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Russian serfs tending the field
external image 7.%20pl.242.gifRussian peasents who won ther freedom in 1861


Russian Empire


We use alot of farming tools such as the plow and hoe to cultivate the fields. Although we are controlled by our lord he allows some of us to develop a trade. We also use the sattle when horseback riding and carriages to carry us around town.


We harvest the crops for our lord each year. In return he feeds us and gives us a home on his land. We have to pay various fees to he and his family, but he allows us to keep a percentage of his crops to eat. All of our clothes and our house is owned by the lord, when my mother has another child she has to pay the lord extra money for the baby to live with us in our home. Each night my family barley has enough food to eat, but my father insists that we will gain our freedom one day. Sometimes a few of us are allowed to go to war to fight for our lord if he allows us. The lord makes all the decisions for us, if we are to marry we must first get his approval.


Our religion is different based on where we live. Many of us actually had churches on our manors. Our lord would send a few of us just to serve the priest in the church. Our lord is allowed to sell our rights to a priest who we must serve. In russia we are primarily Eastern Orthodox.


  • Although it is common belief that serfdom is the same thing as slavery this is incorrect. We lease the land from the lord who in return provides us with food and protection. Although Serfs are considered the poorest social class in Russian society, we are not owned by the lords like slaves. We are allowed to eventually get our freedom and purchase the land if our lord allows.
  • In 1861 Alexander II sent out an emancipation Manifesto that freed all serfs in Russia. The land that was owned by our lord was forced to be sold to all of the serfs in the manor. The money was then sent to the government as a tax. This outraged the Nobility who feared we would rise against them in a revolution. On March 1, 1881 Alexander was travelling in a horse drawn carriage and killed with a bomb.
  • Once we obtained our freedom agricultural development began to decline. The Russian treasurys funds were low from the war, and all the arable land is divided between 23 million serfs. Before there were only 103 thousand nobles, we realize that by becoming free, we are now going to be in debt.

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