The era of Alexander II is known for its global reforms affecting all aspects of social life in Russia. The military service was not an exception.
The draft reform
The reform fell on the shoulders of Minister of War DmitryMilyutin. The count and the field marshal proposed a bill that completely changed the draft system. The reform took place in 1874. In the course of it, the state completely abandoned the outdated and ineffective Petrine system of conscription.
The abolition of recruitment led to the emergence ofuniversal conscription. Now all the male population of Russia, who reached the age of 21, had to serve in the army. Exceptions on social grounds disappeared. Representatives of all classes had to serve six years, after which they were still in reserve for another 9 years in case of war.
In addition, a militia was organized.It was composed of those already served in the regular army. The period of stay in the militia was 40 years. The abolition of recruitment also introduced changes that affect family members with a small number of children. If the parents had one son, then he was not drafted into the army. The same rule affected the only breadwinners in the family if the father died, and there were small brothers and sisters in the house. One way or another, but the fate of the recruit in disputed situations was decided individually.
In case of a heavy property position andlack of money in the family, the young man was given a respite for two years. Could go to serve later and those who had health problems. This was determined by the commission. There was also a system in which men with education could receive a shorter life. If the recruit graduated from primary school, he was to remain in the army for 4 years; city school - for 3 years; having received higher education - for a year and a half. There were benefits for those who went to serve voluntarily, graduating from university. In this case, the service life was cut by half.
The call of ethnic minorities
The abolition of recruitment includedseparate amendments concerning the call of the indigenous peoples of the remote regions of the empire. The population of the Caucasus, as well as of Central Asia, was not subject to military service. On the contrary, such benefits were abolished for the Siberian peoples and ethnic minorities of the northern provinces. Before the abolition of conscription, they did not serve in the army.
The inhabitants of the Caucasus (mostly Muslims)had to pay a special tax. According to the idea of the reformers, he compensated for their absence in the army. This amendment concerned the Kalmyks, Nogais, Chechens, Kurds, Yezidis, etc. The situation with the Ossetians was exceptional. Part of this people professed Orthodoxy, the other half - Islam. Ossetian Muslims served, like Christians, but in the army they were on preferential terms. At the expense of such privates the Terek Cossack army was replenished. This was the abolition of recruitment. Alexander 1 at one time tried to carry out such a reform, focusing on the interests of the population on the new lands of the empire. Nevertheless, the changes occurred only with his nephew-namesake.
For the convenience of recruiting an army, the territoryThe Russian Empire was divided into three zones. The first was called Great Russian: in it the Russian population was more than 75% of the total number of inhabitants. The second was a foreign zone where indigenous ethnic minorities lived. The third section is Malorussian. Here there were not only Russians, but also Ukrainians and Belarusians.
The abolition of recruitment and the transition toAll-class conscription was marked by a new system of regimenting. Now every army detachment was made up only from conscripts of a certain territorial unit, for example, the county. An exception to this rule was engineering, cavalry, and also small guardsmen. All these changes included the abolition of recruitment duties. Who abolished the old system, you now know: Alexander II. He wanted to make the army more effective. This was due to the painful defeat in the Crimean War, after which the humiliating Paris world was signed.
The effectiveness of reform
Reforms showed their usefulness as early as 1877-1878.when the conflict with the Ottoman Empire broke out. The Bulgarians, who lived under the rule of the Turks, demanded independence and began an uprising. They were supported by Russia. The regiments, manned according to the new rules, forced the Dnieper and successfully fought against the Turks. This helped the Bulgarians achieve independence.
In the province, for many generations,when the cancellation of recruitment will occur. The date of this event became joyful for the peasants. Now the family was not deprived of a breadwinner, who had to leave for life to serve in the army. On the contrary, now the soldiers returned at an even more active age. They helped the parents in the household, and later they themselves developed the economy of the hinterland. The new system of military duty lasted until the First World War and the fall of the monarchy.