Rus News Journal

Slaves to the educated Europe

150 years ago in Russia the serfdom has been cancelled. The serfdom in Russia was one of the heaviest in Europe, and its cancellation has been spent later, than in many other countries. And still Russia was not the unique country where the slavery prospered. Many countries of Europe released peasants, and everywhere clearing was accompanied by the big shocks as conditions of talent of freedom did not arrange neither farmers, nor land owners.

the second edition with corrections
the Serfdom in Europe entered and cancelled, and in some countries the such occurred several times. Personal dependence of peasants on seigneurs existed from the early Middle Ages though many grain-growers still kept freedom. In some countries dependent peasants were called servami, that is all bases were slaves, and for this purpose. The power of the land owner over servami was absolute: often the peasant could not marry without the permission of the owner. Servy processed the domonical earth, paid a quitrent and executed set of different duties, since works on repair of master`s constructions and finishing military service under banners of the seigneur.

it was favourable to knights to have own earth while serf workers was much, and their work was absolutely free. But in the middle of XIV century grandiose epidemic of a plague, vykosivshaja about half of population of Europe has burst. Peasants became less, and work of their beginnings to be appreciated highly enough. Feudal lords have started to entice actively another`s serfs that has led to occurrence of the present labour market. Farmers tried to escape now from severe seigneurs and to be beaten to the owners giving to them of more freedom. As a result by XV century in France, England, in the west of Germany and in many other areas of peasants has almost ceased to drive on corvee - works for the mister. In France, for example, corvee was gradually reduced about ten days in a year. Farmers processed now the plots and paid to misters a quitrent. Peasants yet did not become free, but any more were not slaves. So in Europe the first time serfdom cancellation has taken place, and its plague, Black Death, equally terrible for peasants and noblemen has cancelled. Since then and it was moved: cancellation of a serfdom every time was accompanied by shocks and accidents from which all estates suffered.

in XVI century in the Western Europe personal dependence of peasants considerably oslabla, and the most radical way has gone England. On continent demand for wool has grown, and English land owners have started to drive actively peasants from the earths to transform arable lands into the sheep pastures. Under Thomas Mora`s art remark, sheep have eaten people and the peasants who have remained without plots, have gradually turned to farm laborers, tramps or leased the earth and have turned to prosperous farmers. Trade in wool brought in to English noblemen the considerable income, but grain manufacture in the country has sharply fallen. Now Englishmen have been compelled to import grain, and every year it should be imported more and more. Land owners of the Eastern Europe were ready to deliver grain to Foggy Albion, however level of agricultural culture in their estates was low enough. As a result German, Danish, Polish and Austrian noblemen still had only one way to earn more money: to increase a domonical arable land and to force peasants to work on it day and night. As a result in east part of Europe the half-forgotten serfdom, and in such forms has revived that new serfs could envy medieval servam.

One of the first on a way the second edition of a serfdom there was Rech Pospolitaja. The earths at the Polish magnates was much, and people sufficed, because the Black Death has avoided pool of Vistula. SHljahta gradually curtailed the country rights while in 1503 to peasants have not forbidden to pass from one mister to another. To the middle of XVI century the Polish peasant spent on corvee five - six days in a week, and many and at all lost the plots and lived at the expense of a ration which is given out by the owner. Sirs had the right to punish, deprive of property and even to kill the lackeys. Imperial diplomat Gerbershtejn noticed that in Poland the people are pity and oppressed by heavy slavery for if who accompanied by crowd of servants enters into dwelling poseljanina it can create with impunity everything, everything, to plunder and beat . The Polish intellectual of XVI century Andrzej Modzhevsky with it agreed: If shljahtich will kill hlopa says that has killed a dog for shljahta considers kmetov (peasants. - money ) for dogs . The royalty in republic of noble family was nominal so to find a justice on the ungirdled feudal lords it was impossible.

Similar usages have soon extended and in the German earths to the east from Elba. Prussia, Pomorze, Mecklenburg and Golshtinija, as well as Poland, had an exit to Baltic sea and could deliver grain to England, Holland and France so, local peasants have been doomed to serf bondage. In particular position of German farmers has worsened after the Thirty-year war storming with 1618 for 1648. Many areas of Germany have become deserted, and landowner economy have started to test an acute shortage of hands. If at the time of Black Death obezljuzhivanie has led to serfdom easing in a XVII-th century noblemen, on the contrary, have twirled nuts. From peasants took away plots, and them transformed into semislaves deprived of civil rights. In Mecklenburg and some other areas of the Lord had the right to sell the peasants without the land that reduced grain-growers to personal estate level.

the reason is obvious: economy of a XVII-th century of noble family have been focused on a foreign market while home market of the German states was narrow and nerazvit. Peasants could not realise expensively the production so, and the monetary quitrent would be insignificant. Where it was more favourable to deprive of peasants of plots and the rights and to force them to work on a domonical field, then to sell the grown up bread to Holland or England.

