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Sale 38 Lot 834

ALEXANDER II (1818 - 1881) Emperor of Russia responsible for the emancipation of the serfs, and made important contributions to the reform of the judiciary, economy and educational systems. Historic handwritten report to Alexander II with notations made in the Czar's hand outlining the many challenges and consequences of his mandate to liberate the Russian peasants from serfdom, 8pp. legal folio, [n.p., n.d.], in Russian, with the Czar's pencil notations appearing in the margins of pages 3, 6, 7, 8. The detailed report reads, in small part: "...For such a great event, that means a real internal turnover of a third of Russia's population...the Minister of Internal Affair's opinion of what difficulties the Ministry expects while implementing the new regime in landowners' estates; to what extent is the Ministry prepared to inherit the powers of landowners with the current organization of local police and lower judicial places; with a current unsatisfactory...inventory of bread shops, don't we need to take measures up front for food supply...what do we need to do for care of elderly, sick and disabled...should also draw the attention of His Emperor Majesty to the necessity of expansion prisons...opinion on centralization of power that overloads the Ministry with administrative particulars, the Minister blames the Governors, who too often ask instructions and permissions...that are in their direct responsibility and within the sphere of their powers as they are the masters in provinces they rule...Within the last 25 years, the choice of the Governors was generally unsuccessful: the candidates were elected too often from the inexperienced Generals and from Ministry's clerks without any weight. As a result, the [governors'] offices have lost their importance in public opinion...". Alexander writes in the margin: "Although this remark is acknowledged to be partially true, it is not completely". The document continues, mentioning the Raskolniks (religious dissenters), to which Alexander replies: "We've already paid attention to that". In response to the Minister's recommendations of additional responsibilities, he notes: "...It's not at all within the circle of powers of the Minister of Internal Affairs". The document bears a scrawled signature at conclusion, likely that of Count SERGEY GRIORIEVICH STROGANOV, a statesman who had fought in the battle of Borodino and accompanied the Russian armies to Paris. This report preceded and may have influenced the Emancipation Law of 1861, which liberated more than 40 million serfs, and has been called the greatest single legislative act in history. However, emancipation ended the landlords' rights of justice and police on their estates, so it was necessary to reform the local administrations. The Statute of 1864 created provincial and district assemblies, which handled local finances, education, scientific agriculture, medical care, and maintenance of the roads. The elaborate electoral system dividing voters into categories by class provided substantial representation to the peasants in assemblies, and brought them together with proprietors to solve local issues. Very good.
Estimate $ 8,000-10,000

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