TULA, a government of central Russia, bounded by the governments of Moscow on the N., Ryazan on the E., Tambov and Orel on the S., and Kaluga on the W. Area, 11,950 sq. m.; pop. (1906 estimate), 1,662,600. It is intersected from S.W. to N.E. by a gently undulating plateau, 950 to 1020 ft. in altitude, which separates the drainage area of the Oka from that of the Don.
The government is divided into twelve districts, the chief towns of which are Tula, Bogoroditsk, Alexin, Byelev, Epifan, Efremov, Kashira, Krapivna, Novosil, Odoyev, Chern and Venev. Only 2.4% of the aggregate area is considered as unavailable for cultivation, the remainder being distributed as follows: peasants, 48!%; nobility, 325%; other private landowners, II %; crown, towns, etc., 2 %. Agriculture is the chief occupation. Petty trades and domestic industries (e.g. the making of tea-urns, brass wares, harmoniums, etc.) have always flourished. The principal factory establishments are machinery works, hardware factories, flour-mills, sugar works and distilleries. Coal is extracted, as also pyrites and iron ore. Metallurgy is a growing industry.
Before the Slav immigration the territory of Tula was inhabited by Mordvinians in the north and by Meshcheryaks in the south. The Slavs who occupied the Oka were soon compelled to pay tribute to the Khazars. Subsequently the territory on the Oka belonged to the principality of Chernigov. In the 14th century part fell under the rule of Ryazan and Moscow, while the rest was under Lithuanian dominion till the 15th century.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)