Libmonster ID: MD-907
Author(s) of the publication: N. LUKIN

The plenums of the International Historical Committee are mainly scientific and organizational in nature. Such sessions of the Committee usually hear a report from the Secretary-General on the activities of the Committee and on the status of its organ, the Bulletin of the International Committee of Historical Sciences. The plenum usually sets aside one or two days for meetings of various commissions attached to the Historical Committee. At the final meeting of the Committee, these commissions make brief reports on the decisions they have taken. These decisions are approved by the Committee; the Committee also authorizes changes in the personnel of its commissions that are planned by that time.

In addition to Romania, 23 countries were represented at the Bucharest plenum. In addition to the members of the International Committee (and each country is represented there by only 2 members), such plenums are usually attended by members of various committees of the Committee, and finally, just guests. This was also the case in this case. The French delegation was especially numerous: the French came in the number of 18 people. The next largest delegation was the English one - 10 people, and then the Belgian one-7 people. Since the event took place in Bucharest, this time the countries of Eastern Europe, in particular the Balkans, were largely represented. The Polish delegation (6 people) and the Greek delegation (8 people) were especially large. Less numerous were the delegations of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey (there was only 1 delegate from Turkey in general). The Americans were completely absent, and in particular representatives of the United States, as well as representatives of Japan and most of the colonial countries. Germany was represented by 6 delegates - these are mainly old representatives of Germany in the International Historical Committee, such as Holtzmann and Brandi. The Soviet Union was represented by members of the International Committee: academicians Volgin and Lukin.

The first session of the plenum was chaired by the Minister of Public Education Angelescu and opened with his speech. This was followed by a speech by the Chairman of the Romanian Historical Committee, Prof. Yorga. Both of them-Angelescu and Iorga-said that in the development of Romanian culture there is a very complex and interesting interbreeding of elements of East and West, noted the influence of Byzantium and Rome, but for some reason did not mention, however, other cultural influences, in particular, Bulgarian and Russian (while they themselves did not mention the fact that the development of the Romanian culture the same Romanians show their historical antiquities.-

From the report read at the general meeting of employees of the Institute of History of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

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if you read, for example, the first Bible, you will see that this Bible is written in Cyrillic, just as Cyrillic inscriptions are made on the gates of old peasant houses, which are preserved as relics in Romanian museums).

Both Angelescu and Iorga further emphasized that Romanian historical science still cannot boast of major achievements, because Romania had to fight for its territory for centuries, to fend off the onslaught of all sorts of peoples who hindered the normal development of Romania as a nation, as a state as a whole.

Angelescu and Iorga were answered by the chairman of the Committee, an Englishman named Tetsherley, a well-known publisher of the British publication of documents on the origins of the World War.

In the report of the Secretary-General, Prof. Leritier, among other things, pointed out that the" Bulletin " still remains unprofitable: the number of subscribers is completely insufficient. It was even suggested (prof. Brandi) significantly reduce the size of this body, but this proposal did not pass: it was pointed out that now the Bulletin is becoming more and more a body not only of the Committee, but also of its various commissions. Since we are on the eve of the next international historical congress, the Bulletin will have to devote a lot of space to all kinds of materials related to the preparation for this congress. And that the Bulletin is really becoming more and more the organ of various committees of the Committee can be seen from its latest issues: XXIX, for example, issue entirely devoted to the work of the Commission on the History of Great Roads and Great Discoveries; XXII-historical bibliography of the press; XXIV-historical iconography, etc.

Speaking of the meetings of the various committees of the Committee, I must first of all refer to the decisions of the commission that most interested us - the Commission on the History of Social Movements of the eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. This commission was convened on the initiative of Soviet historians as early as 1932, but it has not yet developed its work, mainly because, as practice has shown, it is not so easy to unite the very different elements grouped around the International Historical Committee on this topic.

The Commission decided to immediately start publishing archival materials on the history of social movements and elected an editorial board consisting of: Chairman Kut, Committee members: Bourgain (France), Posthumus (Holland), Lukin (Soviet Union) and Gonsjarowska (Poland). The publication of the documents is planned to be organized in Moscow and Amsterdam. Technical preparation of the publication will be carried out by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Dutch Institute of Social History, whose director is Prof. Posthumus. The first volume of this "Archive of social movements of the XVIII-XIX centuries", in any case, should be published by 1938. The editorial board must set the plan for the first volumes, the type and rules of publication, and so on.

