Methods of the “New Division of the Empire”: The Reforms of Administrative Division in Vyatka Rеgion from Catherine the Great to Paul I


  • Dmitry Khitrov



historical cartography, historical geography, provincial reform of 1775, provincial reform of Paul I, Vyatka Province, Vyatka governorship, Vyatka gubernia


This article examines the territorial transformations carried out in Vyatka Region in the 1780s–1810s. As is known, before the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the system of administrative-territorial division of the country was based on the historically established system of uyezds. However, in 1775–1802, two major reforms were carried out, which rebuilt the administrative-territorial division following qualitatively new principles – approximate equality of the population of provinces and uyezds and transport accessibility of administrative centres for the population. These changes largely determined the outlines of the social structure of the Russian Empire over the next century, and changes in the management system and social structure naturally attract researchers’ attention today. With the help of a detailed reconstruction (based on maps of the time, both printed, from national atlases of 1792 and 1800, and handprinted, from the collections of several archives) and comparison of the boundaries of provinces in the middle of the eighteenth century, in 1792, in 1792, 1800 and 1805–1806, the author reveals the redistribution of territories between urban centres. It transpires that the system of territorial relations in this region during the reform of Catherine II changed more decisively than in the central regions of the country, and the new borders were initially drawn without a survey of the situation on the ground, in some cases – in the form of straight lines on the map. The correction of inconveniences caused by such a manner of reform was delayed and was completed already during the administrative reforms of Paul I, which, unlike most regions, were not cancelled there in the first decade of the nineteenth century.

Author Biography

Dmitry Khitrov

PhD (History), Associate Professor, Moscow State University.

1, Leninskie Gory, 119991, Moscow, Russia.


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How to Cite

Khitrov, D. (2023). Methods of the “New Division of the Empire”: The Reforms of Administrative Division in Vyatka Rеgion from Catherine the Great to Paul I. Quaestio Rossica, 11(3), 862–879.



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