This thesis explores the various perspectives that Northern Americans had on Russian serfdom and its emancipation. This era was significant to both Russia and the United States because each country experienced tremendous reforms including the abolitions of their unfree labor institutions. Generally, Northern Americans viewed serfdom as a milder form of forced labor and suspected that it would be eradicated soon. Abolitionists used rumors of Russian emancipation to advocate for the end of American slavery. Diminishing the realities of serfdom in the American media was a way for abolitionists to condemn the brutality of American slavery by comparison. After the Civil War ended, Reconstruction era politics shaped the way political party-endorsing newspapers would report on the progress of emancipation and reforms in Russia. This thesis will also analyze the frequency of American reports on Russian serfdom and the progress of its emancipation during the Antebellum era while considering the political affiliation of the news sources when possible. Overall, this thesis provides a much-needed examination of the transnational effect of Russian Emancipation on Northern Americans, the Union effort, and the movement to abolish slavery in America.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Kellis, Mariana S., "Northerners' Perspectives on American Emancipation and the End of Russian Serfdom" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 947.