Temporarily Obligated Peasants

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Temporarily Obligated Peasants


(vremennoobiazannye krest’iane), peasants who formerly belonged to the landowning nobility and were emancipated by the statutes of Feb. 19, 1861, but who had not yet concluded agreements concerning payments for land allotments received. No time limit was established for the period of temporary obligation. In return for use of the land, temporarily obligated peasants owed fixed feudal obligations, either payments or labor.

The former estate owner was the “guardian” of the village in which the temporarily obligated peasants lived. He had the right to exercise the former patrimonial estate police functions and could demand the removal of the village elder and other members of the village administration.

By Feb. 19, 1870, 66.59 percent of the temporarily obligated peasants had concluded agreements regarding redemption payments. By Jan. 1, 1881, of the 10,169,725 peasants formerly belonging to the landlords, 1,552,403, or 15.3 per-cent, were still classified as temporarily obligated. The highest concentrations were in the provinces of Stavropol’ (68.4 percent), Astrakhan (64.4 percent), and Kursk (48.7 percent). The lowest concentrations were in Orenburg (1 percent), Kharkov (2.3 percent), and Kherson (5.2 percent).

A law was passed on Dec. 28, 1881, making redemption of land allotments by temporarily obligated peasants compulsory as of Jan. 1, 1883.


Zaionchkovskii, P. A. Otmena krepostnogo prava v Rossii, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.