Fortress peasants and serfdom in Russia

What is serfdom? This is a feudal right to the person, property and work of people working for the feudal lord. In other words, it is dependence on the owners owning the land. Serfdom has existed for several hundred years.

The establishment of serfdom in Russia played a role in the history of the Russian state. It arose as a result of the clash of feudal landlords and their subordinates in the 14-15 centuries. Peasants were legally attached to the land, in connection with which they carried out reforms of their economic coercion.

The origins of this phenomenon are deeper.

In the 9th century, a feudal state was formed in Russia . People were divided into two classes - a class of peasants who were also called smerds, and a class of feudal lords. Serf peasants were subjected to coercion and violence, were disenfranchised and defenseless. This was called feudal dependence. People from the lower class did not possess anything but their own lives, for the feudal lord was not only the labor of a servant, but his personality and his property.

At that time, the Russian state was not unified and consisted of many small areas, each with its own laws and regulations. They were strictly controlled by local authorities. The serfs were simple peasants who lived on the land, cultivated it and at the same time depended entirely on landowners-feudal lords. There were no specific laws on the life and duties of commoners.

In the 16th century there was already some easing on the part of the ruling power of the lands, people began to live more freely. So much so that they had the right to leave their land and move to live and work for any other feudal landlord. The condition of this transition was the payment of debts and fees for the fact that they lived on the land of the previous owner.

Later, social relations and the class struggle became more acute. It was necessary to tighten the laws to give the feudal lords the uncontested rights to own wage-workers. This was a turning point and the transition to an offensive against the existing rights of serfs. From that moment they had no right to change their masters-feudal lords at will and at any time. The exception was only once a year (one week before St. George's day). It was at this time, on specific days, that they had to settle with the landowners before they left.

In the middle of the 15th century, serfs learned one more heavy share. They were accused of a serious crime - escape if they wanted to go from one feudal lord to another. The state thus consolidated the existing social order.

At the end of the 1570s, a new problem arose: shortage of workers. By that time, the day was officially canceled. The government, being on the side of the ruling circles, decided to help the landowners and organized special events that guaranteed more landlords more hands. So there was a cruel and cruel establishment of serfdom in Russia. The government finally abolished the right to free transfers.

In 1601-1603 years. In Russia there was a famine, a flourishing chaos of the "masters of life," and the powerlessness of the poor strata of society increased. The first peasant war begins. Serfs could no longer tolerate bullying them. The tension in society was growing.

The government of Shuisky decided to tighten sanctions for escapes and extended the time for searching fugitives to fifteen years. Serfdom began to be inherited. Fugitive people under the law no one had the right to take to themselves. From this moment, serfs are involuntary people who, apart from the right to work, did not have other rights.

The next stage in the history was the beginning of the peasant war (1670-1671), which was headed by Stepan Razin. However, this war was also lost, and Stepan Razin was executed.

During the reign of Peter I the serfs were completely enslaved. Catherine II tightened the existing regime even more. Nevertheless, serfdom began to lose its position due to the indignation of the captive people who could no longer tolerate an unbearable life. Alexander II proclaimed the liberation of the peasants from the existing dependence. He reformed and signed the Manifesto, which abolished serfdom.

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