Slavery in Russia

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While slavery hasn't been widespread on the territory of what is now Russia since the introduction of Christianity in the 10th century, Serfdom in Russia, which was in many ways similar to that of contemporary slavery across the world, only ended in February 19th, 1861 when Russian Emperor Alexander II issued The Emancipation of Russia's serfs in 1861, for which he is known as Alexander the Liberator (Russian:Алекса́ндр Освободи́тель, tr. Aleksandr Osvoboditel,IPA:  [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐsvəbɐˈdʲitʲɪlʲ] ). Emancipation of state-owned serfs occurred in 1866. [1]

Contents

The Russian term krepostnoi krestyanin (крепостной крестьянин is usually translated as "serf": an unfree person who, unlike a slave, can only be sold with the land they are "attached" to.

The 2018 Global Slavery Index estimates 794,000 people currently living in slavery-like conditions in Russia. This includes forced labor, forced prostitution, debt bondage, forced servile marriage, exploitation of children, and forced prison labor. [2]

History

In Kievan Rus' and Muscovy, legal systems usually referred to a special type of serfs as kholopy . Individuals could become kholop as a result of capture, selling themselves, being sold for debts, committing crimes, or marriage to a kholop. Until the late 10th century, the kholopy represented a majority among the servants who worked lords' lands. The power kholop's master over his life had varied over the centuries. Generally, this power had increased over the centuries, culminating in the late XVIth century with the abolition of the Yuriev Den'  [ ru; uk ], a specially designed day of the year when serfs could freely switch the land they were living on and therefore switch their masters. This power then slowly began to degrade during the next centuries with reforms of Alexei Mikhailovich and Peter the Great.

The Russian lands continued in their historic function as a source of slaves for outsiders. [3] For example, in 1382 the Golden Horde under Khan Tokhtamysh sacked Moscow, burning the city and carrying off thousands of inhabitants as slaves; similar raids occurred routinely until well into the 16th century. [4] In 1521, the combined forces of Crimean Khan Mehmed I Giray and his Kazan allies attacked Moscow and captured thousands of slaves. [5] [6] In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin and taking thousands of captives as slaves. [7] In Crimea, about 75% of the population consisted of slaves. [8] The Crimean–Nogai raids into East Slavic lands continued into the 18th century.

An anonymous Lithuanian author wrote in De moribus tartarorum, lituanorum et moscorum :

Among these unfortunates there are many strong ones; if they [the Tatars] have not castrated them yet, they cut off their ears and nostrils, burned cheeks and foreheads with the burning iron and forced them to work with their chains and shackles during the daylight, and sit in the prisons during the night; they are sustained by the meager food consisting of the dead animals' meat, rotten, full of worms, which even a dog would not eat. The youngest women are kept for wanton pleasures ... [9]

By the sixteenth century, the slave population of the Grand Duchy of Moscow consisted mostly of those who had had become serfs owing to poverty. [10] They worked predominantly as household servants, among the richest families, and indeed generally produced less than they consumed. [11] Laws forbade slave owners to free slaves in times of famine in order to avoid feeding them, and slaves generally remained with their owning family for a long time; the Domostroy, an advice book, speaks of the need to choose slaves of good character and to provide for them properly. [12] Slavery remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs. The government of Tsar Feodor III had formally converted Russian agricultural slaves into serfs earlier, in 1679. [10] [13]

Indigenous peoples of Siberia – notably the Yakuts and the Buryats of Eastern Siberia – practised slavery on a small scale. [14] With the conquest of Siberia in the 16th and 17th centuries, Russians enslaved natives in military operations and in Cossack raids. [14] Cases involving native women were frequent, held as concubines, sometimes mortgaged to other men and traded for commercial profit. [14] The Russian government generally opposed the conversion of natives to Christianity because it would free them from paying the yasak, the fur tribute. [14] The government decreed that the non-Christian slaves were to be freed. [14] This in turn led local Russian owners of slaves to petition the government for conversion and even involved forced conversions of their slaves. [14] The rules stipulated that the native convert became a serf of the converter. [14] As an indication of the extent of the slavery system, one voyevoda reported in 1712 that "there is hardly a Cossack in Yakutsk who does not have natives as slaves". [14]

Russian conquest of the Caucasus led to the abolition of slavery by the 1860s [15] [16] and the conquest of the Central Asian Islamic khanates of Bukhara, Samarkand, and Khiva by the 1870s. [17] The Russian administration liberated the slaves of the Kazakhs in 1859. [18] A notorious slave market for captured Russian and Persian slaves was centred in the Khanate of Khiva from the 17th to the 19th century. [19] [20] At the beginning of the 21st century Chechens and Ingush kept Russian captives as slaves or in slave-like conditions in the mountains of the northern Caucasus. [21]

Current situation

Internal migrants from Russia’s poorer regions and foreign migrants are reportedly trafficked (sometimes involving drugging and kidnapping) and then forced to work against their will in brick factories and small farms in Dagestan. Many of Russia’s migrant workers are irregular migrants, a status that makes them particularly vulnerable to modern slavery. [22]

Recent (2009–2012) reports have identified human trafficking and slavery of Uzbek and Kazakh nationals in contemporary Russian society. [23] [24] [25] [26]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Serfdom Status of peasants under feudalism

Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century.

