Rus and goose for 1.5 kopecks. What adventures experienced prices in different centuries
Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 17. The highlight of the program. How import substitution works and what Russia can do on its own 04/27/2022 =”640″ style=”display: block;” />
Rising? Is it falling? Getting stronger? Weaker? Is it about airplane or health? No, about the ruble. Attention to the behavior of the national currency has recently increased many times.
And on is inevitable a revival of interest in all sorts of historical speculations on the topic: "But under the tsar-father, a cow cost three rubles!" As an option: “When Russia was free, a goose cost three kopecks.” This wit was common in times, which are commonly called “stagnation”.
In fact, the ruble — the second of the oldest national currencies after the British pound sterling, which is fixed by Novgorod birch bark letters of the 13th century. He has seen a lot — there were ups and downs, price revolutions and periods of calm, galloping inflation and the return of positions… Which, in turn, entailed exciting adventures in prices and wages.
A hundred chickens for a ducat
The time of true satiety and stability is rightly considered XV century — then the proverb begins to circulate: “In Russia, no one has ever died of hunger.” And everything happened. So, in 1445 g. after an unsuccessful battle near Suzdal, the Kazan Khan Ulu-Mahmet was taken prisoner the great Moscow prince Vasily II, later earned the nickname Dark. A monstrous ransom was appointed for the prince. Novgorod chronicles indicate that 200 thousand. rub., then"the entire Moscow treasury". There was not enough cash then, so church utensils had to be melted down. To understand the scale of what was requested: the market price of a slave was several orders of magnitude lower — monk Iona Pleshcheev in 1482 bequeathed to the Trinity-Sergius Monastery, among other things, a slave worth 2 rubles.
Those who were between the princes and the lackeys, on the whole, lived quite well. Judging by the taxes levied, the average peasant farm gave an annual income of 2 to 2.5 rubles. The hired worker was paid by the day, the payment was one and a half Moscow money, which was equal to 0.75 & nbsp; kopecks. The work of an artisan, depending on his qualifications, was more expensive — from 2 to 4 money, that is from 1 to 2 kopecks per day. How many days were working in the year, the Austrian Sigismund Herberstein, who left notes on Russia, can answer: saying that to celebrate — business of the lord. In a word, for 300 days in a year, an employee could receive 2.25 rubles, and an artisan — from 3 to 6 rubles
What could you buy for this money? Venetian Ambrogio Contarinifixes the cheapness in the & nbsp; Moscow markets of the sample of 1477 & nbsp; “Russians sell huge amounts of cow and pork meat; I think that for one market you can get more than three pounds. A hundred chickens are sold for a ducat, for the same — — 40 ducks, and the geese cost three marks each " 1 dukat then “weighed” 0.5 rub. The market corresponded to Moscow money or 0.5 kopecks. It turns out that for 1 kopeck you could buy 2.5 kg of meat or two chickens. For the same penny they bought 5.2 kg of rye flour or 1.7 kg of honey. A squirrel coat cost 60–70 kopecks. For a good riding horse they gave 6 rubles. And a peasant horse could be bought for 1 rubles.
The first attempts to attach peasants to land date back to the Sudebnik of 1497 Russia was truly free. So the wit about the goose needs to be redone — it cost in those years not three, but one and a half kopecks.
Attack of America
And then we had to part with freedom, as well as with relatively low prices. This is where America screwed up. Rather, the consequences of its discovery in 1492 g. Real rivers of silver flowed from the New World to Europe. Money was rapidly becoming cheaper, and goods were becoming more expensive. This was already felt in the times of Ivan the Terrible. Representative of the same genus Pleshcheevin 1559 left a will, according to which “horse pacer drill” was estimated at 10 rubles, and "sovrasoy gelding for arable land" — in 2 rub. That is, the prices of horses have doubled. Chickens and beef have risen in price about the same. Bread jumped in price by 4 times, honey — 5 times. And for 60 cop. now it was possible to buy only a sheepskin coat — squirrels cost three times as much.
And & nbsp; here, proportionally to increase the salary, they slightly sought. At the oprichny court of Ivan the Terrible, many artisans worked — from tailors and buttons to saber and slingers. Almost all of them had an annual salary from 3 to 5 rubles. — the same as their colleagues received 100 years ago. Individual artisans, for example, someone Ivan Pozdeev, “self-made master”, received in the year 15 rubles. money “yes” good cloth, yes “taffeta”, yes “300 couples of the estate”. That is, he moved into the & nbsp; category of landowners-landowners. Tailor Ivan Butalso belonged to this category, but lower — «5 rub. money, 24 altyns for cloth, 5 half-carcasses (half-carcasses) of meat, 5 poods of salt and 50 quarters of earth. For comparison: the notorious “Boris Fedorov son of Godunov”, being a middle manager, receives 50 rubles from Ivan the Terrible. annual salary.
The ensuing Troubles partly ruined the Russian kingdom. 80% of arable land, the basis of the domestic economy, fell into desolation. A Mikhail Romanov, the first tsar from the new dynasty, in the Kremlin plundered by the Poles, this is what awaited: "Tsar's chambers and mansions, all without roofs, floors and shops. There are no doors and windows, it is necessary to do it, but the forest cannot get suitable there is no money in the treasury, and no carpenters…»
But soon foreigners begin to note: “Here there is such an abundance of all the things necessary for life, convenience and luxury, and and bought at very moderate price that Russians have nothing to envy any country in the world, even ;with better climate…» In the Palace Book of Expenses, one can find entries that are practically indistinguishable from those that were in the time of Ivan the Terrible. Tailor's annual salary — the same 5 rub. Oddly strangely enough, the prices are also almost rising. Then growth nevertheless begins, but this is noticed at the very top: “In the old days it was possible for a master man with his wife to be full of altyn food during the day.” That is, before, together, for three kopecks, you could live a day, but now it's gone. The salary is indexed. The standard salary of a court artisan increases to 7 rubles, the daily wage rises by 2–3 kopecks… In a word, one can live. Yes prices have risen not to brutally. If under Mikhail Romanov for 1 cop. it was possible to buy 1.2 kg of wheat bread, then after 70 years under the princess Sofya — 1 kg. Some items price didn change at all — an ax still cost 20 kopecks, and Russian cloth — 5 kop. per arshin. In general, Prince Boris Kurakin had every reason to declare about Princess Sophia: “The whole state came during her rule to the color of great wealth. And then the contentment of the people triumphed».
ordered to live long under Peter I. Great accomplishments required great expenses, as well as frankly fraudulent tricks. Let's say Peter halved the value of the ruble, equating it to a thaler. And 30 years later we have the evidence of Mikhail Lomonosov, whose scholarship at the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy was “on the Altyn Day”. Earlier in altyn "full in day" there were two. Now this amount was barely enough for a removable corner in the room and daily bread and kvass with onions. For Peter's kopeck it was possible to buy 300 g of beef (for ruble — 30 kg), 500 g of perch or 500 g of bread. With a salary, too, everything was not very fun — the clerk of the Artillery Order received no more than 30 rubles per year. But the captain of the Peter's army earned 110 rubles a year.
A further inflation rushed at a gallop. If at the beginning of the reign of Catherine II for a kopeck you could buy 200 g of bread, then after 15 years — only 75 g. After another 15 years — miserable 20 g. To & nbsp; comparative satiety came only after more than 100 & nbsp; years. But and under Nicholas II a cow didn cost 3 rubles. For this money at a price of 45 kopecks. for 1 kg you could buy 6.7 kg of beef, which, you see, is not enough for a whole cow A cash cow of average merits then cost from 60 rubles. with an average salary of a worker of 20 25 ruble per month.
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