Emancipation reform of 1861
The Emancipation Reform of 1861 in Russia, also known as the Emancipation Edict of Russia, (
The 1861 Emancipation Manifesto proclaimed the emancipation of the serfs on private estates and of the domestic (household) serfs. By this edict more than 23 million people received their liberty. Serfs gained the full rights of free citizens, including rights to marry without having to gain consent, to own property and to own a business. The Manifesto prescribed that peasants would be able to buy the land from the landlords. Household serfs were the least affected: they gained only their freedom and no land.
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Prior to 1861 Russia had two main categories of peasants:[
Only those who were owned privately were considered
The rural population lived in households (dvory, singular dvor), gathered as villages (derevni; a derevnya with a church became a selo), run by a
Intensely insular, the mir assembly, the skhod (sel'skii skhod), appointed an elder (