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The Pugachev Rebellion

Selected Documents

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Pugachev's first ukaz, September 1773

From the autocratic Emperor, our Great Sovereign Petr Fedorovich of all Russia, and so forth and so forth and so forth. This is my personal ukaz to the Cossack army of the Iaik: Inasmuch as you, my friends, served former tsars with your very flesh and blood, and as your fathers and grandfathers did, so for the sake of your fatherland should you serve me, the great sovereign emperor Petr Fedorovich. When you stand up for your fatherland, your Cossack glory will endure from henceforth for all time and so will that of your children. You, the Cossacks and Kalmucks and Tatars will be rewarded by me, the Sovereign Imperial Majesty Petr Fedorovich. As for those of you who have wronged me, the Sovereign Imperial Majesty Petr Fedorovich, I, the Sovereign Petr Fedorovich, forgive you all your wrongs and reward you with the river from source to mouth, and lands and meadows and money and powder and shot and supplies of grain. Thus I, the great sovereign emperor, reward you.

Pugachev's last ukaz,June 1774

By the grace of God We, Peter the third, Emperor and Autocrat of all Russia, and so forth and so forth and so forth. It is declared for all the people to know. By this personal ukaz We bestow on all those who formerly were peasants and in subjugation to the landowners, along with Our monarchic and paternal compassion, to be dutiful slaves subject directly to Our crown. We grant them the ancient cross and prayer, haircut and beard, freedom and liberty, and they are to be Cossacks forever, not liable to recruitment into the army or to the soul tax or other money taxes, and We grant them tenure of the land and the forests and the hay meadows and the fisheries and the salt lakes, without purchase and without obrok, and we liberate all the aforementioned from the villainous nobles and from the bribe takers in the city--the officials who imposed taxes and other burdens on the peasants and the whole people. We wish everyone salvation of the soul and a peaceful life in this world, for which We have tasted and suffered exile and great wrongs from those villains, the nobles. But since now, by the power of the right hand of the Almighty, Our name now flourishes in Russia, We accordingly do ordain by this personal ukaz: those who formerly were nobles living on estates are enemies to Our power and disrupters of the empire and oppressors of the peasantry, and they should be caught, executed and hanged, they should be treated just as they, who have no Christianity, dealt with you peasants. When these enemies and villains have been eliminated, all may enjoy peace and a quiet life that will last for all time.

Given on this, the 31st day of June, 1774


Petition of Serfs in Kungur District, Perm' Province, to "Peter III"<\big>