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Imrerial Russia - Essay Example

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Individuals in the Russian Empire were mostly segregated into what became to be known as the social estates or sosloviyes. In particular, subjects of this Empire during this time were grouped into the following; the clergy, nobility, merchants, peasants and Cossacks…
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Imrerial Russia
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Imrerial Russia

Download file to see previous pages... Caucasus was composed of areas such as Bashkirstan, Tartarstan, Central Asia as well as Siberia.
A considerable proportion of the population within the Empire belonged to the peasant group which accounted for about 81.6 percent of the total population within the Empire. The other category was composed as follows; Clergy which accounted for 0.9 percent, nobility, accounted for about 1.3 percent, merchants and burghers all of whom accounted for approximately 9.3 percent of the total population within the Empire. The military on the other hand accounted for about 6.1 percent. According to Resnick and Richard (76) it is estimated that more than 88 million individuals were peasants during this time. Of this group, approximately 10,447,149 were males all of whom were formally serfs while the remaining group was the state peasants. Statistics further indicate that this group was about 9,941,891 males and the type of peasants domain accounted for about 842,740 according to the Empire statistics of the year 1858.
One of the major changes that the Russian society underwent in the year 1861 was the famous emancipation of the serfs. It is imperative to note that the problem of serfdom was spread throughout the entire Empire. By mid 19th century, it had become apparent for the rulers within this Empire that this problem could not be ignored in the event that Russia wanted to be modernized and reformed as argued by Resnick and Richard (153). In this regard, the issue of the serfs being freed took center stage throughout the entire Empire. Hence, against this backdrop, serfdom was abolished by Tsar Alexander II during this year. Evidence from literature indicates that Czar Alexander actually managed to emancipate about 44 million peasants from the state oppression. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that the said Czar knew very well that the only way for Russia to the rest of the world was indeed ready for modernization and was through the abolishment of such a system of oppression.
Though the move was noble, it caused several problems within the Empire. This was further aggravated by the fact that majority of the freed peasants were uneducated. One of these problems was that the land provided to this group was actually quite small in comparison to what they had been allocated as plots when they were serfs to the Empire. In a nutshell, each plot averaged about 8 acres which was a far cry of what was being offered to them after their indictment. Other than ensuring that the serfs were emancipated in mainland Russia, Czar Alexander was also concerned with this problem in Georgia. The process of liberating the serf in Georgia called for delicate negotiations to ensure that he did not loose the much earned nobility loyalty and whose leadership power greatly depended on the readily available labor from the serfs . The other challenge which the Czar was faced with was finding a workable solution that would be agreeable to the land-owners within the Empire. However, from the evidence provided above, it is justifiable to state that he failed in this issue of land ownership. Although he eventually succeeded in liberating serfs in Georgia as well, his inability to solve the land problem brought more harm than good. Most notably, he brought them under the colonization of their landlords since most of them still had to work for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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