• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did Emancipation solve the problems of the peasantry for Tsarist society?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent did Emancipation solve the problems of the peasantry for Tsarist society? The Emancipation Decree of 1861 gave Russian peasants the right to buy land and serfdom (the Russian equivalent of landed slavery) was abolished. The peasantry were land dwellers and agricultural workers, they made up 82% of the population. Tsarist society consisted of the tsar (emperor) who governed all Russia. Russia contained mainly peasants while the upper class constituted 12%, the working class 4%, the commercial class 1.5% and the ruling class just 0.5% of the population. The Emancipation Decree of 1861 was issued to solve the problems of decreased productivity because of an increasing population. It was also as a result of the Crimean War of 1855-56 which motivated Tsar Alexander II to introduce Emancipation to help the Russian State. ...read more.

Middle

The Ministry of Interior reported 647 peasant riots in the first four months and 70 peasants were killed by troops at Bezdna in 1861. Also, many peasants had to rent more land from nobles, often on similar terms as under serfdom. Peasants still had special courts and did not posses full citizen rights and also a massive population put pressure on the land. Therefore Emancipation did not change much for the peasants and actually increased the amount of discontent and this lead to a economic spiral downwards where agricultural production was not revolutionised as many gentry were indebted and peasants improvished. The effect on Emancipation on the nobility was huge because they had been totally unprepared for existing in a competitive society without the serfs to rely on. Part of the reason for the generous compensation terms they received was that the government rushed to ensure their survival as a moderating force in Russian society in order to counteract more radical groups. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example most peasant farmers did not produce a natural surplus as the state hoped would create an industrialised society. Also peasants did not form a strong market for industrial goods as they were burdened by redemption and other payments. In conclusion group of essentially subsistence peasant farmers cannot be turned into modern agriculturists at a stroke. Such modernisation required more than just ridding the serfs of their domination by the nobility. It required a radical change in the social and economic structure and in the attitude of the peasantry towards these structures. The Tsar was not in a position to implement or to offer such a change, even if the peasants had been willing and able to accept it. Therefore the Emancipation act of 1861 had a far-reaching effect on Tsarist society by not solving the problem of the peasantry because of the economic, social and political effects. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Why slavery was abolished

    This turned many people against slavery and Olaudah soon found he working with the likes of Wilberforce. He also helped slaves gain their freedom and brought cases like the zong to the public's attention. Some people like Elizabeth Heyrick only played a small part in the abolition but they still got something done.

  2. Report to the Tsar, 1904

    These strikes have been united and very well co-ordinated, and this is the main problem. At the moment they are only striking over pay, which is punitive. If however, they were to start striking about political views and values, I dread to think what would happen.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work