ARTICLE RICHARD HELLIE (Chicago, U.S.A.) To the memory of Anatolii Mikhailovich Sakharov 1923-78 The Stratification of Muscovite Society: The Townsmen One of the relatively unknown events of Russian history was the creation of a caste-like, rigidly stratified urban society in the century between the Sudebnik of 1550 and the Uloahenie of 1649. In the last decades of the sixteenth century, the urban population was relatively free and could move about at will. Moreover, there were no restrictions on who could engage in trade and industry and few on who could own urban property. By the middle of the seventeenth century all this had changed: Migration into and out of towns was made illegal and the urban taxpayers were granted a monopoly on "town" occupations and ownership of urban property. This was the era when nearly all of society became rigidly stratified, when, by 1649, a child's station at birth prescribed whether he was expected to spend the rest of his life as a peasant serf, a member of the government service class, perhaps a clergyman, or a townsman.1 The evolution of serfdom , and the service classes had their own dynamics. As I have shown in my Enserfment
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1978
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