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History of Russia
The Romanovs

Why didn't early Russian tsars free the serfs?


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May 13, 2012 11:01AM

As in imperial Russia many Tsars had viewed peasants (agricultural workers) as the lowest working classes and often described them as 'dark masses', which shows their huge disliking of this class in Russian society. Alexander II however thought that if he freed the serfs he would prevent peasant revolt and remove some of the opposition towards him to make himself more secure. All in all he freed them for selfish reasons by creating reform from above.