gradually the serfdom has affirmed as Habsburg earths and in Hungary. Even in France where about personal dependence of peasants had time to forget, the laws strengthening judicial authority of seigneurs over agricultural population were passed.

meanwhile in Europe the century of Education shone, and new ideas promptly gained confidence. More and more people came to a conclusion that the serfdom is incompatible with Voltaire and Russo`s ideals.

the emperor of reorganisation
In a XVIII-th century separate attempts to improve position of peasants from time to time were undertaken. So, in 1719 Prussian king Fridrih Wilhelm I has released the peasants belonging personally to it. However the first scale reform has begun only in 1780 - e years in Habsburg empire. During that time emperor Joseph II has started scale reorganisation which hardly has not led to full disorder of its state in the country.

Joseph II has been crowned by the emperor of Sacred Roman empire in 1765, but till 1780 of rules together with mother - empress Maria Tereziej. The future emperor was the person obstinate and capricious. my son, - Maria Terezija wrote, - too indulged from the date of its birth, too conceded to its requirements and whims. He has got used, that all implicitly obeyed it. Any contradiction irritates him . The emperor has been assured that its any idea can be immediately realised, even if the monarchical will will contradict all traditions and empire foundations. Thus it was full of determination to reorganise the power according to ideas of Education. Joseph II wrote: I intend to put philosophy zakonodatelnitsej my state; on the basis of its principles Austria should receive absolutely new kind. Internal management of areas subject to me demands a sweeping change: privileges, fanaticism and intellectual oppression should disappear, each of my citizens will have born to it the natural rights . A sovereign did not doubt that as a result of its reforms there will be a new society, in which all citizens will be considered as brothers, trying to help feasibly each other .

the emperor has started to put into practice The program, still being sopravitelem mothers. In 1765 he has forbidden noblemen of Czechia and Moravia to subject the peasants of the death penalty. When in 1772 after Rechi Pospolitoj Avstrija`s first section has received Galicia where Polish shljahta addressed with the Ukrainian peasantry as with draught cattle, the interdiction for murders has been extended and to this area. Moreover, in 1775 in Galicia shljahte have forbidden to beat peasants and to take away from them property.

after Maria Terezii`s death in 1780 Joseph II thoroughly undertook empire modernisation, but each new decree created to itself new enemies. The emperor has softened censorship and has closed some monasteries therefore has restored against itself clergy. He has decided to make German language state and has dismissed from public service of all persons who were not speaking in this language, than has caused irritation in the Hungarian, Flemish and Italian nobility. At last, he has decided to release peasants, and has incited against itself all nobility of empire. In 1781 after in Galicia have tortured the next serf, the emperor has forbidden to sell peasants without the land, and then and at all declared equality of all citizens of empire and about clearing of peasants of a serfdom. In the western areas of power of Habsburgs the bondage was replaced with so-called moderate citizenship. It meant that peasants on - former should obey landowners and were subject to their court, but now they could redeem the plots and become free.

for application of a rack and kolodok now raised the penalty at a rate of 50 dukatov. In 1788 from one galitsijskogo the landowner have collected in favour of peasants of 2497 guldens of 27 crones from whom it was necessary to pay 504 guldens for an illegal flogging. In total peasants have received 252 blows by a birch from the barin, and for each blow the petty tyrant had to pay on 30 crones.

the empire Nobility has been revolted by similar violation of the century rights, and the peasantry has started to grumble. Grain-growers dreamt of outright release with the earth, and many have been assured that the kind emperor has already allocated them both the rights, and the earths, but landowners hide its decrees. The situation in Transylvania where the orthodox Romanian population suffered under oppression of the Hungarian landowners - Catholics, and at all began to leave from - under control.

all Began peacefully enough. Joseph II adored travel and for years of the reign has travelled all over almost all Europe, including Russia where together with Catherine II admired potemkinskimi villages. In 1783 the architect of the Austrian reorganisation has arrived to Transylvania to communicate to the people. Peasants have fallen to his feet and in paints have described the misadventures then the emperor straight off declared serfdom cancellation in edge. Joseph II has left to Vienna, and changes in Transylvania and have not begun. In 1784 the Romanian peasant by name of Horija declared that the emperor has personally charged to it to lift revolt against the Hungarian nobility, and in Transylvania the bloody revolt, costing lives to many noblemen has flashed. Revolt has been suppressed, Horija and its nearest associates chetvertovany, but Joseph II in 1785 nevertheless has extended serfdom cancellation to east areas of empire.

reforms embittered nobility and other estates more and more. In 1789 revolt in Brabant has begun, and soon all Belgium left citizenship gabsburgskoj crowns. Joseph II has tried to tax the Hungarian nobility and by that has put the power on a side of civil war. Only sudden illness of the emperor has rescued the state from disintegration. On the deathbed Joseph II has suddenly cancelled all reformatory decrees, except laws on serfdom abolition. On February, 20th, 1790 the emperor has died, and the Austrian reorganisation has come to the end.

