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Vilna Mogilev
First posted on February 11th 2008, last revised on July 27th 2010

History and Administrative Division . The territory of the Government of Minsk was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania / of Poland-Lithuania until 1793/1795. It was an administrative unit (government) of the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution, following which it formed the core of the Belarussian SSR. It was part of the Jewish Pale. Minsk Gubernia bordered on Mogilev and Chernigov Gubernia in the east, on Kiev and Volhynia Gubernia in the south, on Grodno Gubernia in the west, on Vilna and Vitebsk Gubernia in the north. Minsk Gubernia, established in 1796, originally was divided in 13 districts (uyezds) : Bobruisk, Borisov, Vileika, David-Gorodok, Disna, Dokshitsy, Igumen, Mozyr, Minsk, Nesvizh, Postavy, Pinsk, and Slutsk. In 1842 Grodno Gubernia ceded Novogrudok Uyezds to Minsk Gubernia; the latter ceded Vileika and Disna Uyezds to Vilna Gubernia. In 1884, Minsk Gubernia the administyrative division consisted of 9 districts (uyezds) : Bobruisk, Borissov, Igumen, Minsk, Mozyr, Novogrudok, Pinsk, Reshitsa, Slutsk.
Minsk Gubernia was affected by Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812-1813, the Polish Rebellions of 1830-1831 and of 1863-1864. In 1911 the Zemstvo constitution was introduced in Minsk Gubernia.

Population . In 1883, Minsk Gubernia has 1,591,797 inhabitants, mostly Belarussians, further Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Jews, also a few thousand of Ukrainians, Tatars, Germans each. In 1839 the Uniate Church was abolished, the Uniate Catholics forcefully integrated into the Russian Orthodox Church. As a consequence, by 1884, about 90 % of the inhabitants of Minsk Gubernia were Russian Orthodox, further there were Jews, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Lutherans (Meyer). The regional nobility, of Russian stock, since 1569 has gradually assimilated into the Polish culture and was Roman Catholic. Meyer describes the population, due to remoteness, as a "semi-savage people" (Meyer). The estimated population in 1906 was 2,581,400 (EB 1911).

Economy . In 1861 the liberation of the serfs was proclaimed. In 1884 38 % of the area was covered by forest, 24 % was farmland, 15 % pastorage, the remainder swamp. Main agricultural products included grain, potatoes, lentals. The dominant industry was distillery (Meyer).

Culture . Minsk was seat of both a Russian Orthodox and of a Roman Catholic diocese. The Julian Calendar was reintroduced in 1800.

Historical Atlas, Belarus

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Country Profiles Current Article Minskaya Gubernia, from Wikipedia Russian edition
Historical Articles : Governments : Minsk, from EB 1911
Articles : Minsk, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Links General
on History
Historical Dictionary
Timelines Republic of Belarus Timeline
Accounts of History
Economy & Finances List of Match Factories in the Russian Empire : Minsk Gubernia, from The Virtual Matchbox Label Museum, in Russian
Russia, from Official catalogue of the industrial department, London Exhibition 1862, GB ; search for Minsk
Ethnography Languages of Belarus, from Ethnologue
Religion Via Crucis. 450 Years of Protestantism in Belarus, in English / Belarussian / Russian
History of the (Greek Catholic) Byelorussian Church, from Eastern Catholic Pastoral Association of Southern California
Jewish Belarus
The Jewish Virtual History Tour : Belarus
Minsk, Jewish Mother City, posted by Yizkor
Shtetls of Belarus, click Gubernia Minsk, 418 entries; posted by JewishGen
Russia, from Roman Catholic Hierarchy, scroll down for Minsk
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev (Diocese of Minsk), from GCatholic
History of Regions Article Pale of Settlement, from Wikipedia; Pale of Settlement, from Jewish Virtual Library
Administrative-Territorial Division of Belarus : 18th to 20th Centuries, from Archives of Belarus
Local History History of Minsk, from Belarus Guide; from Wikipedia
Articles Pinsk : History, Babrujsk : History, Mazur, Rechytsa, Navahrudak : History, Slutsk, from Wikipedia
Structures, Institutions Structurae : Belarus, Minsk, Pinsk
Others The Rechitsa Pogrom (Oct. 1905), by Leonid Smilovitsky ( Belarus Newsletter)
Mestechki of Minsk Gubernia, by Michael Steinore

Historical Data Lists of Statesmen
Population Figures Historical Population Statistics : Belarus, from Population Statistics by Jan Lahmeyer
Documents Document Collections Russia - Belarus - Ukraine - Uzbekistan Documents, at Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem
Historical Maps Government Minsk etc. 1882, from FEEFHS (Blackie & Sons 1882)
Map of Minsk Gubernia, posted by Michael Steinore, in Russian
Map of Minsk Gubernia, posted by Wikimedia
1834 Map of Minsk Gubernia, from JewishGen Belarus SIG
Belarus at the end of the XIXth Century, from Belarus Guide, in Russian
Map : Royaume du Pologne, (shows Minsk Gubernia; Heck, Atlas Geographique et Historique 1835), posted by M. Witkam
Maps : W Minsk, E Minsk, (Atlas Marksa, 2nd edition 1910), posted by M. Witkam
Encyclopedia Entries
General Articles : Governments : Minsk, Minsk, Pinsk, from EB 1911
Articles Weissrussen, Weissrussland, Minsk, Pinsk, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Article Minsk, from Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, in German
Articles Minsk (Gov.), Minsk (City), from Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1908, in German
Religious Articles Diocese of Minsk, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1907-1914 edition
Articles Minsk, Pinsk, from Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906 edition
Geographical Das Gouvernement Minsk, pp.489-492 in Th. Fr. Ehrmann, Neueste Kunde vom Russischen Reiche in Europa und Asien, vol.3 of Neueste Länder- und Völkerkunde, 1807, in German, GB
Das Gouvernement Minsk, pp.282-285 in vol.1 of Das Russische Kaiserreich, seine Geographie, Statistik, Volks- und Regentengeschichte, 1847, in German, GB
W.H. Beable, Russian gazetteer and guide, being an account of the territorial divisions and a description of over 300 of the principal towns and cities of Russia, Finland and Siberia (1919), posted on Internet Archive; Minsk p.29
Parliamentary Debates foreign Hansard (British Parliament)
Tour Guides, Travelogues
Institutions Archives Archives of Belarus
Repositories of Primary Sources : Europe : Belarus, from Univ. of Idaho. Mostly Archive Webpages; 31 entries
Libraries in Belarus, from LibDex, 5 entries
Official Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms

Bibliographies general RHS Bibliography
UK National Archive Online Library
ISBN Database
on Minsk EBSEES (European Bibliography of Slavic and Eastern European Studies), search for Minsk
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
Gutenberg Library Online
Country Specific
Online Journals full text online
General Accounts
Historical Dictionary Jan Zaprudnik, Historical Dictionary of Belarus, Lanham Md. : Scarecrow 1998

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