By the seizure and sale of Church lands, by th sale of state railways, by economy to the bone and on onc supreme occasion by an appeal to taxpayers to advance a years quota of the land-tax, he had met the most pressing engagements of that troublous period.
The urban population, divided into two categories according to their taxable wealth, elects delegates direct to the college of the government (Guberniya), and is thus represented in the second degree; but the system of division into categories, according not to the number of taxpayers but to the amount they pay, gives a great preponderance to the richer classes.
Below the feudal nobility and their Moslem soldiers came the Christian serfs, tillers of the soil and taxpayers, whose lives and property were at the mercy of their lords.
Preserved merely as taxpayers necessary to supply the funds for the maintenance of the dominant and military class, according to a foreign observer in 1571, they had been so degraded and oppressed that they dared not look a Turk in the face.
They sometimes settled officially and of their own authority the share of certain taxpayers, and, though this was sometimes done as a favour, it was often a measure of justice.