Among other commissions in which we are constantly involved, we should mention the Commission of the International Bibliography of Historical Sciences. At present, the Commission on International Bibliography has so accelerated the pace of its work that the 1934 bibliography is already in production and the corresponding volume will be published soon. The file for 1935 was recently sent out by us.

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Most recently, we contacted the Commission of the International Committee on Abbreviations, which aims to establish uniform and generally accepted abbreviations for various archival repositories, various collections, document categories, various series, etc. At the request of this commission, we created a small meeting of specialists here, who provided a rather weighty manuscript, which is a draft of such a document. This is a kind of abbreviation that our historians are also encouraged to read. This is necessary to ensure that, if this project is deemed appropriate, we adhere to a certain system when quoting materials and documents, which would greatly facilitate the acquaintance of foreign scientists with our archives and publications.

The work of the Commission on the publication of the current constitutions is extremely slow: so far it has prepared only the constitutions of America for publication: Central, Southern and Northern; materials on Asia are still in progress. The Constitution of the Soviet Union will probably not be reached soon, although an outline of the history of our Soviet Constitution was compiled and sent to the commission as early as 1934. It is now somewhat out of date; our Constitution is currently undergoing such serious changes that it is necessary to rework our "outline"to a considerable extent.

The Commission for the Teaching of History is engaged in conducting a questionnaire on the organization of teaching history at universities. It goes without saying that in view of the important developments that have taken place in the organization of history teaching in higher education institutions over the past two years, we should draw up a detailed report on this issue. Other national committees have already submitted such notes, and now one of the commission members, Prof. Gandelsman was assigned to compile a summary report on these questionnaires.

At the same time, the commission is now showing great interest in textbooks for secondary schools. It is true that the time has long passed when, as in the early youth of Lily of Nations, people talked about the possibility of reconciling peoples and strengthening universal peace by "unifying the teaching of history" , etc., and a number of English and French historians were running around with the idea of creating a similar, even international textbook for secondary schools. Now this is no longer discussed, and the most that is proposed is to organize conferences of two or three countries that could agree among themselves on the desired type of textbook. By the way, this kind of conference took place in November of this year, and some French and German historians took part in it.

A general concept of teaching history in schools of various levels was put forward as the immediate problem that the commission intends to address. This problem is likely to take a corresponding place at the next international conference on the teaching of history, which will be held in Madrid in 1937.

In the same year, 1937, an international congress on the history of science and technology is also planned, organized by one of the commissions of the International Historical Committee. I believe that Soviet historians have every reason to participate in both the first and second congresses.

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There was one important item on the agenda of the plenum, which, from our point of view, should have been the highlight of the Bucharest session - issues related to the organization of the next international Congress of historical sciences, which is supposed to be held in Zurich in 1938. Even at the previous session of the committee, which took place in Paris in 1934, in the report of the Polish prof. Following the results of the Warsaw Congress, it was noted that the picture of the Warsaw Congress, as well as the picture of the previous international congress in Oslo, convincingly shows the impossibility of preserving the old principles of organizing such congresses. The last congresses were terribly overloaded both with the number of meetings and the number of reports. In Warsaw, for example, 101 meetings of various sections and commissions were held over five days and 284 reports were heard. With such a large number of meetings and sections, it is impossible to discuss the reports in any detail, "and the participation of delegates in the work of sections of interest to them, but meeting in parallel. In Warsaw, there were 27 such sections together with permanent commissions, and within these sections a wide variety of topics could appear. Hence the extreme diversity of topics, the extreme abundance of problems and questions, the overload of the congress's work with purely special topics that are interesting, in fact, only for very narrow circles of specialists, and the almost absolute absence of large, general, nodal problems around which scientific thought works in certain countries, around which really serious debates could unfold.. The abnormality of this situation was finally recognized by the Committee. As a matter of principle, it was decided to introduce a certain level of planning into the preparation of future congresses in the future and to streamline their very conduct. The Paris Plenum invited the national Committees to make concrete proposals on this issue and submit draft programs of the future congress for its consideration.

