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Sun, 03.03.1861

The Emancipation Reform of Russia is Enacted

*The Emancipation Reform of Russia was enacted on this date in 1861. also known as the Edict of Emancipation of Russia, it was the first and most important of the liberal reforms enacted during the reign of Emperor Alexander II of Russia.

The reform effectively abolished serfdom throughout the Russian Empire. The 1861 Emancipation Manifesto proclaimed the emancipation of the serfs on private estates and the domestic (household) serfs. By this mandate, more than 23 million people received their liberty. Serfs gained the full rights of free citizens, including the right to marry without gaining consent, own property, and own a business. The Manifesto prescribed peasants would be able to buy land from the landlords. Household serfs were the least affected: they gained only their freedom and no land.

The serfs were emancipated in 1861, following a speech by Tsar Alexander II on March 30, 1856. In Georgia, the emancipation took place later, in 1864, and on much better terms for the nobles than in Russia. State-owned serfs (those living on and working on Imperial lands) were emancipated in 1866.

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