of forming public institutions, which helped to dealt with local issues. Not all components of city reforms, and electoral process, especially in comparison with the reform of 1863 in Odessa, have found proper reflection in historiography. Today, attempts are being made to write complex works on the problem of the municipal self-government of the post-reform period, and to make a comparative analysis of the individual elements of city reforms. For the public administration of Ukrainian cities, the experience of Odessa city authorities, created by the Provision of 1863, which largely defined the principles, structure and electoral mechanism of the city reforms of 1870 and 1892, was important. Thus, in Odessa the three-tiered system of voters was used, for the first time, (according to the classes, and according to the law of 1870 – on the principle of reducing taxes paid on the size of households and trade and industrial collections); choosing of hlasnyh (from 25 years old) was conducted by submitting lists, and not by ballot voting, as according to the reforms of 1870 and 1892 (election campaigning for vowels was not foreseen); the two-tiered election principle; also voters property qualification. The election process sometimes took place with trespasses (bribery, threats, manipulations) for which fines and imprisonment were foreseen. The main criterion for obtaining the right to vote under the Provision of 1870 became the possession of property or trade and industrial activity, but not belonging to a class. Officials and convicted people were notallawed to vote, there were also zone restrictions for Jews. With only a small number of people who had the right to vote (on average 4-5% of townspeople), only 20-30% of voters came to vote and, mostly, the most prosperous city elite. The distrust of most townspeople to public institutions, such as city dumas, can be attributed to class prejudgment, low political interest, indifference of city residents, limited rights of local self-government, and constant interference in their activities of state power. The Provision of 1892 was intended to restrict the principle of self-government of city dumas and city executive body, to maximize their subordination to the state authorities, to weaken the principle of their election, to expand the representation of the nobility in local self-government. As a result of these measures, the number of voters decreased several times – up to 1%. The effectiveness of the local self-government largely depended on the principles that were laid in the foundation for their formation. But forty years of practical activity of city dumas and city executive body has shown the ability, even in limited circumstances, to solve the urgent problems of life of the townspeople, and to become one of the elements of the liberal-democratic movement in the future.


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How to Cite
Marchenko, O. (2019). Comparative characteristics of the electoral system for city reforms in 1863 in Odessa, 1870 and 1892 years. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 1(52), 91-98. Retrieved from