In 1635 a new garrison colony was founded at Kozlov on the edge of Muscovy's southern steppe frontier to guard against Tatar raids. State Power and Community in Early Modern Russia uses records from the Tsar's Military Chancellery to reconstruct life in Kozlov and its outlying villages. It describes how Kozlov's colonists were recruited and vetted; how they established their households, tilled their land, and participated in the local market; and how they paid their taxes, policed themselves, and performed their military duty. The book is especially concerned with the garrison community's relations with the town governors representing the authority of the Tsar and the central chancelleries - and what the pattern of these relations says about the limits of state power and subaltern autonomy under a Muscovite autocracy.

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