Difference between a slave and a serf

Difference between a slave and a serf

In Russia there was a clear distinction defined by the laws of the country between a serf and a slave which included

The law considered slaves as a form of property which was owned by the owner while a serf was considered to own the land which they occupied and were to be considered as subjects of the law. The owner of the land was not interested in where they acquired money to pay their rent. The serfs as compared to the slaves were allowed to form communities of their own and even toiled the lands to support themselves this was not the case for the slaves as their owners controlled everything they owned. A serf had the opportunity to buy back their freedom in while the slave did not have this privilege they were dependent to their masters

How serfs were binder to the land

The serfs were servants to the nobles which regarded them as wealth generators. The serfs were bound to the noble land or more precisely the nobles themselves, they were required to pay some form of taxation to the owners in form of labor “barshima” or money referred to as “obok”. The owners of the land allowed them to settle in the land but had complete control in their activities and could sell them with or without the land. At some point the military decided to incorporate the use of land as a form of payment to serfs who served in the military as they attached to their nobles who served. A portion of what they grew in their farms could be given to their lords which resulted in huge benefits for their lords

 Principle of joint responsibility

The serfs and the nobles were bound together by law but also their needs for one another cannot go unnoticed. The serfs had an obligation to pay to the lords either inform of land or inform of dues as the masters also had the responsibility to ensure that they had adequate food, land to live in and clothes. The serfs were the responsibility of their masters and could not go anywhere without permission from them. An increase in wealth for the nobles was a joint effort as they both invested in them owns lands which was beneficial to them both. According to the feudal contract the masters had the responsibility of protecting and ensuring justice to their serfs which in turn they also offer their services and also payment to the lords


Nikolai Karamzin

The two pillars according to him were serfdom and aristocracy, where when one of the pillar was disrupted in any way it could cause a disequilibrium in the society. This two groups depended on each other in order to not only survive but also growth. The process of emancipation would help to ensure that they both acquired something when they separated although it had unfavorable consequence on both sides. The two pillars are the peasants and the ruling class of nobility, even if not for their own benefits this groups were essential to the performance of the economy. He is known for having set up a commission comprising of nine members and nothing more. The findings of this commission came to be helpful later on during the abolition of serfdom

Terms of emancipation

Emancipation was a get way to freedom to the serfs. This meant the freedom to marry, own land or property without having to seek consent from the masters. He process was engineered by Tsar Alexander. The terms of the emancipation were more beneficial to the land owners as the government was convinced that the only way to end serfs uprising was to solve them from the top. He nobles were required to give and to the serfs, but the decision as to how they would give them and was left to them and they ended up keeping the best to themselves. The serfs were also required to pay the lords for 49 years at the rate of 5.5% which ended up with debts being carried from one generation to another. Although the sound of freedom was sweet and enticing the serfs paid a heavy consequence.

Emancipation of signorial serfs and state serfs

The beginning of emancipation was fueled by both political and economic factors. The 1789 decree which abolished the feudal rights of the nobility by Tsar Alexander. In his argument he said that it was easier to liberate them from above where they still had the advantage of time on their side rather than wait for a time where they would face uprisings from the peasants.

How serfdom changed in 1797

At this time serfdom changed as they bought their freedom or some of them escaped to cities where they could hide properly. The decline of serfdom begins due to lost legal protections in which abolition became normal. The law assured the serfs if one was able to eascape and id for one year and a day without being seen by their master they automatically gained their freedom. This saw a lot of serfs escaping

Marriage and divorce

A formal request has to be issued together with necessary documents like the marriage certificate and payment of the legal fees. A priest from the chance to try and reconcile the and revert the request. If the priest is unable to change their decisions a court hearing is conveyed and investigations conducted to help authenticate the bases of the request for divorce. The collected evidence is used to draft the divorce that is the request was accepted by the bishop who listened chances of a divorce were still minimal

Differences between “reproductionist” and” sacramentalist

The reproductionist aspect was fixed to the original purpose of marriages which was to procreate and fill the earth. The church had to find ways to make divorce hard to achieve and thus introduced the sacramentalist marriage where marriage was considered has a responsibility of commitment that the partners shared and they had to be professed and accepted in the Christian community. Sacramental were introduced by the church in a way to have people tied to a religion which would influence the decisions which they took.

Most documented grounds for divorce

The most documented grounds for divorce involved the emergence of the legal profession where lawyers defended their clients as agents with them not having to appear to the hearings. Bigamy and Serbian exile were the most reasons in which divorce was granted, these two were not affected by the new sacramental rules which were put in place to reduce divorce cases but still the chances were minimal upon review. The grounds shifted to adultery in the 20th century which increased the rates of divorce cases.

Classes that represented majority of divorce

The lower classes were the groups that we the most affected groups. With the growth of urban areas people moved to other areas to look for job opportunities the shift from home affected the marital stability and resulted to both formal and informal divorce cases. Those that served in the military suffered the case as most of them were living far away from their families which logically took a hit especially for young marriages

Consequences of the church decree of 1904

This decree by the church give people that were banished from marriage due to adultery a chance to remarry. This pushed people to fake adultery cases and scenes so they could be able to be granted divorce. Incidences of fake witnesses increased as people faked evidence to be able to granted divorce

How did divorce differ from men and women

The differences between the two when it came to asking for divorce was almost the same. Traditionally it was seen as though it was women who pushed for divorce while in real sense the men also filed for divorce.

Change of the engagement process

In his reign peter the great aimed at ending arranged marriages which was the norm among the Russians. He viewed the process as being barbaric and easily led to domestic violence he allowed married women to enter into contracts. The opportunities which were provided to the women was essential for them to shed of some of the gentle behavior and adopt certain ruthless characteristics which were essential for them to survive in the male dominated community

Change of the ideal marriage

In the 18th century husbands were gravitating towards looking for women who had knew how to read and write and also knowledge of other foreign languages. With the emancipation women were forced to learn to work for themselves and they ended up rejecting the elite culture. The idea of an ideal marriage was an entirely dependent wife but this changed as they worked to be dependent on their own and be involved in their family matters.

The yellow ticket

The yellow ticket was an indication of good health for a prostitute. The government at first tried to criminalized but finally they decided to regulate it. Regulation came in form of them being licensed in a brothel and carry a yellow ticket which was proof they were disease free.

How non-nobles became nobles

Nobility was among the few for generations and they these people were characterized by a lot of wealth and influence and was hereditary. however, there were exemptions like senior clerics and the berucrates. Military officers and civil servants also rose to nobility when they rose to certain ranks in their jobs. During the 19th century it was a time of advancements and people who were great businessmen rose to the ranks of nobility as their work was important to the community.

The 1722 table of ranks

The table of ranks convened by Peter the Great was aim at distinguish between service to the crown and nobility privileges. The table of ranks is what created the rule that civil servants and the officers acquired nobility status automatically they achieved higher ranks. The idea of lifelong for male state service of the nobles was placed but later came to an end after his death.

Protection of the charter of nobles.

The charter of nobles came under the leadership of Catherine the great. It laid out the guidelines of who was or who was not a noble, how one acquired nobility and the rights and privileges of the noble class. This charter gives the nobility complete control of their property and land and had exclusive rights to the serf. She has ensured that noble property could not be confiscated by the crown government and noble honor was to be exempted from corporal punishment. The establishment of corporation institutions which give a sense of identity to the noble








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