Free cultivators - special class in Russia

Russia in the nineteenth century had to solve two important key issues.They have been on the agenda since the beginning of the century and concerned serfdom and autocracy.

Decisions of the Russian Tsar Alexander I

taken a number of attempts to somehow resolve the peasant question became topical.This, of course, relate primarily to the decrees of 1801 and 1803's.The first made it possible for Russian farmers on par with the other estates to buy their own land, thus destroying the existing monopoly of the nobility in the possession of the property.The second, which went down in history as the "Decree on the free cultivators", was intended to determine the order of emancipation or leave farmers with the land.Recent thus had to pay the landlords buy in installments, thereby obtaining the property of another and allotment.

fairness it should be noted that this decree benefited only a few units.At the same time the very operating system of serfdom, this measure had no effect.

During the reign of Alexander I was invited to a lot of options to deal with this rather complex, but urgent questions.Projects for the liberation of the peasants and offered Mordvinov Arakcheyev, Guriev and Kankrin.

peasant question

Despite the fact that since 1801 burghers, merchants and peasants government had been permitted to buy or sell empty lands, the current situation in Russia has been quite volatile.Every year it escalates.But serfdom thus became less effective.Moreover, this state of the peasants provoked murmurs not only with themselves.They were dissatisfied with the representatives of other classes.However, to abolish serfdom tsarist government nevertheless not solved: the nobility, being a privileged estate, which is considered the main pillar of the Emperor categorically do not agree with such radical changes.Therefore, the king had to compromise, maneuvering between the desire of the elite and the needs of the economy.

Year 1803 "decree on free cultivators┬╗

He was very important for Russia ideological significance.After all, it is the first in history was approved by the opportunity to liberate the peasants together with the land in retaliation for ransom.This position was the main component of the subsequent reform of 1861.Accepted twentieth February 1803 "decree on free cultivators" provided an opportunity for farmers to free both individually and whole villages, and with mandatory land allotment.For their will, they had to pay a ransom or execute service.If farmers obligations are not met, they were returned to the landowner.The estate, received will thus was called free.However, they went down in history as the free cultivators.Since 1848, they began to call state peasants.And they have become the main driving force behind the development of open spaces and resources of Siberia.

The implementation of the decree

By the mid-nineteenth century on the basis of this law has been released almost a hundred and fifty thousand peasant men.At the same time, historians believe that the results of the "Decree on the free cultivators," operated in Russia for more than half a century, were very small.

passed into a special class, "free tillers" and could now have to dispose of their land.They could carry obligations solely for the benefit of the Russian state.However, statistics for all time of the reign of Alexander in their ranks passed less than half a percent of the total number of serfs.

For example, from 1804 to 1805 in the region of Baltic peasants dvorohozyaevam though given personal freedom, but for provided them with plots of land of the landlords they had to continue to bear the guilt: and serfdom, and rents.Moreover, the free cultivators are not exempt from recruitment.


addition to the above reasons, to another edition of "Decree on free cultivators" was quite specific event.Count Sergei Rumyantsev, known for his radical views, he expressed his desire to release some of their serfs with land.At the same time he put forward the condition that the peasants had to pay for their own sites.It is with such a request Count Rumyantsev appealed to the emperor, that he allowed him to legitimize the deal.

This case became a prerequisite to the notorious Alexander issued a decree, after which in Russia and were free cultivators.

Points decree

in the law have been made ten points, according to which:

  1. landowner could enfranchise their peasants together with the land.At the same time he had to personally negotiate with its fortress on the conditions of redemption, and his alleged commitment.
  2. commitments around which to arrange, hand, handed down.
  3. If a farmer does not do them, he and his family had to return to earth in relation to the landlord.
  4. emancipation of the serfs had to be called free.
  5. free cultivators have the right to move in another class: to become artisans or traders, and so on. N.
  6. How tempered and state peasants were obliged to pay state tax.At the same time they had to perform compulsory military service.
  7. judge ought to cultivators in the same institution as the state of the peasant.
  8. remission of serfs who have fulfilled their obligations to landlords, freely dispose of their land holdings.They could also move to live in other provinces, advance notice to the Exchequer.
  9. free cultivators get the right state.
  10. If the land or the farmer he was laid, at the request of the former owner he took over the debt with the permission of the lender.

I must say that the landlord could not take advantage of obtaining the right, so the decree had only advisory in nature and not mandatory.