A specific peasant is a category of a serf that belonged to the Russian Imperial House. That is, in fact, specific peasants were the property of the imperial family.
For the most part, specific peasants paid dues, but they were also subject to guilt. After the reform of 1861, they were allowed to buy out part of the specific lands. The money paid by former serfs and specific peasants for land plots went to the state treasury.
History of appanage peasants in Russia
Before the reform of appanage peasants in 1797, these peasants were called palace peasants and belonged to the royal family. They lived and worked on palace lands, later appanages.
During the period of feudal fragmentation of the Russian principalities (XII-XV centuries), the institute of palace land tenure was formed. The duties of the first princely peasants were mainly to provide princelyfamilies with food and keeping yards in order. In fact, a palace (specific) peasant is a servant of the royal family.
During the formation and strengthening of the centralized Russian state (the end of the 15th century), the number of palace peasants increased significantly. According to historical documents, the palace lands were located in the territories of 32 counties.
Special peasants as a gift
In the sixteenth century, the local system appeared, and it became customary to give palace peasants, along with lands, as a reward to nobles for exemplary service.
In the seventeenth century, as the territory of Russia increased, the number of palace peasants began to grow. In 1700, there were about 100 thousand households belonging to the king. It was then that the royal family began to actively distribute yards for services to the state.
Aleksey Mikhailovich donated about 14 thousand households, and only in the first reign of Peter I, the young tsar managed to give away about 24 thousand households, most of which went to the relatives and favorites of the tsar.
In the future, the number of palace (specific) peasants was replenished by conquering new lands and taking land from disgraced nobles.
History of serfdom in Russia
The origins of serfdom in Russia can be found as early as the 11th century, but the full form of feudal exploitation, confirmed by a set of laws, began a little later. In the XII century, the exploitation of purchases and vdacha began, that is, freesmerds, who entered into an agreement with the feudal lord. Having borrowed money or property, the smerd settled on the land of the feudal lord and worked for him until the debt was considered paid. Hiding from the feudal lord, the purchase became a serf, that is, a not free person.
Between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, there were more and more peasants, and less and less money, so more and more peasants entered into an agreement with the feudal lords. However, serfdom as such has not yet been legalized.
Over time, the law began to limit the time of possible departure from the land of the feudal lord, and then the number of people who could leave the land.
Decree of 1597 temporarily forbade peasants to leave their estates (Reserved Summers). Subsequently, the measure became final. The same decree determined the amount of time during which the landowner had the right to search for and punish the runaway peasant - five years. A 1607 decree imposed sanctions against those who hid or helped fugitive peasants. The perpetrators had to pay compensation not only to the former owner, but also to the state treasury.
Most of the Russian nobility demanded a longer period of searching, because after five years of running the peasant became free. In the first half of the 17th century, the nobles sent a number of collective petitions to the authorities with a request to increase the time for searching for a fugitive. In 1642, the tsar set a new ten-year term. The Code of Laws of 1649 introduced a new, unlimited term, thereby dooming the peasants to lifelong service.
Over time, three maingroups of serfs: landowners, state and specific peasants.
In the 19th century, the number of landlord peasants in Russia amounted to 10,694,445 souls (at that time only male peasants were counted), according to approximate estimates, there were about 22 million peasants of both sexes. The number of serfs in each county and province was far from the same. Most of them were concentrated in the central provinces, where there was little fertile land.
The landowner peasants were divided into two groups: the peasants who worked on the land of the landowners, and the serfs, who were wholly owned and dependent on the landowners. The yard peasants were engaged in maintaining the estate in order, and also satisfied any personal needs of the owners. According to estimates, the number of household peasants did not exceed 7% of the total.
Part of the landlord peasants paid dues, and part was on corvée. In some counties there were also mixed duties.
State or state peasants did not appear immediately, but as a result of the reforms of Peter I. The number of state peasants included all those rural residents who were supported by the state. After the secularization of a huge number of church lands, earlier monastic peasants received state status.
According to historical data, the total number of state peasants in the 19th century was about 30% of all Russian peasants.Most of them paid quitrent to the state, which, depending on the province, could be from three to ten rubles.
In addition to quitrent, state-owned peasants were subject to a number of duties. They could also be charged money for worldly needs and for the maintenance of infrastructure and various departments: maintenance of roads, construction and heating of barracks, salaries to officials, etc.
The third group of peasants were specific peasants. They belonged to the imperial family and used to be called palace. According to the historian L. Khodsky, the total number of appanage peasants before the reform was 851,334 people.
These were special peasants who lived in 18 provinces. The largest number of specific peasants was in Simbirsk (234,988 souls) and Samara (116,800 souls) provinces.
The lands on which specific peasants worked were divided into two allotments: traction and spare. Traction land was the one that the peasant was obliged to cultivate, and the peasant could take the spare lot at his own discretion.
Despite, it would seem, such a convenient allotment of land, the specific peasants of the land often got less than the landowners and state. The specific department rarely agreed to give the peasants spare plots, and not every county had them.
Thus, the specific peasants lived for the most part in provinces with a small amount of fertile land, from work on which they sometimes had enough to earn only for dues and duties.
The specific peasant is a kind of goatabsolution, because he paid a higher quitrent, since the money did not go to the state treasury, but straight into the pocket of the imperial family. In the 19th century, specific peasants paid from 10 to 17 rubles a quitrent per soul, not counting dues in kind and other monetary fees.
In addition, the specific peasants had to cultivate the land of the specific department, the harvest from which went to spare hangars and was distributed to peasants who suffered from crop failure. However, most often this crop was sold and enriched by officials of the department.
Legal status of appanage peasants
The legal rights of specific peasants were the most limited of all categories. The real estate of the appanage peasants belonged to the department, and movable property could only be transported with the permission of officials.
A specific peasant is a completely bonded person. The "local self-government" of the specific peasantry was more of a joke than a leverage on the authorities and depended more on local officials than on the peasants themselves.
Even the personal rights of specific peasants were infringed more than state or landowners. It was more difficult for them to redeem or earn freedom. The appanage department controlled even the marriages of appanage peasants assigned to it.