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Accounting and the Reforms of Government in Eighteenth-Century Russia

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The article explores the role of accounting in eighteenth-century Russian State administration combining historical and comparative levels of analysis. In 1718–1724 Peter the Great introduced a new system of administration with a more sophisticated form of accounting based on cameralism. The role of those who managed the monarchy's revenues and expenditures was regulated by decrees and regulations. Catherine II during her rule instituted a network of local treasuries and the Chancery of State Revenues as the central office entrusted with drawing up a state budget and checking the treasury operations. At the same time, the translation, publication and dissemination of the first commercial literature, favoured by the power, served to introduce Russian merchants to the double-entry bookkeeping system. But unlike countries in western Europe, there was no attempt to adopt it for the tsarist finances. It should be emphasized, however, that the financial and accounting reforms of Peter I and Catherine II were important for modernizing the Russian state. This was the time when accounting became part of the tools and policies designed to govern the Russian Empire, its different territories, peoples, and economic and financial resources.
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Keywords: 18TH CENTURY; ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS; BOOK-KEEPING; RUSSIA; STATE BUDGET

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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  • The Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas ("East European History") present the discipline in its entire breadth; for thematically focused articles the emphasis lies on the territory of the former Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union. A double-blind review process with international experts ensures adherence to the annals' recognized high quality standards. An extensive section devoted to reviews informs the reader about current trends in German and international research. In addition, the editorial board publishes an electronic review supplement under the title jgo.e-reviews at recensio.net.
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