What is estate? Estates of Ancient Rus and the Russian Empire
It has long been in Russia between certain people with hereditary rights and duties that were fixed by the state or traditions, there were class relations of feudalism. Typical for them was a hierarchy based on the principle of inequality of their position and privileges. This is the class in Russia in the main meaning of this concept. Other definitions state that the estate is people united by some kind of attribute or professional interests.
Now that we know what an estate is, let's look at the social structure in Ancient Rus.Without any doubt, then the highest estates were considered princes. However, after a certain period of time the clergy began to belong to this group. Probably, they were ranked among the highest class rank because of their landed property (patrimony). The squad in Russia also enjoyed certain privileges.
What is the "estate" in the squad
The friendly organization had its own hierarchical ladder. This, so to speak, was their internal division into "estates". At the highest level of the hierarchy were the elders (the oldest squad). They were boyars. The lowest "estate" was the younger squad. Representatives of this level were called adolescents.
The middle classes of people
This class included merchants, artisans, as well as owners of small estates. Most of the merchants were small traders, the rich had the opportunity to trade outside their own state.
Lower classes of people
To this social class belonged the free rural population, which was paid tribute, as well as free citizens called people. Unfortunately, we do not have historical data that would allow us to establish with accuracy the proportional ratio of the lower classes to the whole population.
The unfree servants of the lords were called slaves and servants. Among them, the so-called smerds made up a special category. These are serf peasants, who, in turn, were divided into three groups:
So, we have considered what is the estate of the times of Ancient Rus. Now let's move to the 19th century and find out what kind of estates were in Imperial Russia.
Estates of the Russian Empire
Estates in Russiathis time was determined by the Code of laws of the Russian Empire and divided into four main groups:
At the same time, the townspeople were divided into subgroups:
In general, such class division was a distinctive feature of pre-revolutionary Russia and Europe. Nowadays, the formal classes are preserved only in the UK, since the monarchy is officially proclaimed in this country.
As we already know, belonging to a particular social class has always been regulated by heredity. However, there were their own exceptions! It is interesting that in some cases to enter a certain class of people (for example, to become a prince) it was possible for special merit or simply to buy a title for a tidy sum. We have analyzed what is the estate and what classes existed at the time of the ancient and imperial Russia.