However, only French and Soviet historians responded to the Committee's call. Therefore, only these two projects could appear at the plenary meeting in Bucharest.

Even with the most cursory acquaintance, it is striking how significantly these projects differ from each other. When we proposed to the Committee 17 major problems of a general nature, we assumed that a complete break with the old tradition of division into sections is still impossible, and therefore, along with the list of general problems, we left in our draft some commissions around which constant work is carried out in the intervals between congresses and which will undoubtedly bring their products to the sessions of the congress. These particularly important commissions include the Commission on the Teaching of History, on the History of Social Movements, and others.

In the Soviet project, we find such an important problem as " The influence of the Great French Revolution on the European revolutions of the XIX and XX centuries." We thought that this problem might be interesting not only for us, but also for those few left-wing elements that are grouped around the International Historical Committee.

Among other problems proposed by Soviet historians, I will mention "Problems of Imperialism", "Colonies and Colonial Policy of the 19th and early 20th centuries", "State Idea in the modern History of Europe" (the problem of democracy, dictatorship, etc.), methodology of history, history of international relations of the 19th and 20th centuries, etc.

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Including in the desired topic of the future congress the problem of the methodology of history, we thought that such topics as "the periodization of history, the role of race in history, etc., i.e., those problems that are now of interest to a wide range of European and American historians.

Turning to the congress program proposed by the French Historical Committee, we find in it primarily topics related to the history of Switzerland: "Prehistory and protohistory of Switzerland", "Remnants of Roman culture in Switzerland". Then there are a number of topics related to the history of the Papacy and the Church in the Middle Ages: "The role of the Papacy in the Middle Ages in the organization of peace and the Crusades", "The current state of study of the church history of the Middle Ages", "Intellectual and religious relations of the clergy of France with foreign clergy in the XVIII century".

French historians have also put forward the theme " The abolition of serfdom and slavery throughout the world, from the French Revolution to the League of Nations."

The French project includes topics that are unlikely to interest any broad circles of historians, such as:" Coins that were in circulation in Europe in the Middle Ages and under the old order","The relationship of the Swiss Bank with the major commercial centers of Europe from 1750 to 1815". The topic "Formation of national identity in various European states in the Middle Ages" is of great interest, if we do not limit it to the framework of the Middle Ages.

In addition, in the journal Annales d'histoire economique et sociale (N1, 1936), the editorial board, after publishing the Soviet and French drafts, put forward its own, which is extremely special in nature. This is a program for the Institute of Economic History rather than for the International Historical Congress: "Changes in the relationship between the domain and holdings during the existence of the seigniorial regime". The topic is very interesting, but it is a topic for the relevant section, and not for the plenary session of the congress. The same can be said about "The classification of various social forms in relation to various types of industrial organization - guilds, guilds, etc." One topic put forward by the editors of this journal deserves attention as a topic that has a more general character and can arouse wider interest - " The development of technology in Europe before the advent of scientific technology. The influence of material inventions and technology in general on the history of society " 1 .

Here are the materials available to the Organizing Committee. It was expected that this important issue - the organization of the future international congress - would be discussed in the plenum of the Committee. Unfortunately, there was no such discussion, which would undoubtedly have revealed fundamental differences on this issue. Only the decisions of the Organizing Committee on the convocation of the congress were announced, which were not objected to, but which, in fact, did not move this important issue from its place. These are the solutions.

The next congress will be held in 1938 in Zurich and will last for 7 days. The congress will hear two types of reports: some will be delivered at the plenary sessions of the congress, others - in sections, the number of which is reduced from 27 to 19. True, and on the previous ones

1 See annex I.

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There were reports at congresses that were heard at plenums, but they were, so to speak, ceremonial reports, they were usually allowed no more than 2 - 4. Of course, there were no debates on these reports. Now, as we can see, a certain turning point is being outlined in this regard.

No more than 50 reports will be allowed to be heard at the plenary sessions of the congress, and since 50 reports cannot be packed within 7 days, the plenary sessions will take place (in the morning) simultaneously in three different rooms. The plenary sessions of the congress will be divided into three large sections, and the participants of the congress will attend them according to their scientific interests. No more than 150 reports will be heard in the sections. As for the nomenclature of these sections, with a few exceptions, they remain the same.