Khanate of Kazan 1438–1552 Tatar Turkic state

The Khanate of Kazan was a medieval Tatar Turkic state that occupied the territory of former Volga Bulgaria between 1438 and 1552. The khanate covered contemporary Tatarstan, Mari El, Chuvashia, Mordovia, and parts of Udmurtia and Bashkortostan; its capital was the city of Kazan. It was one of the successor states of the Golden Horde, and it came to an end when it was conquered by the Tsardom of Russia.

Tokhtamysh Khan of the Golden Horde (1376-80), descendant of Genghis Khan

Tokhtamysh, was a prominent Khan of the Blue Horde who briefly unified the White Horde and Blue Horde subdivisions of the Golden Horde into a single state. He has been cited as the last great ruler of the Golden Horde territories.

Crimean Tatars Turkic ethnic group, an indigenous people of Crimea

Crimean Tatars or Crimeans, are Turkic ethnic group and nation, who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from Cumans that appeared in Crimea in the 10th century, with strong contributions from all the peoples who ever inhabited Crimea, including Greeks, Italians and Goths.

Crimean Khanate 1441–1783 Crimean Tatar successor state of the Golden Horde

The Crimean Khanate, own name — Great Horde and Desht-i Kipchak, in old European historiography and geography — Little Tartary was a Crimean Tatar state existing from 1441 to 1783, the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates that succeeded the empire of the Golden Horde. Established by Hacı I Giray in 1441, it was regarded as the direct heir to the Golden Horde and to Desht-i-Kipchak.

Islam in Russia Overview of the role of the Islam in Russia

Islam in Russia is a minority religion. Russia has the largest Muslim population in Europe; and according to US Department of State in 2017, Muslims in Russia numbered 10,220,000 or 7% of the total population. According to a comprehensive survey conducted in 2012, Muslims were 6.5% of Russia's population. However, the populations of two federal subjects with Islamic majorities were not surveyed due to social unrest, which together had a population of nearly 2 million, namely Chechnya and Ingushetia, thus the total number of Muslims may be slightly larger. The Grand Mufti of Russia, Sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin, places the Muslim population of Russia at 25,000,000 as of 2018.

Serfdom in Russia Russian serfs were agrarian peasants legally bound to the land owned by nobility and who were deprived of rights and forced to provide free labor.

The term "serf", in the sense of an unfree peasant of tsarist Russia, is the usual English-language translation of krepostnoy krest'yanin which meant an unfree person who, unlike a slave, historically could be sold only with the land to which he or she was "attached". Emperor Peter I ended slavery in Russia in 1723. Contemporary legal documents, such as Russkaya Pravda, distinguished several degrees of feudal dependency of peasants.

Nogai Horde Confederation in the Eurasian steppes from the 1440s to 1634

The Nogai Horde was a confederation founded by Nogais that occupied the Pontic–Caspian steppe from about 1500 until they were pushed west by the Kalmyks and south by the Russians in the 17th century. The Mongol tribe called the Manghuds constituted a core of the Nogai Horde.

Slavery in medieval Europe Slavery during the medieval period in Europe

Slavery became increasingly uncommon through the Middle Ages, replaced by serfdom by the 10th century, but began to revive again towards the end of the Middle Ages and in the Early Modern Era. The Byzantine–Ottoman wars (1265–1479) and the Ottoman wars in Europe resulted in the capture of large numbers of Christian slaves.

The Russo-Crimean Wars were fought between the forces of Russia and the Nogays of the Crimean Khanate during the 16th century over the region around the Volga River.

Tokhtamysh–Timur war War between Tokhtamysh of the Golden Horde and Timur the warlord

The Tokhtamysh–Timur war was fought from 1386 to 1395 between Tokhtamysh, khan of the Golden Horde, and the warlord and conqueror Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire, in the areas of the Caucasus mountains, Turkistan and Eastern Europe. The battle between the two Mongol rulers played a key role in the decline of the Mongol power over early Russian principalities.

Wild Fields

The Wild Fields is a historical term used in the Polish–Lithuanian documents of the 16th to 18th centuries to refer to the Pontic steppe in the territory of present-day Ukraine, north of the Black Sea and Azov Sea. According to Ukrainian historian Vitaliy Shcherbak the term appeared sometime in the 15th century for territory between the Dniester and mid-Volga when colonization of the region by Zaporozhian Cossacks started. Shcherbak notes that the term's contemporaries, such as Michalo Lituanus, Blaise de Vigenère, and Józef Wereszczyński, wrote about the great natural riches of the steppes and the Dnieper basin.

<i>De moribus tartarorum, lituanorum et moscorum</i>

De moribus tartarorum, lituanorum et moscorum is a 16th-century Latin treatise by Michalo Lituanus. The work, which was originally dedicated to King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund II Augustus, survived only in ten fragments that were first published in 1615 by Johann Jacob Grasser in Basel, Switzerland.

