• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Zemstvo In Russia, an elective local district and provincial administrative assembly. Originally it was composed of representatives elected by the peasantry, the householders of the towns, and the landed proprietors. In the reign of Alexander III. the power of the noble landowners was increased, the peasants allowed only to elect candidates from whom the governor of the province nominated the deputy, and all acts of the zemstvo subjected to the approval of the governor. Theoretically the zemstvo has large powers relating to taxation, education, public health, etc., but practically these powers are in most cases limited to the adjustment of the state taxation.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n zemstvo In Russia, a local elective assembly, of recent institution, for the oversight and regulation of affairs within its territory. There are zemstvos for the districts into which the governments are divided, and also for the governments themselves, with nominal jurisdiction of local taxation, schools, roads, public sanitation, etc., but subject to arbitrary interference by the provincial governors.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Zemstvo zems′tvō in Russia, a district and provincial assembly to which the administration of the economic affairs of the district and the province was committed in 1866, but whose rights were much curtailed in 1890.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Russ., fr. zemlya, land
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

The one where my assistant learned was opened by the Zemstvo.
"Russia" by Donald Mackenzie Wallace
They put up for the night at the Zemstvo hut.
"The Schoolmistress and Other Stories" by Anton Chekhov
I forgot to ask you, do you know the Christian name of the president of our Zemstvo?
"The Wife and Other Stories" by Anton Chekhov
But I work for the zemstvo, I am a member of the district council, and I consider my service as worthy and as high as the service of science.
"Plays by Chekhov, Second Series On the High Road, The Proposal, The Wedding, The Bear, A Tragedian In Spite of Himself, The Anniversary, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov
The fatal logic of fanatical fury led to attacks upon the zemstvos.
"Bolshevism" by John Spargo
The provincial zemstvos exceeded their authority.
"The Story of Russia" by R. Van Bergen
Medicaments worth one million roubles were sent by the Red Cross to the various district zemstvos.
"The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki" by Joel R. Moore
Unfortunately for him, however, the unions of zemstvos and of towns remained patriotic.
"The Minister of Evil" by William Le Queux
A member of the Zemstvo Council and the elementary school inspector came down too and addressed them.
"The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories" by Anton Tchekoff
Closely akin to the cooperatives, and of much older origin, were the Zemstvos.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII)" by Various
Resolutions of protest were also passed by the Municipal Council and the local Zemstvo.
"Current History: A Monthly Magazine of the New York Times, May 1918" by Various