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Raznochintsy (Russian: разночинцы; Russian pronunciation: [rəznɐˈtɕintsɨ]; literally "people of miscellaneous ranks")[1] was an official term introduced in the Code of Law of the Russian Empire in the 17th century to define a social estate that included the lower court and governmental ranks, children of personal dvoryans, and discharged military, The category of raznochintsy grew significantly during the massive trimming down of the category of "servicemen" (ru:служилые люди) in the second half of the 17th century. Raznochintsy were of taxable estate, i.e., those who had to pay personal taxes (подушная подать). In the mid-18th century the category was abolished, and a significant part of raznochintsy were transferred into peasantry, but many became merchants and various urban categories (urban sosloviya). As a result, raznochinsty of 17th-18th centuries significantly contributed to the urban growth in Siberia [2]

Later, in the common speech the term acquired a somewhat opposite meaning: raznochintsy became to denote persons of non-noble origin who due to their education were excluded from the taxable status and could apply for the status of personal distinguished citizenship (личное почетное гражданство).

A significant number of Russian intelligentsia of 19th century were raznochintsy.


  1. The singular is raznochinets (разночинец; [rəznɐˈtɕinʲɪts]).
  2. Siberian Merchantry of 18-19th Centuries (Russian)