This shame of mankind
If in gabsburgskoj monarchy the epoch of changes has ended, in France it only began. In August, 1789, in some days after Bastile falling, the revolutionary Constituent assembly has accepted the decree About destruction of the feudal rights and privileges . According to the French reformers, the personal duties of peasants symbolising their dependence on seigneurs, were subject to immediate cancellation without the repayment, and here for the duties connected with possession by the earth, peasants should pay. The tax to lock protection, road duties and a number of other requisitions concerned personal duties the tax from cattle slaughter. Peasants paid for using the earth the qualification, that is the fixed rent, and shampar - a share from the annual income. And the qualification, and shampar were subject to the repayment. The peasant could redeem the site together with all duties, at a time having paid the sum, equalling to its payments for 30 years forward.

At the majority of peasants of such money was not, so the offered variant of reform not too was pleasant to them. Noblemen and at all first have not given value to the decree of revolutionaries and the cancelled payments indifferently continued to demand. As a result on the country the wave of country revolts in which course revolted pejzane broke weather vanes with zamkovyh towers has swept with winter of 1790 and burnt down documents in which registered who and how many should pay to the seigneur. Massacre of aristocrats yet was not, but peasants have been adjusted rather seriously. One insurgent, for example, has declared, stirring slowly with a poker in the huge fire dissolved in a court yard of the grasped lock: I would like to have here all noblemen and priests, I with pleasure would roast them and would hold on fire while from them would not remain any traces .

repayment Conditions were rather favourable to noblemen, and danger of country punishment was real, and still noblemen in the weight rejected vigorously possibility of reform. The Russian public figure of a XIX-th century prince Vasilchikov wrote about position in France of that time: If pomestnoe the nobility has accepted these bases (reforms) and frankly promoted to their application it would leave not only is safe, but also with javnoju vygodoju from crisis threatening to it. But instead of putting diligence to carrying out of social reforms, it has begun to yell a voice great, confused all aristocratic classes of the Old World, about grabitelstve and infringement of the property rights and instead of counteracting on places, in a province to hobbies of blood-thirsty terrorists, ran abroad and has taken up arms against the fatherland . The emigrant property has been expropriated and sold by small sites so noblemen the flight have helped carrying out of rather radical land reform.

it would Seem, peasants have won a victory, but not here - that was. Against France all Europe has taken up arms, and the same peasants had to perish on fields of battles within the next twenty years.

however, first France successfully smashed the enemies and exported revolution to the adjacent countries. A wind of changes of barrels across all Europe, and soon reforms have begun even there where them least expected, - in Prussia.

Prussian landowners, cadets, possessed a monopoly on possession of the landed property. The cadet had judicial authority over all inhabitants of its ancestral lands, even over those who was not the serf, and the advanced Prussian science of that time asserted that the serfdom is in itself an initial condition of peasants also that The landowner power in essence to the is unlimited .

And still in Prussian kingdom there were the people considering that further so cannot proceed. It were professors Kenigsbergsky universiteta and the bureaucrats got by spirit of education. So, professor Shmalts called to cancel the serfdom, this shame of mankind and economist Albrecht Taer advised to spend an agrarian reform in English spirit.

the minister of trade, the industry and the finance a baron a background und tsum Stein too hoped to reconstruct a Prussian economy on the English sample. King Fridrih Wilhelm III, on the contrary, did not want anything to change and named Stein the impudent, obstinate and disobedient official. In January, 1807 the patience of the king has burst, and Stein was exiled, but for a short while. During that time Prussia waged war with Napoleon and already has had time to suffer terrible defeat under Yen. In the summer of 1807 it became clear that Prussia is completely crushed. On conditions of the world the country has lost half of possession and should pay the enormous contribution. In these conditions the king has called Stein`s background and has charged to it to generate a new office. It was supposed that a baron will apply economic nou - hau and will deduce kingdom from crisis.

serfdom cancellation became one of Stein`s first laws. Peasants any more were not considered as citizens of the misters, however actually in their position has changed nothing, because all duties have held good. The former serfs have not felt any oblegcheny, and cadets have been deeply revolted by that someone climbs in their affairs. In 1808 Stein`s enemies have informed Napoleon that a baron plans revolt against France, and the emperor of Frenchmen has demanded from Fridriha Wilhelm III to displace the prime minister - the reformer. Stein ran to Austria, and then to Russia, and reforms have decayed.

in 1810 to Prussian peasants have allowed to redeem duties under the agreement with the landowner. The peasant should pay the repayment for 25 years or give to the landowner from third to half of ground area. Certainly, on such conditions almost anybody from peasants could not be redeemed, and serfdom cancellation remained a mere formality. Prince Vasilchikov has neatly characterised clearing of peasants on - prusski enough: This process was long and heavy, as well as everyones speculation of the German thinkers .

