Rola rodziny Stroganowów w rozwoju przemysłu solnego w Rosji w XVI-XVIII wieku
Role of the Stroganov family in development of salt industry in Russia between the 16th and the 18th century
Languages of publication
The article discusses the contribution of the Stroganov family to the development of the salt industry in Russia between the 16th and the 18th century. Individual members of the family, thanks to their entrepreneurship and resourcefulness managed, in the course of years, to create profitable salt manufacturing companies providing the Russian market with huge quantities of salt every year. In the middle of the 16th century, Anika Stroganov received the right from Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible to settle the empty lands over the Kama River along with a permit for exploitation of local salt springs. Soon, the members of the Stroganov family residing in the eastern areas launched a large number of saltworks, thereby contributing to quicker colonization of such lands by Russia. In the 1580’s, they supported the Cossack ataman, Yermak Timofeyevich, setting off to conquer Siberia. Until the first decades of the 17th century, huge areas of land owned by the Stroganov family functioned as a buffer securing the Moscow State from the attacks of Siberian Tatars. Moreover, the Stroganov family, having their own military units at their disposal, received the right to penetrate the lands east of the Urals. Profits drawn from salt produced in the basin of the Kama River attracted subsequent entrepreneurs to these areas, with whom the Stroganov family had to compete, sometimes even losing their own land along with the salt springs and saltworks located there. In the second half of the 17th century, Grigory Dimitrovich Stroganov, thanks to a skillful policy and not avoiding the use of persuasion, money and force, managed to take away property and saltworks from his relatives, thereby becoming the leading producer of salt in Russia. At the beginning of the 18th century, his saltworks provided approx. 3 million poods (1 pood = 16.38 kg) of salt to the internal market, which constituted 60% of the total domestic production of salt. Along with Grigory Dimitrovich’s death in 1715, his property was divided among his sons, who were not able to sustain the salt production on the former level. In the course of time, the salt making activity of the Stroganov family has disappeared and the saltworks were taken over by third parties. When discussing the contribution of the Stroganov family to development of the salt making industry in Russia over the period of three centuries, it is impossible to overlook the salt-making activity of the Spasso-Preobrazhensky Monastery established by the family members in the 2nd half of the 16th century, known as Pyskorsky from the name of the nearby river – the Pyskorka. It is worth noticing that Russian monasteries, including Solovetsky, Troitsko-Sergeyevsky, Kyryllo-Byalozhersky, were also involved in the production of salt on a large scale at that time. The small Pyskorsky monastery, located in the Stroganov properties over the Kama River, was not able to compete with enterprises of its founders, but it was an important production centre, providing the local market with the indispensable salt.
Publication order reference