The main topic of large reports intended for plenary sessions remained unapproved. It was suggested that the Organizing Committee should once again contact the national Committees in order to obtain from them a sufficiently well - founded opinion on the two projects - the Soviet and the French-that they had at their disposal. The final list of major issues will be approved by the Organizing Committee in agreement with the national committees that submitted their projects.

Since there will be no plenary session before the Zurich Congress, the decision of the Organizing Committee will be final. We must assume that this issue will be finally resolved by the fall of this year. Then it will be possible to start preparing for our participation in the Zurich International Congress.

A number of excursions were organized for the members of the Committee, especially around Bucharest itself, where the delegates visited museums: the Museum of Religious Art, the National Museum of Peasant Art, the library of Bratianu (the founder of Romanian liberalism), new painting (Musee Stelian), etc. In addition, the Committee members visited the ancient residence of the Romanian kings in Wallachia - Curtea-de-Arges (Curtea-de-Arges), where tourists got acquainted with the monuments of Romanian church architecture - one of the oldest Romanian churches-Curtea Domneasca, built in the XIV century by Gospodar Basarab and decorated with frescoes of Byzantine writing, and the cathedral early XVI century, built according to the plan of Serbian churches, but at the same time bearing obvious traces of Armenian architecture. Later alterations to the architectural style of the cathedral is greatly damaged. At the same time, excursions were organized to Sinaia (the summer residence of the king), with its ancient (XVII century) monastery, where an interesting library and museum are located, and the royal castle in the German Renaissance style, and to Bukovina (with visits to Chernivtsi and Khotan).

Almost all Romanian museums clearly emphasize the peasant character of Romania: peasant art, peasant industry, peasant costumes, examples of peasant buildings-in the foreground, are the main content of the exhibits. All nationalist propaganda in Romania is closely linked to this kind of cult of peasant art and peasant life in general. And this is not accidental. After the end of the World War and the revolutionary upheavals that the eastern corner of Europe also experienced, all Balkan governments had to reckon with the peasantry in one way or another in the hope of preventing the transition to democracy.-

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peasant proprietors in the camp of the revolution. In Romania, the famous reform of 1919 took place, as a result of which, of course, the agrarian question was not resolved in the interests of the rural poor, but the latifundia of the Romanian boyars had to be somewhat curtailed, and part of the landlords ' land passed into the hands of the kulaks and even the middle peasantry. In Bucharest, there is a special organization for cultural propaganda among the peasants, organized after the war on the initiative of the heir to the throne (now King Carol II) and subsidized by the government. At the head of this "Fondation culturelle royale" is Professor Gusti. In order to conduct "cultural propaganda" among the peasants, this organization has created a special weekly for the peasants - "Albina"("Bee"). This "Albina" is a real little encyclopedia. On each of its pages, the farmer must find the appropriate area of culture: an overview of world events in a week, information on agriculture, advice on medical care, art, and theater. A special page is dedicated to religion. It is hardly necessary to explain that this "cultural" propaganda has a very definite character and plays an important role in cultivating peasant heads in the spirit of the government's national-Tsaranist party.

The left-wing Romanian newspapers " Adverul "("Pravda") and" Dimineata "("Morning") showed a certain interest in the Soviet delegation. To the correspondent of one of them, Adverul, we gave an interview about the state of science in the Soviet Union, which was published in its entirety.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, we were not able to read the reports that were supposed to be held independently of the Committee's session for Romanian historians and the Bucharest intelligentsia in general. Tov. Volgin was supposed to make a report on the development and organization of Soviet science (In general, that is, including both social and natural sciences, I took the topic "What Soviet historians are working on".

One of the immediate tasks of Soviet historians is to prepare for the Zurich International Congress. In addition to clarifying the topics of reports and selecting speakers, it will be necessary to pay serious attention to some of the Standing Committees of the International Committee that we have not yet contacted in our work. I mean, first of all, such commissions as the Commission on the History of the Press (headed by Prof. Burjen), which is currently engaged in bibliography of socio-political satire magazines; as an iconographic Commission, in which we have no representative after the death of A. V. Lunacharsky; as a Colonial Commission, in whose work not only the new history sector of the colonial and dependent countries of our Institute of History, but also the Institute of World Economy and World Politics should take part. AN (see appendices).



