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Explaining An Unlikely Abolitionism

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Chapter Summary

Russian abolitionism may appear exotic, if not aberrant because it was pursued by a state, which, at the same time, kept the majority of its own population in the condition of serfdom often equaled by the contemporaries to slavery. The struggle against slave trade immediately put Russia in the vanguard of Europes humanitarian causes and even allowed for some feeling of superiority towards such Western states as fell behind in the cause, as was the case of the American South. The geopolitical goals of the growing Empire were quite clearit was building its position at the expense of the declining Ottomans. The key to understanding the enduring character of the Caucasian slave trade lay in the social and economic structure of the local societies and in the long-running incorporation of the region into the Eastern Mediterranean realm.

Keywords: Caucasian slave trade; Russian abolitionism



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