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 (zĕmst′vō, zyĕm′stvə)
n. pl. zemst·vos
An elective council responsible for the local administration of a provincial district in czarist Russia.

[Russian, from Old Russian zemĭ, land; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.]


(ˈzɛmstvəʊ; Russian ˈzjɛmstvə)
n, pl -stvos
(Historical Terms) (in tsarist Russia) an elective provincial or district council established in most provinces of Russia by Alexander II in 1864 as part of his reform policy
[C19: from Russian, from zemlya land; related to Latin humus earth, Greek khamai on the ground]


(ˈzɛmst voʊ)

n., pl. -stvos.
one of a system of elected local assemblies in Russia from 1864 to 1917.
[1860–65; < Russian zémstvo, derivative of zemlyá land, earth; see humus]
References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover, he believed that zemstvos, organs of rural self-government in late imperial Russia, had held out significant political promise.
He disdains the zemstvos and therefore cannot see any possible good emerging from them.
The Journal evaluated modernization based on the performance of local self-government institutions known as the zemstvos that Alexander II's Great Reforms had created on two levels (province and district) in Russia's European territories in 1864.
Zemstvos, the provincial and local governmental institutions created by the Great Reforms of the 1860s, administered local roads.
A particularly interesting point is the emergence of the new problem of self-arson in the 1870s and 1880s, a result, ironically, of the compulsory fire-insurance programmes sponsored by the organs of rural local self-governance, the zemstvos.
The situation began to change in 1864 when Czar Alexander II initiated a system of local government, the Zemstvos, with responsibility for, among other things, health (Krug 1976).
Self-governance, grassroots opinions, municipal and "small area" democracy he sees as growing out of the Russian Orthodox medieval tradition of zemstvos (local assemblies).
While state ministries took the lead in trying to organize large-scale resettlement, zemstvos and other public organizations, like relief societies and local agricultural committees, actively assisted in the process because resettlement was widely regarded as the kind of "all-national cause" (vsenarodnoe delo) that seemed to require educated society's (obshchestvo) commitment and participation.
Factory inspectors and doctors recorded the deplorable conditions of female workers in zemstvos reports.
Both centers of power also had well-scripted plans to ameliorate worker-management conflict by creating factory and district mediation boards, allowing workers to organize committees and other representative groups within and outside their plants, bringing district zemstvos into the countryside, empowering local land committees with peasant participation--all familiar elements of government policy that were formally in place before the formation of the first coalition in early May.
Stolypin in fostering (or impeding) emerging democracy, the growth of the zemstvos, liberals in the provinces, nationalist policies, and the food crisis of 1916, the authors assert that democratic institutions grew significantly during the postreform period, especially between 1890 and 1914.