Despotism or Enlightened Absolutism? Towards the Image of Russia in the Work of Abbé Raynal “Histoire des Deux Indes”

 
PIIS207987840019886-3-1
DOI10.18254/S207987840019886-3
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Affiliation: Saint Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg
Journal nameISTORIYA
Edition
Abstract

The article reveals the image of Russia in the work of Abbé Raynal “Histoire des deux Indes”. The subject of this study based on the imperial theory thesis in the Enlightened France recorded in the parts of the “Histoire des deux Indes” devoted to Russia. French philosophers criticized the empires activities destroyed indigenous peoples and sold people into slavery. When they discovered Russia, they began to compare it with the already studied and familiar models: prevailed in Russia estate system with the colonial one, and the serf peasant with the slaves exploited in the colonies, i.e. they operated with categories familiar to them. The article was written within the framework of the new imperial history. We will look at the image of Russia in of Abbé Raynal’s work based on such categories of analysis as state policy, population, trade and suggestions for improvement. We will argue that the image of Russia was similar to the eastern despotic states, as well as that there no need for the Russian state to export foreign state models.

KeywordsRaynal, Histoire des deux Indes, 18th century, new imperial history, image of Russia, the Age of Enlightenment
Received29.11.2021
Publication date30.04.2022
Number of characters24758
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