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After the assassination of Paul I a committee was formed to examine Derzhavin's findings, resulting in 1804 at the first attempt at a comprehensive body of legislation designed to address the Jewish problem - a problem largely defined following Derzhavin's account. It repealed the double tax and opened all educational institutions to Jews. But it forbade them from keeping taverns or distilling alcohol or living in the Byelorussian villages. Following the usual pattern of legislative attempts to address the Jewish problem, though the 1804 laws proved to be quite inoperative. The Jews of the time were hugely resistant to any form of education other than the specifically Jewish Talmudic schools. The project of expelling Jews from the countryside was cancelled - or postponed - in 1806. The right to sell alcohol was restored in 1808. The right to distil in 1811. 

But very importantly the 1804 legislation also launched a project that was to become central to ideas about the 'Jewish problem' throughout the nineteenth century and indeed well into the twentieth century - the idea of the agricultural colony. Large subventions and an exemption from paying tax were offered to transfer to the 'virgin lands' of Novorussia, the area on the Sea of Azov above the Crimean peninsula, taken in the course of the eighteenth century from the Cossack hetmanate and from the Turks. This is the scene of the Russian/Ukrainian conflict at the present time. The establishment of Jewish colonies in Novorussia had also been one of Derzhavin's proposals but it may also have been a simple continuation of Catherine's policy of seeking colonists for Novorussia wherever they could be found. The Wikipedia account mentions 'Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Greeks, Albanians. Germans, Poles, Italians, and others' - hence the famously cosmopolitan character of the port of Odessa.

Initially the transfer to Novorussia looked like a success, excessively so, since, according to Solzhenitsyn, the administrative arrangements set up to welcome them were overwhelmed and further emigration was stopped in 1810. This was probably due to the great poverty of many Jews. Solzhenitsyn portrays the experiment as a disaster, largely because of the difficulty of developing the necessary skills and habits in a single generation. He acknowledges that by the 1820s some of the Jewish colonists who had persevered were beginning to make a success of the venture.

In 1814, following the Congress of Vienna, the Duchy of Warsaw was incorporated into the Empire, bringing with it a further 400,000 Jews. The area had previously been taken in the partitions by Prussia but had then fallen successively to Napoleon and then to Alexander I. In 1814 it theoretically enjoyed a large degree of autonomy but increasingly came under Russian domination, prompting a Polish revolt in 1831, which I think goes unmentioned by Solzhenitsyn. And yet its defeat, and the campaign of 'russification' which followed must have had some importance. Insofar as Jewish interaction with the peasantry was an important part of the problem, the Jews in all their activities, including those concerned with the drink trade, were exercising prerogatives passed on to them by the landholding class. Was there a great difference between the Polish landholding class in the pale of Settlement and the Russian landholding class? Was the Russian landholding class using intermediaries who were less exploitative than those used by the Poles? Priests and monks are often mentioned as competitors with the Jews in this respect? Was their behaviour significantly different from that of the Jews? Was there a significant difference between the behaviour of Catholic priests and monks and that of Orthodox priests and monks? Was there a process by which Polish landholders, well-disposed to the Jews, were replaced by less well-disposed Russian ones? And were the Russians better disposed to their serfs and was there a distinction between Russian and Ukrainian or Byelorussian serfs? And how did the situation in Byelorussia and Ukraine compare with the situation in 'Congress Poland' where, presumably, a Catholic landholding class was faced with a Catholic peasantry?

Leaving all those questions, I think unaddressed by Solzhenitsyn, hanging in the air I will try in the next article to say something about the continuing Russian-Jewish tensions following the emancipation of the serfs in 1861.