The history of slavery in Alaska differs from that of the other states that comprise the United States of America. Whereas the continental United States mostly saw enslavement of Africans originating from across the Atlantic Ocean, in Alaska indigenous people, and some whites, enslaved indigenous people from other tribes.

Expansion of Russia (1500–1800)

The steppe and forest-steppe of Ukraine and southern Russia is good agricultural land, but it was traditionally held by pastoral nomads. Any state that could drive off the nomads and fill the land with tax-paying peasants would expand its power enormously. During the period 1500–1800, this region was taken under Russian control.

Nogais Turkic ethnic group in Russian North Caucasus region

The Nogais are a Turkic ethnic group who live in the North Caucasus region. Most are found in Northern Dagestan and Stavropol Krai, as well as in Karachay-Cherkessia and Astrakhan Oblast; some also live in Chechnya. They speak the Nogai language and are descendants of various Mongolic and Turkic tribes who formed the Nogai Horde. There are seven main groups of Nogais:

Kalmyk Khanate

The Kalmyk Khanate was an Oirat khanate on the Eurasian steppe. It extended over modern Kalmykia and surrounding areas in the North Caucasus, including Stavropol and Astrakhan. They ruled over the Golden Horde for three centuries before being annexed by the Tsar. During their independence, the Kalmyks both raided and allied with Russia in turn, engaging in numerous military expeditions against the Crimean Tatars, the Ottoman Empire, neighboring Muslim tribes, and the highlanders of the North Caucasus. The Khanate was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1771.

Crimean–Nogai slave raids in Eastern Europe Slave raids conducted by the Crimean Khanate and Nogai Horde from 1468 to 1769

For over three centuries, the military of the Crimean Khanate and the Nogai Horde conducted slave raids primarily in lands controlled by Russia and Poland-Lithuania as well as other territories.

References

  1. Mee, Arthur; Hammerton, J.A.; Innes, Arthur D.; Harmsworth History of the World: Volume 7 , 1907, Carmelite House, London; p. 5193.
  2. Walk Free Foundation. "The Global Slavery Index 2018" (PDF).
  3. Note the traditional etymology of the word "slave" from the ethnonym Slav: Harper, Douglas. "slave". Online Etymology Dictionary .
  4. The Full Collection of the Russian Annals, vol.13, SPb, 1904
  5. "The Tatar Khanate of Crimea". www.allempires.com. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  6. Supply of Slaves
  7. "Gulliver". The Economist. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  8. Historical survey > Slave societies
  9. Michalon Lituanus, De Moribus Tartarorum, Lituanorum et Moschorum, Fragmina X, in Russia, seu Moscovia, itemque Tartaria (Leiden, 1630), 191 [ page needed ]
  10. 1 2 Richard Hellie, Slavery in Russia, 1450-1725 (1984)
  11. Carolyn Johnston Pouncey, The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible, p15 ISBN   0-8014-9689-6
  12. Carolyn Johnston Pouncey, The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible, p33 ISBN   0-8014-9689-6
  13. Compare: Hellie, Richard (6 April 2009). "Slavery and serfdom in Russia". In Gleason, Abbott (ed.). A Companion to Russian History. Wiley Blackwell Companions to World History. 10. John Wiley & Sons (published 2009). p. 110. ISBN   9781444308426 . Retrieved 2015-09-14. ... slaves typically paid no taxes, whereas serfs always did. A census was taken in 1678, and the count revealed that there were significantly fewer serfs and more slaves than anticipated. It was obvious to the government that many peasants had colluded with their owners to cheat the tax collectors by pretending to be slaves. As a result, in 1679 the government decreed that all slaves engaged in agriculture were to be listed as taxpayers. This effectively abolished the institution of agricultural slavery.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Forsyth, James (1994). A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581–1990. Cambridge University Press. pp. 67–69. ISBN   9780521477710.
  15. ""Horrible Traffic in Circassian Women—Infanticide in Turkey," New York Daily Times, 6 August 1856". Chnm.gmu.edu. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  16. "Georgia in the Beginning of Feudal Decomposition. (XVIII cen.)". Parliament.ge. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  17. "Khiva, Bukhara, Khokand". Ferghana.ru. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  18. "Traditional Institutions in Modern Kazakhstan". Src-h.slav.hokudai.ac.jp. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  19. Report of Josef Wolff 1843–1845
  20. "Adventure in the East". Time . 6 April 1959. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  21. "Slave of the Caucasus". BBC News. 15 March 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  22. Global Slavery Index
  23. halfaman (2012-11-26). "The second report about slavery in Russia". Бомбила. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  24. Sandford, Daniel (2012-11-16). "The ordeal of a Moscow 'shop slave'" . Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  25. "Country Narrative - Russia". gvnet.com. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  26. "Uzbeks Prey to Modern Slave Trade". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved 2019-06-28.