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is, in fact, still going on. The arrangement was as follows:-The dues were capitalised at six per cent., and the Government paid at once to the proprietors four-fifths of the whole sum. The peasants were to pay to the proprietor the remaining fifth, either at once or in instalments, and to the Government six per cent. for forty-nine years on the sum advanced. The proprietors willingly adopted this arrangement, for it provided them with a sum of ready money, and freed them from the difficult task of collecting the dues. But the peasants did not show much desire to undertake the operation. Some of them expected a second emancipation, and those who did not take this possibility into their calculations were little disposed to make present sacrifices for distant prospective advantages which would not be realised for half a century. In most cases the proprietor was obliged to remit, in whole or in part, the fifth which was to be paid by the peasants. Many Communes refused to undertake the operation on any conditions, and in consequence of this not a few proprietors demanded the so-called obligatory redemption, according to which they accepted the four-fifths from the Government as full payment, and the operation was thus effected without the peasants being consulted. The total number of male serfs emancipated was about nine millions and three-quarters, and of these, only about seven millions and a quarter had already, at the beginning of 1875, made redemption contracts. Of the contracts signed at that time, about sixty-three per cent. were "obligatory."


* This does not include the domestic serfs, who did not receive land.

The serfs were thus not only liberated, but also made possessors of land and put on the road to becoming Communal proprietors, and the old Communal institutions were preserved and developed. In answer

to the question, Who effected this gigantic reform? we may say that the chief merit undoubtedly belongs to the Emperor. Had he not possessed a very great amount of courage he would neither have raised the question nor allowed it to be raised by others, and had he not shown a decision and energy of which no one suspected him to be capable, the solution would have been indefinitely postponed. Among the members of his own family he found an able and energetic assistant in his brother, the Grand Duke Constantinea man who would be remarkable in any sphere of life— and a warm sympathiser with the cause in the Grand Duchess Helena, a German Princess, thoroughly devoted to the welfare of her adopted country. But we must not overlook the important part played by the nobles. Their conduct was very characteristic. As soon as the question was raised, a large number of proprietors threw themselves enthusiastically into the work, and as soon as it became evident that emancipation was inevitable, all made a holocaust of their ancient rights, and demanded to be liberated at once from all relations with the serfs. And when the law was passed it was the proprietors who faithfully put it into execution. Lastly, we should remember that considerable merit is due to the peasantry for the patience and long-suffering which they displayed, as soon as they understood the

law. Thus it may justly be said that the Emancipation was not the work of one man, or one party, or one class, but of the nation as a whole.*

The names most commonly associated with the Emancipation are General Rostóftsef, Lanskói (Minister of the Interior), Nicholas Milútin, Prince Tcherkassky, G. Samarin, Kosheléf. Many others, such as I. A. Soloviéf, Zhukofski, Domontovitch, Girs, are less known, but did valuable work. To all of these, with the exception of the first two, who died before my arrival in Russia, I have to confess my obligations. The late Nicholas Milutin rendered me special service by putting at my disposal not only all the official papers in his possession, but also many documents of a more private kind. By his early and lamented death Russia lost one of the greatest statesmen which she has yet produced.




Difficulties-The Problem simplified-Direct Compensation-Indirect Compensation-One Good Result of the Emancipation-Four Systems of Farming with Free Labour-Which Systems are adopted-Present Condition of Estates in the Northern and Southern Zones-Prince Victor WassiltchikofA Typical Instance-Southern Section of the Black-Earth Zone-Sheepfarming and Mercanti di Campagna-Aridity of the Climate-Scarcity of Good Labourers-"Peasant Laziness"-General Conclusions.

THERE is, perhaps, no more difficult task for the social historian than that of describing clearly and graphically a chaotic period of transition when the old legal and social relations and the old modes of life have been ruthlessly swept away by a revolutionary or a legislative hurricane, and the new modus vivendi has not yet become clearly defined. And the difficulty is especially great if the transition process is still going on; for so long as it is uncertain what kind of stable order will be ultimately evolved from the fermenting chaos, it is almost impossible to distinguish the essential from the casual and to determine accurately the relative importance and real significance of the phenomena observed.

In beginning to speak of the results of the Emancipation, I am painfully conscious of this difficulty. The agrarian relations are still in a transitory, chaotic state, and it is impossible to predict with confidence what form they will ultimately assume. The Emancipation must

be regarded as a gigantic experiment in social science, and as an experiment which is still far from being terminated. The necessary ingredients have been put together, but Natura naturans has not yet played her part in the operation. All that I can do, therefore, is to describe the most important results already obtained, and give a few indications as to the probable future. And even in this modest task I must claim the reader's indulgence, for the materials which I have been able to collect are far from being complete. My own personal observations have been necessarily confined to particular localities, and the literature which exists on the subject is most crude and fragmentary. Though numerous descriptions of particular estates and particular localities have been already published in the periodical literature and elsewhere, no one has yet, so far as I am aware, made a serious attempt to group the multifarious facts described, and reconcile the conflicting statements of the witnesses.*

In the present chapter I shall consider the subject from the point of view of the landed proprietors.

I ought, perhaps, to except the oft-quoted official report of the Imperial Commission instituted in 1872 under the auspices of Mr. Valúyef, the Minister of Imperial Demesnes. As I took part in an unofficial capacity in the collection of the materials for this commission, I can bear testimony to the painstaking and conscientious efforts of at least one (Mr. Tchaslavski) of the members who were entrusted with the task of collecting the necessary information, and I have no doubt that the others fulfilled their duties in a similar spirit; but it seems to me that the conclusions of the committee are far from giving a complete and thoroughly trustworthy picture of the present agrarian condition of Russia. The report contains, however, much valuable material, and I gladly take this opportunity of expressing my thanks to Mr. Valúyef for his having kindly supplied me with a copy not only of the report, but also of the materials on which it is founded.

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