The Events in the Economy of Šiauliai in 1769: Riot or Uprising? Collisions of Historiographic Traditions Cover Image

1769 m. įvykiai Šiaulių ekonomijoje: maištas ar sukilimas? Istoriografinių tradicijų sankirtos
The Events in the Economy of Šiauliai in 1769: Riot or Uprising? Collisions of Historiographic Traditions

Author(s): Ramunė Šmigelskytė-Stukienė
Subject(s): History
Published by: Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas Švietimo akademija
Keywords: Grand Duchy of Lithuania; Economy of Šiauliai; peasant history; forms of revolt; peasants’ revolt, riots; rebellion; uprising; historiography

Summary/Abstract: A revolt of any type is considered an uprising in the Lithuanian historiography on peasant history. Apart from the uprisings of 1794, 1830–1831 and 1863, the peasants’ revolt in the Economy of Šiauliai in 1769, the riot of peasants in Skuodas in 1711, as well as the peasants’ revolts in Jurbarkas and other rural districts in Samogitia in 1750–1760, are also referred to by the term of uprising. The article discusses the historiography of peasants’ revolts, the meaning of the concepts ‘riot’ and ‘uprising’; it discusses whether the terms ‘riot’ / ‘uprising’ were used synonymously or it is possible to identify the application of any typology of revolt against the government (tyranny) in Lithuanian historiography. The discussion on the interpretations of peasants’ revolt in historiography leads to a conclusion that the high number of typologies of peasants’ revolt reflects the variety of methodological approaches applied in the 20th century historiography. When social processes are analysed through the prism of the class struggle in the works of the authors of Marxist historiography, an armed revolt of peasants is considered one of the supreme forms of the class struggle. Influenced by conflict sociologists, the Western European historiography brought forward the concept of economic dissatisfaction of peasants as the key reason behind social conflicts. In the works of the representatives of structural anthropology, any revolt of the masses arising “from below” is considered a riot. The works by the representatives of the theory of comparative historical sociology group peasants’ revolts by intensity, domination of social / political motives; the works by the supporters of conflict theory group them by the object of revolt (landholders, the state, the Church), whereas the works by the representatives of rational choice theory arrange them by the level of organisation of participants in a revolt. The legal sources and political writings of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania refer to a ‘riot’ as the resistance to the established law, order or government. The public movements of other type used to be defined by this concept as well: upheaval, disorder, conspiracy, rokosz, military alliance, or even confederation. The concepts ‘uprising’, ‘unrest’, ‘riot’, ‘rebellion’ used to refer to the revolt of peasants in the Lithuanian writings of the 19th–20th century had no differences in meaning. The synonymous use of the concepts ‘riot’ and ‘uprising’ shows the attribution of the positive meaning to the concept ‘riot’. Like ‘uprising’, ‘riot’ meant the movement striving for lawful goals targeted against abuse, exploitation or tyranny...

  • Issue Year: 85/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 49-62
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Lithuanian