Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility

 

(On the Conferring of Liberty and Freedom on the Whole Russian Nobility), a law that broadened the estate rights and privileges of the Russian dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry).

The manifesto was issued on Feb. 18, 1762, by Emperor Peter III. The dvorianstvo was freed from compulsory civil and military service. Those in state service at the time of issuance could retire. Nobles could leave the country without hindrance, although they were required to return to Russia if the government so ordered. In wartime they were expected to serve in the army. The manifesto gave pomeshchiki (landowners) greater opportunities to look after their farming operations. It consolidated the social bulwark of absolutism in Russia. The basic points of the manifesto were later confirmed by the government in the Charter of the Nobility of 1785.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.