Explain briefly the salient features of the Russian Emancipation Act.

The Emancipation Act of 1861 was an event of great historical import. Its terms determined the procedure by which the peasant could become a legal and independent landholding entity and ceases to be a serf-a mere appendage to the land owned by the landlord. However, differences in agricultural activities as well as differences in the pattern of organisation of agriculture in different regions of Russia created a situation in which the impact of the Emancipation Act on various sections of the rural population and their inter-relationships were far from uniform both in terms of degree and breadth. Therefore, if we have to reach a correct understanding of pat Reform agricultural development and the new problems the peasantry had to face during this period especially towards the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century it is necessary to take note of the peculiarities of at least the major agricultural regions of Tsarist Russia.

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