The Late-Tsarist period in Russia is popular in the state’s history in that it was during this time that serfdom was abolished, that is around the early 1860s. Before this era, serfdom was legal and practiced in the traditional Russian systems. Serfdom was an ideology of the late 1640s which gave to landowners the power to override the lives of their peasant serfs (workers) as long as they lived on their land. Serfdom’s legal powers included denial of movement from the landlord’s place, and freedom in acquiring as much service as a landlord could demand. Thus defined, it can be concluded that it was a form of slavery. It is for these reasons that the following study text will evaluate the aftereffects of the 1861 emancipation, and what Russia became after it.
Serfdom was put to an end after it was evident that it contributed to Russia’s lagging behind of the wider European shift to the industrial and commercial ages. This was attributed to Russia’s remaining socially and economically behind because they perceived of the western changes as “unacceptable” ideologies. It was later in the decade that Russia realized that serfdom was responsible for its civil disorders, industrial poverty, overpopulation, food inadequacy, and military incompetence. It was for these reasons that tsar Alexander II called to an abolishment of the act as a means of strengthening Russia. This was, for instance pushed by the need to have a stronger and larger army to fight in the Crimean War unlike the previous one which only had serfs as military men .
As expected, the peasant population was seemingly the biggest gainer of the emancipation that they could enjoy the freedoms equal to everyone in Russia, including freedom of movement, land ownership, and participating in all other economic or social activities of their choice. Generally, the participation of the peasants in wider Russian activities as opposed to serfdom saw Russia gain about 4.6% economic growth in a decade’s time after the emancipation, and it never slacked henceforth.
This achievement can be attributed to one, the peasants engaged in intensive commercial farming, and owing to their large numbers powered by the motivation to develop their statuses; they boosted the agricultural sector by a large margin. Two, peasants could work anywhere, and with time, they gained experience and the number of people who could take up bigger management roles in industries and large corporations increased; thus an equivalent increase in the rate of productivity. Three, peasants could now make individual decisions regarding any aspect of their lives and selling/ purchasing was boosted by this. By largely participating in buying and selling, trade became more vibrant in Russia, and with it came the vibrations of a better, more competent economy. These factors combined, Russia was justified to make a turn for the better .
The emancipation had two aftereffects; change and continuity as well....