The Emancipation of the Serfs in Russia: Peace Arbitrators and the Development of Civil Society, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Emancipation of the Serfs in Russia

Peace Arbitrators and the Development of Civil Society, 1st Edition

By Roxanne Easley


240 pages

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In the wake of the disastrous Crimean War, the Russian autocracy completely renovated its most basic social, political and economic systems by emancipating some 23 million privately-owned serfs. This had enormous consequences for all aspects of Russian life, and profound effects on the course of Russian history. This book examines the emancipation of the serfs, focusing on the mechanisms used to enact the reforms and the implications for Russian politics and society in the long term. Because the autocracy lacked the necessary resources for the reform, it created new institutions with real powers and autonomy, particularly the mirovoi posrednik, or 'peace arbitrator'. The results of this strategy differed in practice from the authorities’ original intentions. The new institutions invigorated Russian political life, introduced norms that challenged centuries-old customs and traditions, and fostered a nascent civil society, allowing Russia to follow the basic trajectory of Western European socio-political development.


Table of Contents

List of Tables Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Gamble on the Peace Arbitrator 3. Appointment of the Peace Arbitrators 4. The Peace Arbitrators in the Field 5. The Peace Arbitrators and Public Opinion 6. Conclusion: Beyond the Peace Arbitrator Bibliography

About the Author

Roxanne Easley is associate professor of history at Central Washington University. She has published articles in Slavic Review and Tolstoy Studies Journal on political culture during the Russian Great Reforms. She is presently preparing a manuscript on people of mixed ethnic heritage in Russian America.

About the Series

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General