1. The transition period from the Ancient world to the Middle Ages.

2. Feudal reaction at various stages of the disintegration of feudalism (the disintegration of feudal society in the 14th, 16th and 18th centuries, the problem of secondary enslavement, and peasant wars).

3. The origin of revolutions at the end of the XVIII century.

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4. "Plebeian opposition" in the bourgeois revolutions of the XVI-XVIII centuries.

5. The influence of the Great French Revolution on the European revolutions of the XIX-XX centuries.

6. Liberal movements in the 19th century.

7. Genesis of the proletariat.

3. Social movements of the XVIII-XIX centuries.

9. Class struggle and the national moment in history.

10. Colonies and colonial policy of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

11. Problems of imperialism.

12. The State idea in the modern history of Europe.

13. History of international relations of the XIX-XX centuries.

14. Patriotism and internationalism in history.

15. Methodology of history.

16. Teaching history.

17. Auxiliary sciences. Archival affairs and the most important publications of archival materials.


1. Prehistory and protohistory of Switzerland.

2. Remnants of Roman culture in Switzerland.

3. Formation of national identity in various European states in the Middle Ages.

4. The role of the Papacy in the Middle Ages in the organization of peace and the Crusades.

5. Current state of the study of the church history of the Middle Ages (problems to be solved, desired direction).

6. Intellectual and religious relations of the clergy of France with foreign clergy in the XVIII century.

7. The abolition of serfdom and slavery throughout the world, from the French Revolution to the League of Nations (ideology, methods of implementation, opposition).

8. Development and conditions of international trade from 1750 to 1870.

9. Coins that were in circulation in Europe in the Middle Ages and in the old order. A plan of international cooperation to establish the overall picture of these coins and their exchange value in different epochs.

10. Financing wars.

11. The problem of roads in the history of civilization (economic, technical and military history).

12. Relations of the Swiss Bank with the major commercial centers of Europe in the period from 1750 to 1815.

13. Local government in the 18th century; a comparative study of English and French institutions and their impact on other states.


1. Auxiliary sciences, archives, organization of historical work.

2. Prehistory, protohistory, and archeology.

3. Ancient history.

4. The Middle Ages and Byzantium.

5. Novoe vremya (before 1914). Supposed subsections: a) humanism, b) enlightened absolutism, c) nationalism.

6. Historian of religions, history of the Church.

7. History of law and institutions. Proposed subsections: a) feudalism; b) urban system.

8. Economic and social history. Suggested subsections: a) democracy; b) banking history; c) social movements, revolutions.

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9. Voyages, discoveries, history of colonies.

10. Historical geography.

11. Military history.

12. History of the East (Asia) and Africa.

13. The History of America.

14. History of ideas and philosophy.

15. Historical method and theory of history.

16. History of Sciences; medicine (presumably).

17. Comparative history of literature.

18. Comparative Art History.

19. Teaching history.


A. The relationship between land character and agricultural practices (starting point: consideration of problems encountered in the study of Western and Central Europe):

1. Establishing basic definitions and attempting a cartographic distribution.

2. The problem of limitation specifically in relation to "fenced areas": then referring to data obtained on the basis of a broad comparative study, which aims to establish the relationship between the nature of land and: a) agricultural tools; b) the course of plowing; c) agricultural customs; d) the structure of the family or village.

B. The nobility: 1) the origin, differentiation, and definition of the noble class in the West in the Middle Ages; 2) the role of the nobility in urban life.

B. The development of technology in Europe before the advent of scientific technology. The influence of material inventions and technology in general on the history of society.

D. Changes in the relationship between the domain and holdings during the existence of the seigniorial regime.

E. Classification of various social forms that are meant under the name of craft corporations (guilds, craft guilds).


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N. LUKIN, Reports and messages. PLENARY SESSION OF THE HISTORICAL COMMITTEE IN BUCHAREST // Chisinau: Library of Moldova (LIBRARY.MD). Updated: 11.06.2024. URL: (date of access: 17.07.2024).

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