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Tsar Alexander II signs the legislation ending serfdom in the Russian Empire

Tsar Alexander II, detail
03/03/1861
On this day (February 19  in the Russian calendar), Alexander II signed into law the four hundred pages of legislation that his ministers, led by Nikolai Miliutin, had drafted over many months.  It ended "the right of bondage" in Russian and planned to work out new relationships on the land. The law effected the forty percent of Russians who were serfs as well as their previous masters.  The country then embarked on a difficult period of transition that included over a thousand serious disturbances around the empire before the end of the year.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Walter G. Moss, A History of Russian Volume II: Since 1855 (London: Wimbledon Publishing Company, 2005), 27-28. 

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