Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Estonia Peasant War FDCs

Estonia FDCs
Name: Peasant War at Mahtra, 150th Anniversary
Date of Issue: 31 May 2008

A system of corveé survived in the Russian province of Estland (North Estonia) well into the second half of the 19th century. Triggered by a new Peasant Law, which failed to bring any alleviation to the statute labour done to the manor or do away with the hated additional labour, a wave of peasant unrest rolled over the province in 1858. Peasants on 18 manors refused to do additional labour, but contrary to other manors, the peasants at Mahtra did not permit the Russian punitive expedition to beat them and force them to work but summoned help from the neighbourhood. On 2 June (14 June Old Style) there was clash between 700-800 peasants brandishing sticks and forks and 50 soldiers and two officers armed with guns, the peasants putting the soldiers to flight. The War at Mahtra became a symbol of the Estonians' desire for freedom already at the time; the national movement period of the 1860s and the novel, War at Mahtra, by Eduard Vilde published in 1902 further increased its meaning.

Comment: The Mahtra Peasantry Museum is situated in Juuru, and one of the FDC was sent from Juuru Post Office. The other one was sent from Tallinn as usual. :)

Official Website of Mahtra Peasantry Museum (Estonian Version)

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