First 242 words of the document:
Russia before 1881
World's largest state. Limited productivity - Different climates frozen to forest to desert.
Agriculture mainstay of economy. Grain to feed Population - almost doubled 31 81, and main export.
Immense natural resources but industrial development modest.
Tsar Court (landowners, members of gov) Businessmen Small class of industrial workers.
Most population peasants and serfs.
Serfs legally tied to the land owned by nobles. Not technically slaves. Worked or paid rent. Landowners had power.
Serfs could not leave land without permission. Nobles freed from state service 100 years before serf freedom.
Official religion was Russian Orthodox Church but many other religions and races.
Emancipation of the Serfs, 1861.
80% of population serfs. Serfdom seen as obstacle to Russia's modernisation. `subsistence agriculture' food
produced only for themselves. Little produce for export, low harvest = famine.
Alexander II abolished serfdom with imperial decree.
Not completely free. Owners of land had to be compensated by the state after losing serfs former serfs had to pay
`redemption payments' for 49 years.
Forced to live in `mirs' (communes) land held collectively. Elders administered land redistributed according to
To leave a mir, needed elder's permission obstructed Russian development no movement to towns. Also
obstructed agricultural development. Also rise in population = famines.
1864 first form of elective government introduced limited to educated and wealthy. Local governments = zemstva. Limited