The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians

By Anatole L. Leroy-Beaulieu; Zaenaefde A. Ragozin | Go to book overview

BOOK VII. CHAPTER II.

Questions Raised by the Emancipation--Expectations and Disappointments of the Nobility--Agrarian Laws--Was it Possible to Free the Serfs without Giving them Lands?--Reasons and Conditions of the Territorial Endowment of the Peasants.

IT was, then, a national movement which, under the pressure of defeat, urged on emancipation from all sides. Should the nation take a direct part in it? Should the Tsar, like Catherine II., and with design better defined, call together the delegates of the different classes into a sort of States-General? Some thought he should. It was announced that, by way of compensation for the loss of their serfs, the nobility were to be given political rights, and that, out of the emancipation, would grow a constitution. This hope did much to enlist the landlords and the nobiliary assemblies in favor of the project. In spite of appearances, it is probably fortunate that things did not take this course; that the government did not invite the delegates of the nobility to deliberate and to pass laws, but only consulted them. On the question of the necessity of the emancipation, opinion was nearly unanimous throughout the empire; on that of ways and means, and that of the position to be given the peasants when free, there was in the public and in the government itself a very Babel of confused and discordant views. An elective assembly, numerous and tumultuous, would have had some trouble in sifting and clearing such a chaos. Then, to be equitable or impartial, an assembly should have included representatives of the opposed parties--of both serfs and landlords. The former could not be called upon to ordain their own future; yet it would have been unfair to leave

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The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • A Word from the Translator. iii
  • Author's Preface. Written Expressly for the American Edition. vii
  • Contents xiii
  • List of Maps xxi
  • Part I. the Country and Its Inhabitants xxiii
  • Book I. Nature, Climate, and Soil. 1
  • Book I. Chapter Ii. 15
  • Book I. Chapter Iii. 35
  • Book Ii. Races and Nationality. 54
  • Book Ii. Chapter Ii. 63
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iii. 77
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iv. 95
  • Book Ii. Chapter V. 122
  • Book III. the National Temperament and Character. 138
  • Book Iii. Chapter Ii. 161
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iii. 179
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iv. 195
  • Book Iv. History and the Elements of Civilization. 223
  • Book Iv. Chapter Ii. 241
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iii. 256
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iv. 282
  • Book V. the Social Hierarchy: the Towns and Urban Classes. 305
  • Book V. Chapter Ii. 322
  • Book V. Chapter Iii. 334
  • Book Vi. Nobility and Tchin. 346
  • Book Vi. Chapter Ii. 362
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iii. 381
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iv. 390
  • Book VII the Peasant and the Emancipation. 403
  • Book Vii. Chapter Ii. 422
  • Book Vii. Chapter Iii. 436
  • Book VII Chapter Iv. 450
  • Book VIII. Mir, Family, and Village Communities. 474
  • Book Viii. Chapter Ii. 486
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iii. 505
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iv. 521
  • Book Viii. Chapter V. 534
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vl. 548
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vii. 563
  • Index 581
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