james36armstrong at hotmail.com
Mon May 14 07:58:51 BST 2007
To stimulate discussion and about land reform and help form our aims here
is a quote from the historian David Thomson's "Europe Since Napoleon"
"THE END OF SERFDOM IN RUSSIA
Four years before slavery was abolished in the United States, serfdom was
abolished in Russia.
The Imperial decree of emancipation gave the Russian peasants legal freedom
without economic freedom. They became subjects of the government.
Economic Conditions. Nor did emancipation lead to any marked improvements in
the methods or output of Russian agriculture. The government excluded
priests and former landowners from the Mir, and this left the supervising
authority exceptionally ignorant and unenterprising. For the next forty
years the land was still mostly cultivated in strips, and the time-honoured
methods were used to grow the traditional crops. No fresh wind of scientific
agriculture or progressive methods blew through the farmlands of Russia .
Each male child had a right to land, and the land of the mir had to be
divided periodically to provide for the new generation. A growing
population meant , for the most part, a decline in the number of strips
which each peasant held. As a man's holding shrank he had no incentive to
improve land that he might lose in the next redistribution. He ceased to
be able to live on his holding , unless he could get more land from some
.Great inequalities arose
..eighty percent of the money was advanced by the state and repaid by the
peasant to the state in instalments over many years
burden proved unbearable and by 1905 outstanding arrears had to be cancelled
in an effort to stave off revolution."
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