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September 25 - Life on the Noble Country Estate

September 25 - Life on the Noble Country Estate - State and...

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State and Society in Imperial Russia September 25, 2007 Life on the Noble Country Estate Noble rights and obligations – 18 th century o Peter the Great made lifelong service a part of a noble’s duty Either in the military or at the emperor’s court o Cadet school, Gentry bank Graduates of the cadet school can enter military service at a higher rank o Sole serf-holding estate Nobility becomes the only class that can hold serfs Merchants and church members have to sell their serfs o 1762 – “Emancipation of the nobility” Nobles no longer had to serve the state Disruption of the service aspect of society Creates a larger divide between peasant and noble classes o Khuchevsky argues the serfs should have been emancipated also o Noble charter of 1785 Catherine the Great enables the nobles to preside over provincial life Her attempt to reinvigorate rural life with these official charters has very limited success Territorial distribution of nobility o Capitols: Petersburg, Moscow Most nobles had primary residences in the capitols o Black Earth, Volga Lots of nobles lived in these regions because the soil is very fertile o Nobles did not move to the north or to Siberia Soil is not good o South: labor services Economic differentiation o 5,000+ serfs = fabulously rich o
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