The History of Simbirsk
In 1648 tsar Alexey Mihajlovich sent one of his boyars Bogdan Hitrovo to construct new cities and fortresses in the area from the Barish river to the Volga river. The foundation of a fortified city of Sinbirsk (from the end of XVIII century it is called Simbirsk) began in spring of 1648 on the right coast of Volga. In the fortress center there was settled down a cutted city (Kremlin), it’s fencing consisted of strong walls, a shaft and a deep ditch. The Kremlin was the center of the military, administrative, judicial and church power of the whole district. Outside its territory there lived townsmen, riflemen, the builders of a city.
Under the walls of Simbirsk the outcome of peasantry war under Stepan Razin's leadership has been turned. The Simbirsk fortress sustained a siege of armies, and Razin was compelled to leave downwards across Volga.
In 1780 Simbirsk vicegerency was established, and in 1796 the city became the province center. In the XIX century beginning in the city there was opened a theater, a hospital, a grammar school, and a bit later a library, a monument to N. M.Karamzin. In the same years Troitsk and Nikolaev cathedrals were constructed.
Pre-revolutionary Simbirsk was fairly named the city of nobility. Its best and richest part was located on Venets where there were cathedrals, provincial administrative agencies, educational institutions, private residences, public gardens and parkways. Nearby there was located the brisk trading part of the city with the center in a bazaar. In city suburbs there lived basically poor men.
In 1898 in Simbirsk there was laid the railway, in 1913 there appeared a power station, in October, 1916 the large railway bridge through Volga was opened. During the same time in the city there appeared first cinemas "Express " and "Empire " , the construction of Peasantry and Nobility land banks was carried out.
Destinies of many outstanding people are connected with Simbirsk-Ulyanovsk such as: historiographer N. M.Karamzin, writers I.A.Goncharov, D. V.Grigorovich, the Wanderer (P.S.Petrov), A.Korinfsky, poets N. M.Jazykov, D.D.Minaev, N.Sadovnikov, D.Oznobishin, D.Davidov, artists A.A.Plastov, D.I.Arhangelsky, composers A.A.Varlamov, O.S.Stankevich, educators I.N.Ulyanov and I.Ja.Jakovlev, Decembrists A.I.Turgenev, V.P.Ivashev, architects F. O.Livchak, A.A.Shode, F.E.Volsov, biologist A.A.Ljubishchev, the botanist V.Blagoveshchensky, zoologist S.A.Buturlin, conductor E.A.Serova. Here was born and spent the first 17 years of the life V.I.Ulyanov (Lenin).
Simbirsk or Ulyanovsk?
Recently more and more often there appear ideas and plans about our city development, connected with its historical past. One of such ideas is actively discussed among public figures and in business circles, it concerns returning to Ulyanovsk its primary historical name Simbirsk.
The decision to rename the city can be accepted only on the basis of city public referendum results. Therefore the preliminary analysis of dominating public moods concerning this idea, and also of the motives and defining factors is to be carried out. For the purpose of public opinion studying in December, 2005 the sociological laboratory Perspectiva held a mass poll of Ulyanovsk inhabitants at the age from 18 years and older by the formalized interview "tet-a-tet" method according to the place of residence. Selection total amount is 830 respondents.
The results of research show unavailability of the population to support this idea (see the tab.).
Character of public moods concerning renaming Ulyanovsk to Simbirsk (% interrogated)
The parity of supporters and opponents makes 30 to 50 % (or 1:1,7). And there are 2,8 times more categorical opponents of this idea than resolute supporters. Among supporters prevail conditional-subjunctive positive mood , among opponents dominates basic negative attitude. Taking into account these distinctions at the moment of poll negative moods twice dominated over the positive.
Answering a question "If such referendum takes place next Sunday, how will you vote?", 21 % of respondents said pro, 42 % said contra, 13 % said "I do not know", 24 % said "I will not go to referendum".
The high level of potential electoral activity and definiteness of installations attracts the attention. 75 % of people have installation on participation in a referendum, among them only 13 % weren't defined yet in the attitude to the offered idea. It testifies to the importance of the problem for the population and the interested attitude of inhabitants to the name of the city.
Thus, it is possible to confirm: if the referendum concerning renaming of Ulyanovsk into Simbirsk takes place in the nearest future it will be rendered as for attendance and its outcome according the majority of votes will be negative with confidential probability 0,98.
The general characteristic feature of both positive and negative motivation concerning idea of renaming of our city is practical absence of ideological motives. In the positive attitude to idea dominate the motives of historical and cultural character while at the heart of negative moods are utilitarian-pragmatical motives and arguments.
21 % of supporters of renaming consider that the city should bear the historical name with which our historical and cultural heritage is connected.
And 6 % of people just like the name Simbirsk more. The overwhelming majority (27 %)of the opponents of the idea reason their attitude by the complexity and dearness of the renaming procedure, for 13 % of the pollee the name Ulyanovsk "is already habitual, it is pleasant, it satisfies", 4 % consider that the city bears a name of the great person, we should be proud of it and keep everything that is connected with it.
A little bit more than in other groups of people adjusted resolutely in favor of renaming there are among youth from 18 till 29 years (30 %), Tatars (27 %), people with the higher and incomplete higher education (26 %), supporters of the "Apple" party (38 %). The greatest part of opponents of this idea there is among the inhabitants at the age from 50 years and older (55 %), the Chuvashs, the Mordovians (50-60 %), people with general average, and also initial and average vocational education (50 %)), equally orthodox christians and Muslims (43-45 %), supporters "ER", "Native land", LDPR (to 50 %), but especially among the Communist Party of the Russian Federation supporters (65 %).
As a whole in all basic socially-demographic groups of the city population the parity of supporters and opponents of Ulyanovsk renaming to Simbirsk remains at average level with small fluctuations. It testifies to uniformity of public opinion.
"Деловое обозрение" №4 апрель 2006