Background. In the conditions of natural decrease of the rural population, as well as the crisis of the domestic agrarian sector, a research, aimed at comprehensively studying the rural societies, is becoming especially relevant. The purpose of the study was to study the role of Russian colonization in the process of formation of local communities in Penza region in the 17th and early 18th centuries, using the example of one of the oldest villages in Penza region, the village of Kera in Nizhnelomovsky district.
Materials and methods. The research tasks were implemented by using documentary materials from the State Archives of Penza region, the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts, and the analysis of historiographic sources on the problem. The crisis of modern humanitarian knowledge compels scientists to turn to the application of various new methodological approaches, among which the most actively developing ones are microhistory and historical localistics, allowing to thoroughly study local objects of various levels: from a specific person to a region.
Results. The analysis of the historiography of the problem was carried out during the research. The process of forming the local community of the village of Kera has been studied, its main stages and features have been singled out. The role of Russian colonization in the process of formation of local communities of Penza region has been considered.
Conclusions. The analysis of the historiography made it possible to conclude that the term “Russian colonization” was introduced into scientific circulation as far back as the middle of the nineteenth century and was considered by most pre-revolutionary historians as a positive phenomenon. This trend is also characteristic of the modern historiography. The Russian colonization of the territory of the village was, by and large, a positive phenomenon and became the main factor that influenced the formation of the local community.
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