Serfdom in Russia
Serfdom and slavery had history going back centuries in Russia, but the 1800s finally saw the emergence of major reforms. The serfs were freed in 1861, with an Emancipation Manifesto issued by the Tsar in hopes of heading off an eventual revolution.
The Tsar's Declaration Emancipating the Serfs
The text of the declaration issued by Tsar Alexander II emancipating the serfs in March 1861.