Comparing the Emancipation Proclamation & the Emancipation Manifesto - Ashley
Comparing theEmancipationProclamation to theRussianEmancipationManifestoBy Ashley Tango
The Emancipation Proclamation was issuedby President Abraham Lincoln on January1, 1863. The Proclamation directly freed allslaves residing in the Confederate States.President Lincoln was the president of theUnion of the United States of America.Lincoln personally disagreed with the ideaof slavery, and he was disgusted by thedegradation of humans based on ace.Lincoln also believed that it was his dutysent from God to abolish slavery.Additionally, Lincoln’s decision to freeslaves was a military tactic that allowed theUnion army an increase of numbers.Following the proclaimed freedom ofslaves, Lincoln welcomed the freed slavesinto his army to help end the Civil Wargoing on in America.
The Russian EmancipationManifesto was issued by TsarAlexander II on February19, 1861. Alexander II wasthe emperor of Russia at thetime. The emperor wanted toliberate serfs in order tomodernize Russian economywithout dealing with thepeasants’ unrest. He broughtup the idea of abolishingserfdom in order to avoiduprisings among the serfs.
Slavery began in the 17th centurywhen the first African slaveswere brought into America to besold to slave owners. Slaveswere treated as property, andslave owners were allowed tobuy, sell, and do whatever theywanted to their slaves. If a slavedisobeyed his or her owner, itwas not unusual for the slave tobe whipped or beaten to teachthat slave a lesson. Slaves wereoften put to work on plantationsin which the slaves’ manual laborwould produce profits for theplantation owner. In the1860s, United States hadapproximately four millionslaves at the time.
Serfdom became widespread in Russia in the 13th century following Tartar devastation. Thousands ofRussians became homeless and were forced to settle on the land of wealthy Russian landowners in which thefeudal system began to take hold. A serf is defined as a peasant who lives under the political system offeudalism. The peasant is similar to the slave in how they are tied to the land of a landowner who also ownsthe right to that peasant’s existence. The difference between slaves and serfs is that serfs were local Russiansand essentially the landowners were enslaving their own people. In America, slaves were imported from othercountries and were not considered “American.” Ultimately serfs were given land to own, but could not leavethe area they were born in and had to perform tasks for the “good of the community." In 1649 the Code ofLaw made all serfs essentially slaves, and by the mid 19th century Russia had twenty three million privatelyowned serfs.
At the time of the issuing of theEmancipation Proclamation, theUnited States was engaged in aCivil War. The Union, led byAbraham Lincoln, and theConfederacy, led by JeffersonDavis, were battling over thecause of slavery. UnderLincoln’s presidency, southernstates worried that he would tryto abolish slavery. SouthCarolina was the first tosecede, and several other statesfollowed soon after. The Warwas the nation-wide battle todecide the existence ofslavery, and it is the sole reasonthat Abraham Lincoln presentedthe Emancipation Proclamation.By emancipating theslaves, Lincoln would not onlyreceive more numbers for hisarmy, but he would have apeace of mind for stopping thehorrible condition of blacks inthe Confederate States.
Before the Russian Emancipation Manifesto was passed in 1861, Russia was defeated byEngland, France, and Turkey in the Crimean War. Clair W. Keller describes the defeat whenshe says it “showed Russia’s military weakness, the country’s backwardness, and exposed theeconomic, administrative, and social ineptness of Russia’s autocratic regime.” Keller isexpressing what Emperor Alexander II was feeling: that change was needed in Russia. Due tothe loss of the Crimean War, Alexander knew that change was desperately needed to improveRussia, and he specifically wanted to modernize Russian economy. Knowing that the peasantclass would be upset with a change in economy, the emperor proposed the idea of abolishingserfdom to avoid peasant uprisings in the country. The idea was approved, and the RussianEmancipation Manifesto was created.
Following the Emancipation Proclamation, several freedoms were granted to slaves.Firstly, all slaves in the Confederate States were freed, and Lincoln stated that “the militaryand naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons andwill do no act or acts to repress such persons.” By this, Lincoln is saying that the USmilitary will ensure the freedom of the freed slaves. Also, Lincoln proposes in theEmancipation Proclamation that the freed slaves join the military in which they wouldparticipate in armed services of the United States garrison forts, positions, stations, and otherplaces they could be needed. The Emancipation Proclamation did free slaves in theConfederate States, but one disadvantage that came from the document is that it did notultimately free slaves in the Union.
The passing of the Russian Emancipation Manifesto granted serfs several liberties that they didnot have previously. The terms of the Emancipation Manifesto granted serfs freedom and gavethem the right to own one third of their previous owner’s land. The newly freed peasants wouldpay for the land by either giving one fourth of the price to the original owner on installments orgive three fourths of the price to the government over a forty nine year period. An Office ofPeasant Affairs was created to help enforce the new rules set by Alexander II that would helpimprove the lives of serfs. The Emancipation Manifesto ultimately improved the lives ofpeasants and abolished serfdom in Russia. The nobles and land owners ultimately were at a lossdue to the document because they had to give up their land and workers.
Pictography“Russian Serfs.” Drawing. History of Slavery: An Overview. Accessed on 12 June 2013.http://photos.state.gov/galleries/amgov/30145/slave/ Accessed June 12, 2103.“American Civil War.” Painting. Civil War Conundrum. Accessed on 15 June 2013.http://hauensteincenter.org/civil-war-1-conundrum/“Emancipation Proclamation.” Photograph. National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed on15 June 2013.http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/“Emancipation Manifesto.” Photograph. The Center for Historical Social Science Literature. January 11,2012. Accessed on 11 June 2013. http://chssl.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/collection/bernstein/book01_e.html“Abraham Lincoln.” Photograph. Buffalo History Works. Accessed on 11 June 2013.http://www.buffalohistoryworks.com/lincoln/reception.htm“Tsar Alexander II.” Photograph. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Accessed on 10June 2013.http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4417.html“Post Emancipation Proclamation.” Drawing. World History Project. Accessed on 10 June 2013.http://worldhistoryproject.org/topics/emancipation-proclamation“Crimean War.” Photograph. Military War Photos. Accessed on 15 June 2013.http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?125097-Crimean-War-Photos-(1854-1856)“Serfs and Peasants.” Painting. Subversify. Accessed on 16 June 2013.http://subversify.com/2012/06/27/serfs-and-peasants/