The czar confirms Livonian peasantry laws

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03. February 1804

After the regulative “Iggaüks” had been passed, the government demanded that also the Livonian nobility began to work on new laws. Initially, nobility tried to pass only moderate changes, but as it was clear by 1803-04, that “Iggaüks” had not fulfilled the expectations, Livonian nobility was forced to make more radical changes.

They presented their ideas in February 1804, and the czar gave his approval. Parish courts were found in Livonia, taxes were limited and land lord's right to punish was restricted.

Farmers were given the right to purchase land for themselves, but this was ultimately still decided by the land lord. To homogenize taxes, a revision commission was set up, which began to measure farm- and estate lands and assess the quality of lands.

After this was completed, new payment books of the estates with new taxes were given to the farmers. Livonian laws were much more peasantry-friendly and ultimately forced the Estonian nobility to make more concessions.

 

Source: Eesti ajalugu. IV: Põhjasõjast pärisorjuse kaotamiseni, lk-d 203–211.


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