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For the Common Good and Their Own Well-BeingSocial Estates in Imperial Russia$
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Alison K. Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199978175

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199978175.001.0001

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The Death and Life of Sosloviia in the Post-Reform Empire

The Death and Life of Sosloviia in the Post-Reform Empire

(p.123) 5 The Death and Life of Sosloviia in the Post-Reform Empire
For the Common Good and Their Own Well-Being

Alison K. Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the ways that sosloviia, and particularly the process of gaining or leaving a soslovie, were altered during and after the era of the Great Reforms. During the reign of Alexander II (1855–1881), many of the reforms influenced thinking about soslovie. Emancipation both created a more unified peasant soslovie and affected options for mobility. Reforms of town administration also dealt with the question of soslovie, in this case downplaying it in terms of administration but retaining it as a means of conceptualizing the population. Reforms of the army and taxes also brought up the question of soslovie, as duties associated with soslovie were radically altered. As a result, soslovie identities were seen as both obsolescent and yet necessary, and maintained their status as a primary way of categorizing the population through to the end of the imperial era.

Keywords:   Great Reforms, taxes, emancipation, peasants, towns, categorization

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