Iron and blood
After Napoleon`s defeat in Europe reaction has triumphed, and in first two decades after the Viennese congress of the government and did not wish to hear about destruction of vestiges of feudalism. Austria which chancellor Metternih operated was considered as a stronghold of new European conservatism. The contemporary wrote about the Austrians of that epoch: the Local restrained and cheerful people live unperturbably, as a plant so nothing foretold future changes. Meanwhile Austria great shocks which the next country reform, as usual, has followed waited.

In 1846 in the world still there was an independent Polish state - tiny Krakow republic. Krakow became a haven of the Polish intellectuals dreaming of restoration by Rechi Pospolitoj. In 1846 the city - the state has turned to the present nursery of the Polish revolution. SHljahta the Austrian Galicia and Prussian Silesia it was ready to rise on the first call from Krakow, but Metternih has put a pre-emptive strike. The Austrian armies occupied Krakow and have dispersed revolutionaries. Insurgents have receded to Galicia, but here they were waited by a surprise. Agents of Metterniha have set a rumour afloat that Poles want to select freedom won at Joseph II at the Ukrainian peasants of a particle. In edge the Ukrainian revolt against the Polish insurgents, become history as Galitsijsky slaughter has begun.

peasants have killed about two thousand persons and have burnt some hundreds nests of noble family. Hearings went that the Austrian officials paid to the risen peasants for the cut off heads of Poles. It was, of course, exaggeration, however the leader of peasants of Jakub Shela following the results of revolt has been awarded by a medal and has received a farm on Bukovina.

and still to suppress revolution in a germ it was not possible. In 1848 all Europe was captured by excitements, and the Austrian authorities have understood that if not to cancel the serfdom rests from above, them will cancel from below. Besides the power, pitting Ukrainians against Poles, itself has accustomed peasants to undertake for vily and axes, it was impossible so to hesitate. In the spring of 1848 the government has cancelled corvee and other feudal duties in empire territory. And again reform has struck both on landowners, and on peasants. Land owners have lost a considerable part of the incomes, but thus the part of their duties has been shifted on shoulders of farmers.

Noblemen have not been obliged to give any more the grant to needing grain-growers, to represent the peasants on judicial proceedings, to pay for delivery of recruits to a service place, to help rural communities in case of occurrence of general and venereal diseases and etc. All these expenses now the peasants who have become the free should bear. Just as in France and Prussia, the part of duties should be redeemed. As in each area of scrappy empire the laws and customs operated, reform variants was much, and - it is even more bureaucratic mess. It is enough to tell that for reform carrying out three ministries - the finance, justice and internal affairs answered simultaneously. And all it occurred against excitements in cities, revolts in villages and civil war in Hungary.

under the pressure of revolution of 1848 of reform have begun in Prussia, Bavaria and other German earths. However, in Mecklenburg the serfdom has remained almost till the end of a XIX-th century, despite formal cancellation. Meklenburgsky backwardness became the talk of the town, and Bismarck as - that has noticed about it: If I have to endure a doomsday I will prefer to leave to Mecklenburg because here all occurs for hundred years later .

Following in turn on serfdom cancellation there was Russia. The lost Crimean war so the all-European tradition to grant a liberty under a cannonade thunder became a push to peasantry clearing was and here is observed. There were also revolts of the peasants assured that a sovereign could not impose with their heavy redemption payments and deprive of their best earths to please to landowners. There was also a discontent of noblemen which were not able and did not want to live without serfs. But all consequences of cancellation of a serfdom in a XIX-th century could not be counted.

Nobody could to expect, for example, that radical French reform becomes a brake on a way of development of economy of France. After great revolution in the country the economy occupying less of 5 hectares prevailed partselljarnye, that is small country. In the end of a XIX-th century 71 % of the French economy were such, but even they continued to be split up, because at inheritance the earth shared between brothers and sisters. To develop agrikulturu on such sites it was absolutely impossible, and the agriculture of France has fallen into decay. The poor peasantry meant narrow home market, and the French industry simply had no place to develop. But worst of all there was a birth rate recession, as the French peasants aspired to have as less as possible children not to split up the earth. With 1870 for 1900 the country population has increased all by 2 million while the population of Germany has grown on 15 million persons.

Austria too has suffered from the reforms. After landowners have been relieved of duties to help peasants, grain-growers have started to grow poor promptly. Country sites were split up, as well as in France, and poor men even more often searched happiness on foreign land. One only Galicias in the XX-th century beginning has left about 1 million persons.