Better Late than Never

On June 20, 1825, the British Parliament finally got around to abolishing feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America. They were a little late to the party: feudalism had essentially ceased to exist in practice by the 16th century in England and many other European countries, and most countries started officially abolishing it in the 18th century. Although feudalism defined the era known … Continue reading Better Late than Never

The End of Serfdom

On March 2, 1861, exactly six years after he ascended the throne, Tsar Alexander II signed the Emancipation Reform of 1861, emancipating the serfs of Russia and finally ending a practice that most of the rest of Europe had abandoned centuries ago. This act, one of the first and most liberal of Alexander’s reforms, freed more than 23 million people and allowed them to marry … Continue reading The End of Serfdom