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Christians In Heterodox Captivity: The Historical Roots Of Russian Abolitionismin The Caucasus

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Chapter Summary

For a long time the Caucasian slave trade escaped the attention of the European abolitionists in spite of its large volume and ancient roots. European and American abolitionism had strong religious roots, which went back as far as the beginning of the 18th century and were based on Protestant ethics. The newly established Russian Empire, the successor of an obscure Muscovite state, had obtained an extraordinary leverage in European politics since the latter half of the eighteenth century. Russian slaves in a Muslim country were faced with the prospect of conversion to Islam, which for a Russian Orthodox Christian was the equivalent of eternal damnation. The bulk of trade exports and the annual tribute which the Crimean Khanate channeled to the central parts of the Ottoman Empire consisted of male and female slaves of both Slavic and North Caucasian origin.

Keywords: Caucasian slave trade; Ottoman empire; Russian abolitionism; Russian Orthodox Christian



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