What is the estate in the Russian Empire beginning of the XIX century?
Today in Russia there is no class division, it was abolished after the revolution, in 1917. And what is the estate in pre-revolutionary Russia, to which social groups did our ancestors belong, and what rights and obligations did they have? Let's see.
What is the estate in the Russian Empire?
A similar division of the people was official in pre-revolutionary Russia. And in the first place estates were divided into tax-paying and non-paying. Inside these two large groups existed their units and layers. The state has been granted certain rights to each class. These rights were enshrined in law. Each group had to perform certain duties.
So what is the estate? So in Russia it is possible to name the category of subjects, which enjoyed special rights and had its duties towards the state.
When did the classes appear in Russia?
Estates division began to arise from the time of the formation of the Russian state. Initially, it was a class group, not particularly distinguished among themselves in their rights. Transformations in the Petrine-Catherine epoch formed clearer class boundaries, but at the same time the difference between the Russian system and the Western European system was much wider possibilities of transition from one group to another, for example, through the public service.
The estates in Russia ceased to exist in 1917.
The main difference between classes in the Russian Empire
The main noticeable difference between them was their right to privilege. Representatives of the non-existent class had significant privileges:
- did not pay the cap;
- not subjected to corporal punishment;
- were exempted from military service (until 1874).
The unprivileged, or tax-paying, estate was deprived of these rights.
Privileged social groups
The nobility was the most honorable class of the Russian Empire, the foundation of the state, the support of the monarch, the most educated and cultural layer of society. And you need to understand that such a class was dominant in Russia, despite its scarcity.
The nobility class was divided into two groups: hereditary and personal.The first was considered more honorable and inherited. The personal nobility could be obtained in the order of service or a special highest award, and it could be hereditary (inherited by descendants) or life (did not apply to children).
Clergy- privileged class. It was divided into white (worldly) and black (monastic). According to the degree of priesthood, the ecclesiastical estate was divided into three groups: the bishop, the priest, and the deacon.
Belonging to the clergy was inherited by children, and could also be acquired by joining the white clergy of representatives of other social groups. The exception was the serfs without leave from the owners. The children of the clergy after they reached the age of majority retained their belonging to the clergy only if they entered the clergy. But they could elect and secular career. In this case, they had the same rights as the rights of personal nobles.
Merchants were also a privileged class. It was divided into guilds, depending on which merchants had various privileges and rights to trade and craft.Writing to merchants from other classes was possible on a temporary basis when paying guild duties. Belonging to this social group was determined by the size of the declared capital. The children belonged to the merchant class, but when they reached the age of majority they had to register themselves in the guild to acquire a separate certificate, or became burghers.
The Cossacks are a special semi-privileged military estate. The Cossacks had the right to corporate ownership of land and were exempt from duties, but pledged to bear military service. Belonging to the Cossack class was inherited, but representatives of other social groups could enroll in Cossack troops. Cossacks could reach the service of the nobility. Then belonging to the nobility was combined with belonging to the Cossacks.
Unprivileged social groups
Petty bourgeois - urban unprivileged taxed class. Tradesmen were necessarily assigned to a particular city, from which they could leave only with a temporary passport.They paid capitation tax, were obliged to bear military service, had no right to enter the public service. Belonging to the bourgeois class was inherited. Craftsmen and small traders also belonged to the petty-bourgeois class, but could improve their position. Artisans were recorded in the shop and become shop floor. Small traders with time could go into the merchant class.
The peasantry is the most numerous and dependent social group, deprived of privileges. The peasantry was divided into:
- government (owned by the state or the royal house),
- session (attributed to factories).
Representatives of the peasantry were attached to their community, paid a head-tax and were subject to execution of recruitment and other duties, and could also be subject to corporal punishment. However, after the reform of 1861, they had the opportunity to move into the city and sign up as a tradesman on the condition of buying real estate in the city. They used this opportunity: the peasant bought property in the city, became a tradesman and was exempted from part of the taxes, while continuing to live in the village and engage in farming.
At the beginning of the 19th century, by the time of the revolution and the abolition of the estate organization in Russia, many of the boundaries and divisions between sections of society had been visibly erased. The representatives of the estates had much more opportunities to move from one social group to another. Also, the duties of each class have undergone significant transformation.