İdil Sanat ve Dil Dergisi
Cilt 12, Sayı 103  2023/3  (ISSN: 2146-9903, E-ISSN: 2147-3056)
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Slavery is an institution that has existed on earth for thousands of years. The slavery system, which deprives people of their rights and freedoms, has a deep-rooted history dating back to the Ancient Period. In the institution of slavery that emerged in the Medieval Period in Russia, while the slave class was composed of people from different races who were captured in wars, this situation changed with the country's transition to an economy based on agriculture, and it is seen that the peasant people started to be enslaved. In the XI. century, during the time of the Kievan Rus, there were no unfree peasants, but in order to increase the number of soldiers to be used in the wars to expand the borders of the country and, of course, the material power of the army, peasants were needed and taxes began to be collected from the them. Peasants were settled in the new places won in the wars, and these peasants were given land to operate by the state and encouraged to engage in agriculture. The state received taxes in return for the lands given to the peasants. The increase in taxes collected over the years has led to the development of new tax conditions and discrimination among the peasants according to their income. Towards the XIV. century, all peasants were bound to the state and subjected to tax liability, and the first step was taken towards slavery. In the XVI. century, the peasants were officially enslaved by being tied to the land and the state, with the law codes. With this feature, the slavery system in Russia differs from the slavery systems in other world countries. While people of other races were used as slaves in other world countries, Russian states enslaved their own people, their own peasants and ran their entire economy through them. The institution of slavery in Russia has been the country's main economic resource for centuries. As a result of the enlightenment and humanism movements that emerged in Western Europe and had an impact all over the world, the slavery system in Russia was abolished with the effort and influence of the country's leading intelligentsia only in the time of Alexander II.
Keywords: Slavery, The serfdom in Russia, The abolition of the serfdom