The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Kropotkin, Peter Alexeievitch

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KROPOTKIN, krō-pŏt'kĭn, Peter Alexeievitch, Russian geographer and revolutionist: b. Moscow, 9 Dec. 1842. He was educated in the Corps of Pages at Saint Petersburg, and joining a regiment of Cossacks of the Amur went to eastern Siberia as aide-de-camp to the military governor of Transbaikalia, becoming later attaché for Cossacks' affairs to the governor-general of eastern Siberia. He was connected with a prison commission, and strove to get some reforms introduced into Siberian convict prisons, but his efforts proved of no avail. From 1863 he devoted his energies to a scientific investigation of Manchuria and the neighboring parts of Siberia, and his work in this department gained him, in 1864, the gold medal of the Russian Geographical Society. In 1871 he was sent by the Geographical Society to Finland to study glacial phenomena. Arrested in 1874 for promulgating radical ideas of social reform, he was confined in the prison of the military hospital, from which he contrived to escape to England in 1876. In the following year he went to Switzerland, where he founded at Geneva an anarohist journal called Le Révolté, but in 1881 was expelled by the Swiss authorities on the demand of Russia. Returning to England in 1882, he wrote and lectured against the government of Alexander III. Having gone to France, he was arrested by the authorities and condemned (January 1883) to five years' imprisonment for participation in the International, but he was released in January 1886, in consequence of a strong appeal made by leading French and English savants. Since then he has lived in England, and engaged in literary work. He has written much on scientific subjects and has contributed to various encyclopædias. His separate publications include ‘Paroles d'un Révolté’ (1885); ‘In Russian and French Prisons’ (1887); ‘La Conquête du Pain’ (1888); ‘L'Anarchie, sa Philosophie, son Idéal’ (1896; Eng. trans. 1897); ‘The State: its Part in History’ (1898); ‘Fields, Factories and Workshops’ (1899): ‘Memoirs of a Revolutionist,’ first issued serially in The Atlantic Monthly (1899); ‘The Orography of Asia’ (1904); ‘Ideals and Realities in Russian Literature’ (1905); ‘The Great Revolution, 1789-93’ (1908); ‘Terror in Russia’ (1909). Prince Kropotkin is one of the ablest representatives and most eloquent exponents of that theory of society known as anarchist-communism. He is opposed to all societies based on force or restraint, and looks forward to the advent of a purely voluntary society on a communistic basis. He desires to see the division of labor, which is the dominant factor in modern industry, replaced by what he calls the “integration of labor,” and is a stanch believer in the immense possibilities of intensive agriculture. In 1901 he delivered a course of lectures at the Lowell Institute in Boston.