The Regulation of Economic Activities of the Jewish Community in Volyn in the 18th century (the Case of 1759 from Liubarʼs Parish Register)

Abstract

The article aims to determine the role and importance of the regulation of economic activities of the Jewish communities in Volynʼs towns using the case of a private magnate town Liubar. The article uses the following scientific methods: historical and comparative methods, analogy, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction. Findings: the article discusses the issue of the regulation of economic activities of the Jewish communities, which are one of the largest non-indigenous enterprising minorities in Volyn. By the mid-18th century, Volyn had been recovering from the crisis. Ukrainians in towns and cities worked largely in agriculture. Most settlements in Volyn province were private towns and cities, and only few had royal or church ownership. Though these urban centers were cultural hubs and furthered major aspects of civilizationʼs development, the owners (dukes, magnates, nobles) viewed them first of all as the means to enrich themselves (rent, fairs, auctions, propination). Owned by Franciszek Ferdynand Lubomirski, Liubar was one of such cities. Since it was subject to inheritance and had urban centers, special consideration and appropriate “policy” regarding the citizens and their participation in the cityʼs economy had to take place. Thus, Liubarʼs Jews received a regulatory order. The aristocratʼs status did not allow working in trade directly. In these conditions, Jews took a leading role; they were one of the numerous communities, the demographic figures of which showed growth throughout the entire studied period. According to the 18th century sources, Liubarʼs administration gave the Jews all economic spheres: trade, usury, various crafts and trades. The clear regulation of taxes for particular activities became one of the most important regulatory elements of the city life of the Jews in Kremenets district. Using the excuse of fiscal aspects, the magnate tried to control everyday life of Jews as well (family ties, education, etc.). The 1759 Tax Register of Liubar tells about the important structural elements of commodity-money relations and their correlation. Merchants, furriers, and beekeepers who collected wax paid the highest taxes. Similar regulation in the form of a “register” was tested in Mezhyrich (Korets), which was another Volyn city that belonged to Lubomirski family. The attempt of the Jewish community in Liubar to solve its economic problems by leaving the regulation framework was met with harsh opposition from Lubomirski. Thus, all economic development in Volyn cities was under control of the administration. Practical value: the published findings of the research have regional value but can also complement certain economic aspects of the history of the cities in Right-bank Ukraine, including taxation as well as city life problems in Volyn and legal relations between a magnate and Jewish community. The uniqueness of the article is in the comparison of particular examples and in the analysis of figures representing the amounts of taxes paid by the Jewish community of Liubar. Scientific novelty: the interpretation and publication of a regulatory document as a source was made for the first time. It described the urban centers in Volyn in the mid-18th century from regulatory perspective, which would allow better understanding and complementing of the financial conditions and opportunities of the Jews in the region and the owners of the cities. Type of article: descriptive.

Author Biography

Mykola B. Blyzniak, National University "Ostroh Academy"

PhD in History, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Mykola Kovalskyi Department of History of the National University of Ostroh Academy

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Published
2020-01-01
How to Cite
BLYZNIAK, Mykola B.. The Regulation of Economic Activities of the Jewish Community in Volyn in the 18th century (the Case of 1759 from Liubarʼs Parish Register). Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 70–83, jan. 2020. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/30>. Date accessed: 19 sep. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/26190106.
Section
History of Ukraine