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Before the Mongol conquest, peasants in Russia were more or less free. The Russian government of the 16th century purposely promoted serfdom to empower the nobles and weaken the peasants. There was even a law in 1649 which made serfdom hereditary. Other laws tied the serfs to their land and gave the landlords legal rights over them. They were practically slaves being bought, sold, and punished by their "owners".

Before the Mongol conquest, peasants in Russia were more or less free. The Russian government of the 16th century purposely promoted serfdom to empower the nobles and weaken the peasants. There was even a law in 1649 which made serfdom hereditary. Other laws tied the serfs to their land and gave the landlords legal rights over them. They were practically slaves being bought, sold, and punished by their "owners".

Women of Russia's Kuban region, late 19th century (by Dmitry I. Ermakov)

Women of Russia's Kuban region, late 19th century (by Dmitry I. Ermakov)

Great World History class site---has good "preview" readings & questions...good for new topics

Great World History class site---has good "preview" readings & questions...good for new topics

The Russian peasantry. Русское крестьянство.

The Russian peasantry. Русское крестьянство.

1723 - RUSSIA ABOLISH SLAVERY - Slavery abolished in Russia. Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs.

1723 - RUSSIA ABOLISH SLAVERY - Slavery abolished in Russia. Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs.

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