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The Zemsky Sobor, An Assembly of the Land, a Muscovite Russia law code of 1649

1. Any peasants of the Sovereign and labourers of the crown villages and black volosts (villages that did not belong to the Crown or to the Church) who have fled from the Sovereign’s crown villages and from the black volosts... are to be brought to the crown villages of the Sovereign and to the black volosts to their old lots according to the registers of inquisition with wives and children and with all their peasant property without term of years...

20. But if any people come to anyone in an estate held by inheritance or service and say that they are free and those people want to live under them as peasants or as labourers, then those people to whom they come are to question them: who are those free people, and where is their birthplace and under whom did they live and where have they come from, and are they not somebody’s runaway people, peasants and labourers, and whether they have charters of manumission (freedom). And if any say they do not have charters of manumission on them, those holding estates by service and inheritance are to get to know genuinely about such people, are they really free people; and after genuinely getting to know, to take them the same year to be registered...

22. And if any peasants’ children deny their fathers and mothers they are to be tortured.

Smith, R. E. F. The Enserfment of the Russian Peasant. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. N. pag. Print.

Which of the following was an immediate result of the edicts issued in the above law code?

A

Russian peasant parents would be tortured if they denied their children.

B

Russia’s free peasants and slaves were now re-categorized into a new legal and social class of serfs.

C

Social class in Russia was no longer hereditary.

D

Russian slaves would be given their freedom and be allowed to own land of their own.

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