Mediators of Tver
Mediators of Tver’
a group of noblemen from Tver’ Province, each holding the office of mirovoi posrednik (mediator of the peace), who protested against the limitations of the Peasant Reform of 1861 that favored serfowners. In February 1862 the mediators convened an assembly of provincial noblemen and delivered a petition to Emperor Alexander II for the immediate and obligatory redemption of peasant lands, that is, the abolition of the class of vremennoobiazannye krest’iane (temporarily bonded peasants). They also proposed that legal proceedings be open to the public and that an assembly be convened representing all social estates of Russia.
The group of mirovye posredniki, consisting of 13 people and headed by the brothers A. A. Bakunin and N. A. Bakunin, made a declaration to the governor in which they reaffirmed the petition and refused to observe the Statutes of Feb. 19, 1861. The government retaliated against the “lawful actions of the landed nobility” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. Sobr. soch., vol. 5, p. 27) by sentencing them to two years’ imprisonment in the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, they were released shortly thereafter, as they posed no special danger to the autocracy.
The protest of the mediators of Tver’ was an expression of growing liberalism in Russia.