Reason for Emancipation of the Serfs

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  • Created by: Spuddey
  • Created on: 23-12-13 14:57


  • Serfdom prevented modern agriculture so:
    • Left Russia poor 
    • And behind other European countries
  • Serfdom prevented growth of industry
  • Peasants were more productive in areas where peasants were able to engage in paid work
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  • Abolition was the only way to stop peasant results
    • had been 1467 since 1800
  • Russian social structure wasn't helping nobles (income failing)
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Crimean War

  • Defeat in Crimean War shows that army needed urgent reforms
    • But was hard to reform as most soldiers were serfs
  • Since serfs mostly worked in fields:
    • There was little labour for industry SO:
      • In Crimean War only 1 musket between every 2 soldiers
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Pressure from Intellectuals

  • Members of Intelligentsia argued that:
    • Owning and treating people like cattle was immoral
    • Detrimental to the moral fibre of upper classes, making them callous and apathetic
  • Some intellectuals believed Russia should be, like other European countries:
    • More westernized 
    • More economically stable
  • Educated Russians were outraged when they saw the rest of Europe compared to Russia
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Tsar's Personal Motives

  • Believed that part of his responsibilty involved:
    • enhancing the power and prestige of Russia
    • Restoring the dignity as a leading power in Russia
  • Believed that granting limited freedoms and reforms would help stimulate a more dynamic economy
  • Russia needed to move away from reliance on serfs in order to MODERNISE
  • Liked western culture
  • Believed Emancipation would help him rule in an enlightened manner
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