To what extent did reforms made by Alexander II improve the status of Russian peasants? (Depth Study 2)

  • Created by: Lizz2002
  • Created on: 29-10-20 11:21
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  • To what extent did Alex II's reforms improve the status of peasants?
    • The Emancipation Edict of 1861
      • The serfs were now free to marry whoever, own property, and start businesses
      • Landowners had to grant a portion of their land to each peasant
        • Peasants were only given 4 dessiatins, when they needed 5 to feed themselves
        • Peasants had to also pay a redemption tax for 49 years at 6% interest
      • State serfs were given more land but freed in 1866, and household serfs were freed with no land
    • Opposition from Landowners
      • Many were unhappy and financially ruined by the edict
      • 2/3 or landowners had already mortgaged their land, so the redemption tax was used to pay off debts
      • Estates were unprofitable so most sold their land. In 1905, nobles owned 40% less land than in 1861
    • Opposition from Peasants
      • Peasants had less land and had to pay a tax higher than the actual value
      • Growth of population lead to a land shortage
      • The Mir was still in control and reallocated land regularly so they were no incentive to improve the land
      • There was an increase in peasant revolts
    • Did this help industrial development?
      • NO, peasants remained poor so they couldn't buy consumer goods = no market. They were also tied to the land by the Mir and taxes so there wasn't enough workers to industrialise


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