l 15 part iii era of great reforms 1 1 emancipation of the serfs l.
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L-15 Part III Era of Great Reforms (1) 1. Emancipation of the Serfs. Introduction. Historiography Sources Themes. 1. Emancipation. A. Watershed. Cataclysmic Event Turning point: Toward a new social order Comparison of pre-reform and post-reform Russia’s 1861 as France’s 1789.

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introduction
Introduction
  • Historiography
  • Sources
  • Themes
a watershed
A. Watershed
  • Cataclysmic Event
  • Turning point: Toward a new social order
  • Comparison of pre-reform and post-reform
  • Russia’s 1861 as France’s 1789
b emancipation impediments
B. Emancipation: Impediments
  • Great power status
  • Fear of social turmoil
  • Serfdom too integral
  • Fiscal: how to finance?
c why emancipation four theories
C. Why Emancipation? Four Theories
  • Imperatives of Economic Modernization
  • Revolutionary Situation
  • Triumph of Liberal (Western) Humanitarianism
  • Military Defeat: Crimean War
c why emancipation four theories7
C. Why Emancipation? Four Theories
  • Imperative of Economic Modernization
      • Arguments
        • Nobility disenchanted
        • Crisis of serf economy
      • Critiques
        • Little evidence
        • State disinterest in industrialization
        • Contrary evidence: serfdom had adapted
c why emancipation
C. Why Emancipation

2. “Revolutionary Situation”

a. Thesis: preempt social revolution

  • Police reports on peasant “mood” & expectations
  • Upsurge in peasant disturbances
  • Alarmist reports of nobility

b. Critiques

  • Police exaggeration, poor information
  • Upsurge followed public decision
  • Fear among squires, not government officials
police reports on peasant mood
Police Reports on Peasant Mood

Rumors about changes in their status, which began to circulate about there years ago throughout the whole Empire, have created tension between landlords and serfs, for whom this matter represents a question of life or death.” (1857)

“As the landlords put it, the peasants have stretched out their hands and will simply not be pacified. Most of them understand freedom in the vulgar sense of being free to do whatever they wish, with no laws or restrictions; and they are convinced that the land and their houses belong to them.” (1858)

police reports on peasant mood10
Police Reports on Peasant Mood

First Serf: “They say that we will soon be free.”

Second Serf: “Probably like the state peasants.”

First Serf: “No, that’s just it—completely free. They won’t demand either recruits or taxes; and there won’t be any kind of authorities. We will run things ourselves.”

c why emancipation12
C. Why Emancipation?

3. Triumph of Western Humanitarianism

a. Argument

  • Widespread dissemination of values, ideas
  • Strong impact on gosudarstvenniki

b. Critique

  • Ideas around for long time, but why now?
  • Actually not shared by the rank-and-file nobility
police report on gentry attitudes toward serfs 1857
Police Report on Gentry Attitudes toward Serfs (1857)

“The majority of the gentry believe that our peasant is too uncultured to understand civil law; that, in a state of freedom, he would be more vicious than any wild beast; that disorders, plundering, and murder are almost inevitable; and that in many provinces—especially along the Volga—the terrible times of the Pugachev Rebellion are recalled.”

c why emancipation14
C. Why Emancipation?

4. Crimean War Debacle

a. Motives

  • Psychological shock of defeat
  • Wartime memoranda

b. Why Focus on Serfdom?

  • Barrier to universal military training
  • Lack of infrastructure, esp. railways
  • Key to social and economic backwardness
  • Cause of state insolvency, financial collapse and defeat

c. Larger Ideology: Emancipation (raskreposhchenie) of all society

wartime memoranda zapiski
Wartime Memoranda (Zapiski)

Westerner Kavelin: “Most people are convinced that Russia’s natural conditions should make it one of the richest countries in the world; yet it would be hard to find another state where there is less capital, where poverty is so ubiquitous among all the classes of people.”

Slavophile Iurii Samarin: “We were vanquished not by the foreign armies of the Western alliance, but by our own internal weaknesses, which are due to serfdom.”

d actors
D. Actors
  • Arbitrator: Alexander II
  • Abolitionists:
      • Military
      • Liberal gosudarstvenniki (N. Miliutin et al.)
      • Courtiers (GD Konstantin Nikolaevich, GD Elena Pavlovna
      • Compliant officialdom: Rostovtsev and Panin
      • Obshchestvo: public opinion
  • Anti-abolitionists
      • Bureaucratic elites
      • Police
      • Provincial Gentry
e politics of emancipation
E. Politics of Emancipation
  • Emancipation denied (1855-Mar. 1856)
  • Commitment, secrecy (Mar. 1856-Nov. 1857)
  • Engineering Assent (Nov. 1857-1858)
      • Nazimov Rescript and aftermath (Nov 1857)
      • Public response
  • Reform from Above (1859-61)
      • SPB: Main Committee, Editorial Committee
      • Gentry Rebellion: provincial deputies to SPB
      • Final Revisions, Promulgation 1861
f terms of emancipation
F. Terms of Emancipation

1. Volia (personal freedom)

  • Land
      • 3-stage mechanism: inventories, “temporary obligations”, and “Redemption”
      • Land shares and terms
  • Commune
  • Conclusions
geographic patterns of cutoffs
Decreased:

Yellow: under 20%

Pink: 20-40%

Brown: over 40%

Increased:

Green: under 20%

Purple: over 20%

Geographic Patterns of Cutoffs
g reaction to emancipation
G. Reaction to Emancipation
  • Radical intelligentsia
  • Nobility: from dismay to liberalism
  • Peasantry: from disbelief to disobedience
i conclusions
I. Conclusions
  • Decision by the state and for the state
  • Strong constraints (fiscal, social, political)
  • New politics
  • Long, complex, conflicted process
  • Political, not economic, decision
  • Gradualism: adoption, implementation