When Alexander II issued the proclamation on November 18, 1857 that he favored emancipation of the serfs this “theme became transformed from an illegal one, not only into a legal theme but even into a compulsory one.” The nature of the change was easily understandable in a society in which the word of the tsar was the law of the land. Numerous works, some of them careful and detailed, have been written on the emancipation reform of 1861, some before and some after 1917, and some in the West. For A. I. Koshelev, self-interest and fear of a peasant uprising provided a powerful incentive for immediate emancipation. Knowledge of basic economic forces at work and familiarity with the serf-free societies of Western Europe had convinced him that free labor was more productive than serf labor. And there were the occasional, possibly frequent, pricks of conscience, as when he scolded his old friend Ivan Kireevsky for being insensitive toward the serfs.