Vykhod Krestianskii

Vykhod Krest’ianskii


the right of a peasant in Russia from the 11th century to the 17th to leave his feudal lord. From the 11th century through the 15th, the right of vykhod krest’ianskii was limited for certain categories of the rural population—for example, the zakupy (debtors in feudal bondage) and the serebreniki (indebted peasants in feudal bondage). The Law Code of 1497 (art. 57) lay the foundations for the legalization of serfdom in Russia throughout the state. The law code established one period in the year for the vykhod krest’ianskii the week before and after St. George’s Day in autumn, and the peasant exercising this right was obligated to reimburse his feudal landowner with a pozhiloe (monetary payment). The Law Code of 1550 (art. 88) confirmed the rule of the 1497 Law Code on vykhod krest’ianskii and slightly increased the pozhiloe, from one ruble to one ruble and two altyns, which, in a time of rising prices, did not attest to complications in the peasant’s right of departure. In the 16th century, vyvoz krest’ianskii (enticing or forcibly taking peasants from one estate to another) became widespread. In 1581 the government of Ivan IV, under conditions of serious economic ruin caused by the Livonian War of 1558-83 and by the oprichnina, forbade vykhod krest’ianskii in a number of regions, mainly northern and central, and introduced the zapovednye leta (years when peasants were forbidden to leave an estate). About 1592-93 a decree was issued forbidding vykhod krest’ianskii throughout the state and declaring thepistsovye knigi (census books) of the 1580’s and 1590’s to be the juridical basis of serfdom. Boris Godunov partially permitted vykhod krest’ianskii in 1601-02 in the time of famine. The ukase forbidding peasant departure was confirmed in Tsar Vasilii IV Shuiskii’s law code on Mar. 9, 1607, drawn up at the height of the uprising of I. I. Bolotnikov and designed to strengthen the system of serfdom. The Law Code of 1649 completely abolished vykhod krest’ianskii.

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