Economic peasants. A category of Russian peasantry who lived on lands that had once been controlled by the clergy. During secularization these lands and the peasants on them were placed under the jurisdiction of the Economic College for Church Property; hence the term ‘economic peasants.’ Instead of providing service (corvée), these peasants paid monetary fees. In Ukraine, secularization was carried out in 1786–8 in Left-Bank Ukraine and in 1793 in Right-Bank Ukraine. The classification of economic peasants was eventually replaced by that of state peasants.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine