Alternate History

Land Reform of 1834 (French Trafalgar, British Waterloo)

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The Land Reform Decree of 1834 was the attempt by Czar Nicholas I to divide the large land holdings of the Noblemen of the Russian Empire, in order to give some of the land to the peasants and serfs who worked the land, in order to provide the poor farmers with larger incomes to strengthen Russia. However, the large land owners were successful in defeating the attempt to reduce their power, and were able to prevent the Czar or any of the bureaucrats in St. Petersburg from doing so again. The anger the aristocrats stirred up in preventing the loss of their power was instrumental in the utter destruction of the Russian aristocracy in the Peasant's Revolt of 1839.

Land reform was ultimately passed, but the majority of the noblemen who opposed the measure where now either dead or in exile abroad when it finally did. While some would try to reclaim their land (the majority of the claims were unsuccessful, as they "abandoned" the land, so was up for grabs), the rest would settle throughout Europe and America, forming the basis for large Russian communities abroad.

The Czar himself was able to emerge unscathed, although he was, officially, the largest land owner in the empire. He allowed the majority of his land to be divided up and given to the peasants, although a large majority of the best land was kept by himself, and he was able to even expand his land into the areas formerly held by the other nobleman, the majority of which was wealthy in minerals, so the peasants weren't to aggrieved by this, as most of the land later ended up into State run businesses, and so helped boost the economy and quickly industrialized Russia.

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